Silk was a name that induced hysteria among men in the 80s. It was her body that took her to dizzying heights in South film industry. It wasn't just for the fact that Silk Smitha excited their dormant passion by the raw projection of her sexuality but the way she exuded control over her body. Her life can easily be compared to a Shakespearean tragedy. Her status as the ultimate sex symbol led to her rise as well as contributing to her downfall.Silk Smitha was a school drop-out. She left school as her poor family had financial constraints. A very young Smitha, then Vijayalakshmi, was reportedly, exploited by men because of her arresting looks and her family thought they could solve the problem by marrying her off. Her husband and in-laws turned out to be monsters from whom she escaped and started her life afresh under the guardianship of an aunt. Her first brush with the film industry was as a B-grade actor's touch-up artiste when still a teenager. Her dreams were too vast to be contain
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Silk Smitha says lets go to the temple, and she manages to even make that sound sexy. Eminent Tamil film historian S. Theodore Baskaran, author of the out-of-print last word on Tamil cinema The Eye of the Serpent (East West Books, Chennai), now a recluse in his Bangalore home, recalls how Tamil director Baalu Mahendra once described the appeal of the woman known to millions as thunder thighs.
Films that had lain in cans for years were sold by the simple addition of a Silk Smitha song, says Randor Guy, Tamil crime writer, screen writer, author of A History of Tamil Cinema (1991, published by the government of Tamil Nadu) and legal historian for The Hindu, of the woman with whom he shared a warm work friendship in the years from her unexpected fame until her suicide in 1996.