Soundarya (18 July 1972 - 17 April 2004) was a popular film actress in Kannada,Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam films. She had a successful career of 12 years as heroine in films until her death in a plane crash near Bangalore. She acted in more than 90 films.
Soundarya, daughter of senior film writer, industrialist K. S. Satyanarayan was born and brought up in Bangalore. She acted in her first film while she was in high school, when she was offered a role in the film Gandharva a Kannada movie (1992) by her father's friend, while she was studying in her first year of MBBS. She discontinued her studies after the film Ammoru became successful.
She described her roles in Kannada films as "insignificant", and moved onto Telugu films where she achieved immense popularity and success. The majority of her career was spent in Telugu Film industry and she became a household name in Andhra Pradesh. She got noticed through her Telugu movie Manavarali Pelli. Her acting skills and dialogue delivery were well appreciated.
Soundarya has also acted in Hindi film, Sooryavansham. She also produced and acted in a Kannada film Dweepa, with Girish Kasaravalli as director. The film won a host of National awards including Swarna Kamal (Golden Lotus) which is given for best film of the year. It also won Karnataka state awards for Best Actress, Best Film and Best Cinematography and was featured in five international film festivals.
Soundarya was born in the Ashtagrama villages and was an Iyer. She married her maternal uncle and childhood friend, software engineer G. S. Raghu on 27 April 2003. She had great dreams of promoting public welfare during her lifetime. At the time of her death, she was about to produce and act in a film titled 'Kamli', directed by K. N. T Sastry. Her wishes of funding welfare activities are being fulfilled by her husband and sister-in-law through the AMARA SOUNDARYA SOCIAL AND EDUCATIONAL TRUST [ASSET]. She has developed the entire village of Gangigunte [her native village], Mulabagal Taluk, in the Kolar district of Karnataka. Soundarya maintained an orphanage. Presently, it is being maintained by her relatives. In addition, the school, AMARA SOUNDARYA VIDYALAYA, is maintained by her trust and her own home is now being used as a school. There are many ideas and concepts that were dreamt and thought by Soundarya and her brother Amarnath for the welfare of the society, being fulfilled by Soundarya's husband and Soundarya's sister-in-law Nirmala using ASSET. She had adopted some educational institutions and given funding for so many educational institutions and their family is continuing funding for educational institutions.
Soundarya died on 17 April 2004 in an airplane crash near Bangalore when the four-seater plane Cessna 180 caught fire immediately after take-off. She was on her way to Andhra Pradesh to campaign for Bharatiya Janata Party for the elections. Her brother, Amarnath, a producer of Kannada films, also died in the accident.