Vyjayanthimala (born 13 August 1936) is an Indian film actress, Bharathanatyam dancer, Carnatic singer, dance choreographer and parliamentarian. She was the highest paid actress of her time. Regarded as the "first female superstar" of Indian cinema, She made her debut in the Tamil language film Vaazhkai in 1949 and in the Telugu film Jeevitham in 1950. She later became one of the most prominent actresses of South Indian cinema and in the golden era of Bollywood and was known as one of the iconic leading actresses of all time. Vyjayanthimala was one of the biggest Bollywood stars with a career lasting almost two decades. She was the first star to completely change the standard and style of dancing in Indian cinema. It was because of her that Indian film actresses later on were expected to know classical dance. She was the first South Indian actress to become a Bollywood star and "paved a way" for other south Indian actresses to foray into Bollywood. Vyjayanthimala is an accomplished dancer and was one of those who introduced semi-classical dance to Bollywood. Her subsequent dance numbers in her films had earned her the title of "twinkle toes".
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