Madhavi is a famous South Indian film actress. She played the heroine role for 17 years in seven languages: Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Bengali, and Hindi. So far she acted in more than 300 films.
Madhavi was born in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India. Her parents are Sasirekha and Govinda Swamy. She grew up with a brother and sister. She learnt classical dance, Bharat Natyam from Uma Maheshwari and folk dances from Mr. Bhatt from an early age and gave more than a thousand dance performances. She also attended Stanley Girls High School in Hyderabad.
Director Dasari Narayana Rao gave her a starring role in the Telugu film "Thoorupu Padamara" when she was a teenager. The film became a huge hit. K. Balachander then cast her in a supporting role in his hit Telugu film Marocharithra (1979).
She repeated her role in the Hindi remake Ek Duje Ke Liye (1981), which became the top grossing film of 1981. In both films, she showed remarkable sensitivity as a lonely wealthy woman who falls in love with Kamal Haasan. She earned a Filmfare nomination as Best Supporting Actress.Director K. Balachander was so impressed with her performance in both films that he introduced her to the Tamil film industry in the film Thillu Mullu (1981) with Rajinikanth. By the end of the decade, she was starring opposite superstar Amitabh Bachchan in the Hindi film Agneepath (1990).
Madhavi later acted alongside Kamal Haasan in Raja Paarvai, Tik Tik Tik, Kaakki Chattai and Mangamma Sabadham appearing in a swimsuit in all the films. Other films with Rajinikanth included Garjanai and Thambikku endha ooru. Being talented, she showed her ability in movies like Needhi dhevan Mayakkam and Nirabaraadhi. She acted in number of films with Telugu star hero Chiranjeevi.Her first movie with chiranjeevi was Intlo Ramaiah Veedhilo Krishnaiah in 1982,Later she acted agiain with Chiranjeevi in block bluster movie Khaidi. Her last movie in Telugu was Big Boss.
She acted in number of Kannada movies which have been a big success. She acted with many popular Kannada heroes including Dr. Raj Kumar, Vishnu Vardhan, Anant Nag and Ambareesh.
She also donned many roles in Malayalam movies with superstars like Mammootty and Mohanlal. Her beautiful portrayal of the legendary "Unniyaarcha" in the national award winning movie "Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha" was well appreciated.Also a very notable film was "Aakashadooth" in which she had done a very popular mother role who met her end with lukeamia.This film was a very tragic one which had made millions of keralites cry!!!
In 1996, her spiritual teacher 'Swami Rama' arranged her marriage to one of his disciples, a businessman (pharmaceuticals) named Ralph Sharma, who is half-Indian and half-German. She married him within a couple of weeks after meeting him. They have three children and live in New Jersey.
Now retired from films, she has indicated that she still feels the urge to act when she sees good films.