Jayabharathi is an Indian actress. She is a two-time recipient of the Kerala State Film Award for best actress.
Jayabharathi's first leading role was given by director P. Bhaskaran for his movie Kattukurangu in 1969. Later she became one of the most successful Malayalam film actresses and performed with such notable leading men as Prem Nazir, Madhu, Vincent, Jayan, M. G. Soman, Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth. Jayabharathi-MG Soman was a popular on-screen pair of the 1970s and early 1980s. She won the Kerala State Film Awards for her performances in various films in 1972 and Madhavikutty in 1973. One of her famous films was Rathinirvedam, directed by Bharathan, in which she played a woman who fell in love with a boy younger than her. Rathinirvedam is regarded as a landmark in Indian film history. It is one of the most sensuous movies of all time, and is said to have redefined the art of movie making in South India. The extremely erotic scenes performed by Jayabharathi sent heat waves across Kerala. Even when some of the intelligentsia predicted the beginning of a new era of parallel cinema, a major section of Malayalis were on the warpath saying that mainstream Malayalam cinema had degenerated to porn. But in spite of the criticism, Rathinirvedam became one of the biggest box office hits in Kerala's history. It inspires similar productions all over South India, even decades after its release.