Acclaimed Malayalam actress KV Shanthi passed away on September 21 at her Kodambakkam residence in Chennai due to illness. She was 81 and is survived by her son Shyam Kumar, who performed her last rites, with the funeral taking place on the evening of Monday. Born in Ettumanoor in Kottayam, the veteran actress at a very young age had come to Chennai and went on to star in more than 50 Malayalam films, including a few ventures in Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi as well. 

A frequent collaborator with Merryland Studio, who also introduced her, KV Shanthi became a popular choice among directors during the 60s and 70s for their films. Seen first as a dancer in the Prem Nazir starrer, Ponkathir, in 1953, she subsequently landed important roles in several big Malayalam films. Apart from her film career, KV Shanthi also went on to garner a name for her performances as a dancer. After her career in dancing peaked, she was eventually chosen as the main dancer of the Uday Shankar Center for Dance and went on to perform in several countries across the world. Among the notable roles in her career, KV Shanthi made heads turn with her performances in films such as Lilly, Kalayum Kaaminiyum, Atom Bomb, Doctor, Madatharuvi, Kochaniyathi, CID in Jungle, to name a few. 

Tamil cinema fans will remember KV Shanthi for her performances in films such as Marutha Nattu Veeran released in 1961, which had 'Nadigar Thilagam' Sivaji Ganesan in the lead role. She was then cast in an important role in Gemini Ganesan's Aadi Perukku, which released in theatres in 1962. She continued to act into the 1970s and was last seen in the 1975 Malayalam film, Kaamam Krodham Moham. Her passing away has come as a terrible shock to many fans and celebrities in the industry, who have been paying their tributes and sharing their condolences.