Vyjayanthimala Bali (born on August 13, 1936), also known by the mononym Vyjayanthimala, is an Indian film actress, Bharathanatyam dancer, Carnatic singer, dance choreographer, golfer and Parliamentarian.
Vyjayanthimala was one the biggest Bollywood stars in a career lasting almost two decades. She was also the first South Indian actress to become a national star and "paved way" for the other South Indian actresses to foray into Bollywood. Vyjayanthimala is also an accomplished dancer and was one of those who introduced semi-classical dance to Bollywood. Her subsequent dance numbers in her films had earned her the title of "twinkle toes". She was also referred as one of the first female Superstars of Hindi cinema and was known as "Numero Uno actress" along with Hema Malini, Rekha, Sridevi and Madhuri Dixit for her "illustrious career in 1950s and 1960s".
Born in an orthodox Tamil Brahmin family, Vyjayanthimala made her screen debut at the age of 13 through the Tamil film Vazhkai (1949) and acted in the Bollywood films Bahar and Ladki. Following the success of Nagin, Vyjayanthimala established herself as a one of the Bollywood's leading actress and a successful actress of Tamil descent.
She left the industry after shooting for the historical Hindi film Amrapali which was based on life of the Nagarvadhu (royal courtesan) of Vaishali, Amrapali, though director Baldev Raj Chopra felt that she could have easily continued for another decade in lead roles.
Besides film, Vyjayanthimala's main concentration was in Bharata Natyam a form of Indian classical dance. After quitting movies Vyjayanthimala Bali continued with her dance career. In addition, Vyjayanthimala was conferred with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the highest Indian recognition given to practicing artists. The award was presented to Vyjayanthimala in 1982 for her contribution in Bharata Natyam field. Moreover, Vyjayanthimala is also an avid golfer and is one of the oldest golfers in Chennai. She has also served as chairperson of 48th National Film Awards.