Uma Padmanabhan is a South Indian celebrity who wears many hats. She is a Tamil television and movie actress, and a socialite. Uma has also been working as a newsreader and television news presenter since 1993.
Uma Padmanabhan was born as Uma Iyer on Monday, 27 September 1965 (age 56 years; as of 2021) in Chennai, under the zodiac sign of Libra. The anchor-turned-actor graduated with a B.Sc. degree in Commerce from S.I.E.T. in Nandanam, Chennai.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Hair Colour: Dark Brown
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
The only child of her parents, Uma, comes from a family of artists. Her father, K. G. Subramanyan, who passed away in 2016, was a famous painter, poet, and teacher, who had been honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan awards.
Uma’s mother, Susheela Jasra, who passed away in 2005, was an artist too, who also worked as a Gandhian social worker.
Husband & Children
Uma was married to Padmanabhan, but the couple is divorced now. Uma has a daughter named Sharanya, and two grandchildren.
In a career spanning over more than 25 years, Uma has been a part of around 35 films and 10 TV shows.
Newsreader and TV Presenter
Soon after completing her graduation in around 1993, Uma applied for the position of an anchor at a Tamil entertainment channel SUN TV. The channel was just six months old when she initially started working at SUN TV as a newsreader. Eventually, Padmanabhan started hosting the Tamil morning show ‘Vanakkam Tamizhagam,’ which went on to become Tamil Nadu’s one of the most-watched morning programs and completed its 1000 episodes while Uma was still there. Femina In an interview, when Uma was asked about her experience at the channel, she said,
News reading and computing are unique in all genres. This happened in the early days after the Doordarshan era when the private channel Sun TV came to the forefront. I joined there just six months after the channel started. Now you can not read the news by looking at the sample prompt. You have to write and read and look at the camera. There are plenty of challenges in computing as well.”
During her stint at SUN TV, Uma hosted almost every show on the channel. Apart from this, the TV presenter has also worked with Vijay TV, Jaya TV, and other Tamil channels.
Active in the Tamil industry since the early 1990s, Uma Padmanabhan first appeared on the Kollywood silver screen with the movie ‘Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen’ in 1998; however, after her big break in the industry, Uma struggled to find work for almost four years.
Simultaneously, Uma started trying for the Tamil television industry, which gave her a break as an actress in the show ‘Micro Thodar-Oru Kudumbam Oru Ragasiyam’ in 2000, which was aired on Raj TV.
In 2002, Uma finally got a breakthrough role in the Tamil film ‘Yai! Nee Romba Azhaga Irukke.’ The actress was appreciated and recognised for her talent, which eventually landed her many more such projects. In 2021, Uma’s Tamil-language drama film ‘Kasada Thapara’ was released on the Sony Liv app. Instagram – Uma Padmanabhan
Padmanabhan didn’t limit herself to only Kollywood, and she made her first screen presence in the Malayali film industry in 2010 with “The Thriller,” where she was seen as Meera’s Mother.
Uma, the versatile actress, also grabbed an opportunity in the Telugu film industry in 2016 and made her debut with the movie “Oopiri Thozha,” in which she performed the role of Swathi’s mother-in-law.
The Kollywood actress stayed away from the Tamil TV industry for about a decade before finally making a comeback in 2016. She was seen in the serial Vinnai Thandi Varuvaya in which Padmanabhan played the role of the leading actor’s mother. Uma revealed in an interview that she took such a long break because she wasn’t ready to commit to long-form TV serials. Uma added, The Times of India
I was thinking of doing a television project for quite some time now. It was around this time, I got a call for this serial. Also, the channel and the production house are big names — so it is a win-win for me.”
Uma hasn’t bound herself to only acting in movies and serials, but she has also taken up some TV commercials as well, and she dubs her own lines in Hindi and other languages. The successful actress also surprised her fans by showing her singing talent in a few Tamil songs. In January 2021, Uma became a part of a video for the Tamil devotional poem, Marghazhi Thingal, where she was featured singing along with other actresses.
The Tamilian socialite also started the Television Academy in the middle of her career. Femina When asked about it, Uma said in an interview,
It all started with James Spring. One page TV channels were in need of new newsreaders and TV presenters. On the other hand, I saw a lot of people who were interested in using that need in places where they were going to talk in colleges. We started that academy to fill this gap. For some time it worked well.”
In 2013, Padmanabhan became the face of the organisation in Chennai which helps create awareness surrounding breast cancer. She became the “Pink Ambassador” for “India Turns Pink.”
- Actors: Mohanlal, Kamal Haasan
- Colour: Red
- Uma’s one year of schooling was spent in New York after her father had to go to the United States upon receiving the Rockefeller Foundation grant. When asked about her experience, Uma recalled that it was there she realised her father was an artist. The New Indian Express She added,
Appa was doing drawings on egg cartons. He also did acrylic paintings, tapestry work and fibre weaving. I was seeing this for the first time.”
- When Uma’s mother passed away in 2005, she took up the role of a caretaker of her father who was ill and lived in Baroda (now Vadodara). According to a report, the actress would spend two weeks with her husband, Padmanabhan, and the remaining looking after her father, in Baroda.
- Padmanabhan is a versatile actress who has had the experience of acting across a variety of genres including romance, comedy, drama, and action. In an interview, the Tamil actress admitted that she liked working in films with a lot of comedy-based acting. Uma added, Femina
I left the show Hello Tamil Nadu show saying that I am bored. I have done many shows since then. Some shows on Vijay TV, gossip on Jaya TV, comedy in house to house looting… I always think I have comedy science. I was able to try it out on the home-to-home loot serial.”
- Some big names of the South-Indian film industry like Rajinikanth, Udhayanidhi Stalin, Dhanush, Jiiva, Prithviraj, Silambarasan, Vijay, Srikanth, and Vikranth have also shared the screen with Uma Padmanabhan.
- Kailasam Balachander (KB) was responsible for shifting Uma Padmanabhan’s career from a TV newscaster to an actress. The Hindu
- In February 2021, Uma’s Tamil TV show “Poove Poochudavaa” completed 1000 episodes; but on 5 September 2021, the show went off-air after Uma starred in it for almost four and a half years. Instagram – Uma Padmanabhan
- The Tamil actress also shows interest in the TV reality show Big Boss Tamil, hosted by her friend and actor Kamal Haasan, and her social media handles are up-to-date with her opinions on recent events of the show.