Namitha Mukesh Vankawala

(1981-05-10) 10 May 1981 (age 41)[1]
Occupation(s)Actress, model
Years active2001–present
Political partyBharatiya Janata Party
Veerendra Chowdary
(m. 2017)

Namitha Vankawala is an Indian actress, model and politician who predominantly works in Tamil and Telugu cinema along with a few films in Kannada and Malayalam.[2] She serves as a state executive member of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Tamil Nadu.[3]



Starting her career as a beauty pageant contestant, Namitha was crowned Miss Surat during the year of 1998 at the age of 17. She went on to participate in the 2001 Miss India pageant and ended up as the third runner-up, while Celina Jaitley was crowned Miss India.[4] The publicity she garnered during the competition prompted her to move to Mumbai and subsequently she did a number of TV commercials such as Himani cream and hand soap, Arun Ice Creams, Manikchand Gutka, and Nile Herbal Shampoo early in her career. Unable to make a breakthrough into the Hindi film industry, she enrolled in an English Literature course and then considered returning to Surat but chose to later accept an invitation to audition for a Telugu film. After being selected, she consequently made her acting debut in Sreenu Vaitla's coming-of-age romantic film, Sontham (2002). Her next film, Saran's big budget action film Gemeni (2002) opposite Venkatesh, garnered her further attention and her portrayal of a Marwardi girl won critical acclaim. She had also briefly given herself the stagename of "Bhairavi" for the film, but later reverted to her original name.[5][6]

In the mid-2000s, she quickly became popular in Tamil language films with her mature look and tall frame prompting film makers to cast her opposite ageing actors such as Vijayakanth, Sathyaraj, Arjun, Parthiban, Sundar C and Sarathkumar.[7] She appeared in a series of commercial action films opposite such actors, including roles in Aai (2005), Chanakya (2005) and Aanai (2005). Likewise, she was regularly cast in comedy films with senior actors too, making appearances in Siddique's Engal Anna (2004) and six of Sakthi Chidambaram's comedy dramas. During the period, she appeared in her first Hindi film Love Ke Chakkar Mein, worked on a Kannda film titled Namitha I Love You and shot for an English film, Maya, which was later released in 2008 as Kamasutra Nights.[8] In 2007, she had the opportunity to work with two leading actors from Tamil cinema, respectively appearing with Vijay in the A. R. Rahman-musical Azhagiya Tamil Magan (2007) and Ajith Kumar in Vishnuvardhan's gangster film Billa (2007). By the end of the period, Namitha had developed a "cult following" in Tamil Nadu as a result of her glamorous appearances in films, with the media regularly looking to feature her in reports and labelled her "omnipotent and omnipresent".[9][10][11]


However, by the turn of the decade, Namitha's popularity began to decline after several of her films failed to perform well and the South Indian film industry moved away from casting women in outright glamorous roles, a character that Namitha had become famed for performing. Film makers were also reluctant to cast Namitha opposite young male actors, as the older generation began to stop appearing in leading roles.[12] She was relegated to increasingly smaller roles and guest appearances, while the big-budget horror film, Jaganmohini (2009), where she played the title role performed poorly at the box office.[13] Likewise, she became engaged in disputes with her filmmakers, with the director of Azhagana Ponnuthan (2010), criticising the actress's lack of cooperation for the film's failure.[14][15] She briefly prioritized her work in Kannada films in the early 2010s, while several of her films endured production delays including Ilamai Oonjal (2016). After several years without any film releases, she announced plans of making a comeback in 2016.[16]

In 2017, Namitha appeared on the Tamil reality television show, Bigg Boss hosted by Kamal Haasan. During her stint in the show, she was widely criticised for her harsh treatment of actress Oviya.[17] Her upcoming projects include T. Rajender's Indraya Kadhal Da, where she plays the antagonist.[18][19]

In the media

At the height of her success in 2008, Namitha's devotee built her a temple near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. She became the second actress after Khushbu in the state to be immortalised in such a fashion by her fan following.[20][21] In October 2010, there was an attempt to kidnap her by a fan at Trichy in Tamil Nadu.[22] In 2012, the actress was chosen by Tokyo TV, a Japanese media station, as the "most beautiful person" in India.[23] She has been an advocate of safe driving and in June 2012, she and Tamil actor Bharat promoted awareness of safe driving.[24]


Namitha joined AIADMK on 24 April 2016 in the presence of party general secretary and Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa in Trichy.[25]In 2019, Namitha along with actor Radha Ravi joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in the presence of party's national president J. P. Nadda in Chennai.[26] In July 2020, after 8 months of joining the BJP, Namitha was appointed as one of the state executive member of the BJP in Tamil Nadu.[3]

Personal life

Namitha married businessman Veerendra Chowdary in Tirupathi in November 2017.[27] The couple announced their pregnancy via Namitha's Instagram on her 41st birthday.[28] She delivered twin sons in August 2022.[29]


Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Title Role(s) Language(s) Notes Ref.
2002 Sontham Nandu Telugu Debut film [30]
Gemeni Manisha Natwarlal credited as Bhairavi [31]
2003 Oka Raju Oka Rani Preethi
Oka Radha Iddaru Krishnula Pelli Sasirekha
2004 Engal Anna Gowri Tamil Tamil Debut
Aithe Enti Anjali Sharma Telugu
Maha Nadigan Aishwarya Tamil
2005 Aai Anjali Tamil
Englishkaran Maheshwari
Nayakudu Uma Telugu
Chanakya Deivanayaki Tamil
Bambara Kannaley Mynaa
Aanai Ramya
2006 Kovai Brothers Sania
Love Ke Chakkar Mein Neha V. Batra Hindi Hindi Debut
Pachchak Kuthira Poovu Tamil
Thagapansamy Swapna
Nee Venunda Chellam Anjali
Neelakanta Ganga Kannada Kannada Debut
2007 Viyabari Namitha Tamil
Naan Avanillai Monika Prasad
Azhagiya Tamil Magan Dhanalakshmi
Billa C. J.
2008 Sandai Seemakal Chinnakilli
Kamasutra Nights Aunt Maya English English Debut
Pandi Salangai Tamil
Indra Janaki Kannada
2009 Perumal Saroja Tamil
Thee Ruchi Devi
1977 Chandini
Billa Lisa Telugu Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress – Telugu
Indira Vizha Kamini Tamil
Jaganmohini Jaganmohini
2010 Black Stallion Laura Fernandez Malayalam Malayalam Debut
Azhagaana Ponnuthan Jennifer Tamil
Guru Sishyan Anitha Cameo
Simha Mahima Telugu
Hoo Anju Kannada
2011 Ilaignan Sena Tamil
Namitha I Love You Sunanda Telugu
2013 Benki Birugali Mona Kannada
2016 Ilamai Oonjal Durga Tamil
Pulimurugan Julie Malayalam
2019 Pottu Bhrameshwari Tamil
2020 Miya Miya
2021 Bow Bow Blogger Malayalam Filming÷


Year Title Role Notes
2007-2015 Maanada Mayilada Main Judge Dance Reality Show
2017 Bigg Boss Tamil (season 1) Contestant Evicted Day 28[32]
2020 Dance Jodi Dance 3.0 Judge Dance Show
2021 Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal Herself Guest Appearance
2021 Kanni Theevu Ullasa Ulagam 2.0 Herself Guest Appearance


  1. ^ "Happy Birthday Namitha: 10 Times South Actress Namitha Stole Our Hearts".
  2. ^ "Namita Vankawala: Movies, Photos, Videos, News, Biography & Birthday | eTimes". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b J, Shanmughasundaram (4 July 2020). "Tamil Nadu: Actor Namitha appointed as BJP state executive member | Chennai News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  4. ^ "Namitha was crowned Miss Surat in 1998". The Times of India. 29 August 2013. Archived from the original on 2 September 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  5. ^ Telugu Cinema Etc. (16 September 2002). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Telugu cinema article – Namita photo – stolen from Namitha's desktop". 20 March 2000.
  7. ^ Namitha interview – Telugu Cinema interview – Telugu film and Tamil film actress. (30 July 2008). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  8. ^ "Namitha stars in English movie". The Hindu. 14 August 2006.
  9. ^ "Tamil movies : Namitha the omnipotent and the omnipresent".
  10. ^ "Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Namitha goes to 'Subway' for meal". The Hindu. 21 October 2005. Archived from the original on 26 May 2006.
  11. ^ I Will Do It For A Lesser Payment, Says Namitha – Namitha – Dirty Picture – Tamil Movie News. (30 June 2012). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  12. ^ Why Namitha won't act in Tamil films? | Movie News . Times of India (20 May 2011). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  13. ^ Review: Jaganmohini is a half-baked remake. (19 October 2009). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  14. ^ Namitha's behavior – Tamil Movie News – Namitha | Thiru | Azhagana Ponnuthan | Raja Karthik | Nizhalgal Ravi | Mayilsaamy. (17 March 2010). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  15. ^ Namitha angry with Sona? (22 July 2011).
  16. ^ "Actress Namitha To Make Her Comeback Soon". 3 September 2015.
  17. ^ Ex- Bigg Boss contestant Namitha hits back at Oviya | Tamil Movie News. Times of India (6 August 2017). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  18. ^ T Rajendherr to helm trilingual, Indraya Kaadhal Da. Cinema Express (10 July 2018). Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  19. ^ T Rajendar returns to direction. Deccan Chronicle (11 July 2018). Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  20. ^ "I'll stick to my sexy image: Namitha". Deccan Herald. 28 December 2009.
  21. ^ I’m thrilled I have a temple:Namitha | Hindi Movie News. Times of India (7 July 2008). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  22. ^ Bharathan, Bijoy (27 October 2010). "Namitha's die-hard fan". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  23. ^ Namitha – The Indian Beauty ... – Namitha – Tamil Movie News. (1 November 2012). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  24. ^ Namitha, Bharath want you to be safe on the road!. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  25. ^ "Tamil Nadu election:Actress Namitha joins Jayalalithaa's AIADMK". R Gokul. Times of India. 24 April 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2022.
  26. ^ J, Shanmughasundarm (30 November 2019). "Actor Radha Ravi, Namitha join BJP in JP Nadda's presence | Chennai News - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  27. ^ "Namitha gets married to her boyfriend Veerandra in Tirupati". The Times of India. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  28. ^ "Namitha is pregnant, feels elated - Telugu News". 10 May 2022. Retrieved 11 May 2022.
  29. ^ "Actress Namitha announces birth of twin boys, shares video". OnManorama. 22 August 2022. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  30. ^ "Movie review – Sontham". Idlebrain.
  31. ^ "Show with a difference". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018.
  32. ^ "Bigg Boss Tamil: How Oviya Helen became the premiere season's most sensational contestant- Entertainment News, Firstpost". Firstpost. Retrieved 21 February 2018.