23 September 1962
|Died||1 May 1980
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Other names||Shoba Mahendra, Urvashi Shoba, Baby Mahalakshmi, Baby Shoba|
|Years active||1966-1971, 1978–1980|
|Parents||K. P. Menon (Father)
She has won the National award for Best Actress for her role in the Tamil film Pasi at a young age of 17. She started her career as a child artist in the film Udyogastha. Her first film as a heroine was Utrada Raatri. Shobha's real name was Mahalakshmi.
Shoba was born to K. P. Menon and Prema Menon. Her mother was one of the leading actresses in Malayalam Cinema in the 1950s.
Early career: As child artist
In 1966, Shoba made her screen debut in Tamil Thriller film Thattungal Thirakkappadum directed by actor J. P. Chandrababu. In the film she was credited as Baby Mahalakshmi where she played the role of Lakshmi opposite actress Savitri, K. R. Vijaya, R. S. Manohar and Chandrababu himself. Though the film was highly acclaimed but it did not fare well at box office. The following year she made her debut in Malayalam cinema through P. Venu's Udhyogasta where she was named as Baby Shoba. Touted as the first multi-starer in Malayalam cinema, the film had Sathyan, Prem Nazir, K. P. Ummer, Padmini, Sharada, Sheela and Rajasree in the lead along with Shobha. The film was big hit and made Shoba as a recognized child actor in South Indian cinema.
Shobha committed suicide, aged 17, after shooting for the movie Pasi. She was married to Balu Mahendra. In an interview to Anu Haasan in Koffee with Anu, Balu Mahendra has said that the tragedy of how Shoba was suddenly snatched away from his life by destiny, as quickly as she came, formed the plot for his next movie Moondram Pirai. The 1983 Malayalam flick, Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback directed by K. G. George is loosely based on her life and death.
- Thattungal Thirakkappadum (1966) – child artist
- Achani (1978)
- Nizhal Nijamagiradhu (1978)
- Oru Veedu Oru Ulagam (1978)
- Mullum Malarum (1978)
- Veetuku Veedu Vasappadi (1979)
- Oru Vidukathai Oru Thodarkathai (1979)
- Eani Padigal (1979)
- Pasi (1979)
- Azhiyadha Kolangal (1979)
- Agal Vilakku (1979)
- Chakkalathi (1979)
- Veli Thandiya Velladu (1980)
- Moodu Pani (1980)
- Ponnagaram (1980)
- Samandhippoo (1980)
- Anbulla Athan (1981)
- Jeevitha Yathra(1965)
- Penmakkal (1966)
- Ollathu Mathi (1967)
- Pareeksha (1967)
- Kadal (1968)
- Udhyogasta (1967) – child artist
- Aval Alpam Vaikipoyi (1971)
- Aradimanninte Janmi (1972).... Minikutty
- Udayam (1973)... Young Geetha
- Badradeepam (1973)... Lekha
- Ayalathe Sundari(1974 ).... Shobha
- Ayodhya(1975).... Shanthi
- Chottanikkara Amma(1976)
- Ormakal Marikkumo? (1977)
- Nurayum Pathayum(1977)
- Rajaparambara (1977)
- Padasaram (1978) .... Shoba
- Randu Penkuttikal (1978)
- Wayanadan Thampan (1978)
- Utradaraatri (1978)
- Ulkkadal (1978)
- Ekakini (1978)
- Bandhanam (1978)
- Ishta Praneshwari(1979)
- Ente Neelakasham (1979)
- Jeevitham Oru Ganam (1979)
- Venalil Oru Mazha (1979)
- Shalini Ente Koottukaari (1980)
- Daliapookkal (1980)
- Aniyatha Valakal(1980)
- Soorya Daham(1980)
- Yovvanam Daham(1980)
- Manju Moodal Manju(1980)
- Tharam Marindi (1977)
- Manavoori Pandavulu (1978)
- 1978 – Filmfare Best Kannada Actress Award for Aparichita
- 1979 – Filmfare Best Tamil Actress Award for Pasi
- 1971 – Best Female Child Artist for Yogammullaval and Aval Alpam Vaikippoyi
- 1977 – Second Best Actress for Ormakal Marikkumo
- 1978 – Best Actress for Bandhanam and Ente Neelakasam
- United Press International (2 May 1980). "All the city is a stage". The Gazette (Montreal). Retrieved 11 January 2012.
- "The agony and ecstasy of being - Chandrababu". Southside. 2007. Archived from the original on 19 May 2008.
- Randor Guy (2 October 2009). "A voice that mesmerised". The Hindu. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- "Film director P. Venu dead". The Hindu. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- "P Venu dies of heart attack in Chennai". Oneindia.in. 26 May 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- S. R. Ashok Kumar (2002-05-03). "It's a heavy price to pay". The Hindu. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- "A story on suicides and actresses". Behindwoods.com. 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- "Why South Indian heroines are embracing death". Mid Day. 2002-04-20. Retrieved 2012-01-11.