Amma to millions, Jayalalithaa's alleged love affair with her mentor MGR

Jaya also faced a lot of criticism for her personal choices and many even called her an unworthy heir of MGR. After which she decided to quit acting and focused on her political career.

Updated on Sep 10, 2021   |  04:40 AM IST  |  2.1M
Jayalalithaa MGR love story
Amma to millions, Jayalalithaa's alleged love affair with her mentor MGR

Late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, was once a glamorous heroine who won millions of hearts with her strong onscreen persona on the Tamil silver screen. She made her acting debut in the mid-1960s and appeared in 140 films between 1961 and 1980. Among her frequent co-stars was M. G. Ramachandran, popularly known as MGR. Together, they delivered 28 hit films at the box office. Not just onscreen, they shared a special relationship off-screen as well. MGR played a huge role in Jaya's acting as well as political career. 

However, MGR, the matinee idol, was married and 31 years older than her. He always had a soft corner for Jayalalithaa. During a shooting with MGR for Adimaippenn in the Thar desert, the 'Queen of Tamil Cinema' had to be barefoot for a particular scene. Since the climate was getting unbearable, Jayalalithaa could not walk on the burning sand, and noticing her discomfort, MGR ordered the unit to pack up. "I couldn't put a step forward and I was on the verge of collapse. I never said a word, but MGR must have sensed my agony. He suddenly came from behind and swept me up in his arms. He is a hero off-screen too," the actress had revealed in an interview.

He wanted her to accompany him everywhere and at times, even waited for hours on the sets to meet her. Jaya wanted to marry him but he always backed out. As mentioned in Jayalalithaa's biography titled 'Amma', she always wanted to live with the man she loved.

Film News Anandan, who was associated with Jayalalithaa as her PRO spilled the beans about how people were jealous about Jaya's fame and proximity with MGR. "I know when I was her PRO, MGR's car would come to fetch her at one o'clock in the afternoon. She would go for an hour and come back", Anandan had said. Jayalalithaa was then building her house in Poes Garden, as revealed in a report by NDTV. They had also hosted a grand housewarming party attended by many celebs from the industry. 

Anandan had also revealed, "Next morning she had to go to Kashmir for shooting. She boards the plane and finds MGR in the next seat! MGR also had a shooting schedule in Kashmir, but Jayalalithaa was acting with Sivaji Ganesan in another film. The two locations were 40 miles apart. But after reaching Kashmir MGR took her along with him and would send her to her shooting location 40 miles away. Jayalalithaa could have had no say in the matter. If MGR says something, it had to be done."

MGR and Jayalalithaa were popular as a couple, onscreen as well as offscreen until they parted ways in 1970. They parted ways and were away from each other for almost a decade. MGR then started working with other actresses in the movies while Jayalalithaa reportedly got close to Sobhan Babu, a yesteryear Telugu star.


Quite a few reports had stated the Amma of Tamil Nadu had proposed to Sobhan Babu to get married to her. In fact, there were many speculations about them already married in a typical Brahmin-Iyengar style, whilst the other claims about the wedding being called off at the eleventh hour, and apparently, it was MGR behind it! Her affair with Sobhan Babu was short but hit the headlines for a lot of reasons. Their love story witnessed an abrupt end. 

ALSO READ: 'Congratulations for 5th National Award': Kangana Ranaut reveals her mum & dad's reaction to Thalaivii 

Jaya also faced a lot of criticism for her personal choices and many even called her an unworthy heir of MGR. After which she decided to quit acting and focused on her political career. 

MGR then became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in 1977 and 4 years later, he called Jayalalithaa again to join his party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. Reportedly, she ruffled many feathers in the party. They parted ways again. 

Jaya was kept away from MGR and was not allowed to meet even when she was in the hospital. A lot of people tried to create problems between them. She even wrote a letter to the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to let her meet MGR but he wanted to keep her away from him. 

Jaya went to receive him at the airport when he returned from the United States after a kidney transplant but she was locked in the VIP lounge by some party leaders. Nobody knows what created the rift between them. The love-hate relationship between them grabbed many eyeballs. 

"My early years were dominated by my mother. Later, it was MGR. I did not have a life of my own under their shadow," Jaya once revealed. 


With political ups and downs, Ramachandran died on 24 December 1987 at his Ramavaram Gardens residence in Manapakkam due to prolonged illness. He was 70. 

Jaya loved MGR truly despite being married but hated him for abandoning her.

ALSO READ: Thalaivii Movie Review: Kangana Ranaut's film an ode to Amma by Jaya 

About The Author

Journalist. Perennially hungry for entertainment. Carefully listens to everything that start with "so, last night...". C... Read more

Credits: NDTV

For the latest Bollywood news, Telugu news, entertainment exclusives, gossip, movie reviews, and more, follow the Pinkvilla website and YouTube channel, or head to our social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram!

Top Comments
There are no comments in this article yet. Be first to post one!