indian cinema heritage foundation


  • Real Name: Jana Bai Rao
  • Born: 30 August 1936 (Hampi)
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi
  • Parents: Nippani Srinivasa Rao, Kausalyadevi
  • Spouse: Juluri Ramana Rao
  • Children: Vamsi Juluri, Sravanthi

Born into a Kannada business family in Hampi, the young Jana Bai spent her childhood in Duggirala, Guntur district in Andhra Pradesh. Interested in theatre even as a young child, she also learnt classical music at the behest of her mother.

The legendary actress Savitri stayed in Jana Bai’s house in Duggirala when she was performing her shows. It was mainly due to Savitri’s encouragement that Jana Bai became Jamuna became an actress. Other sources claim that she was cast in the film Puttillu in 1952 by the director Dr. Garikipati Raja Rao, who spotted her performing on stage and was vastly impressed by her talent.

Even though Kannada was her mother tongue, she acted primarily in Telugu films, starring in more than 150 films. Besides Telugu films, she also acted in Kannada, Tamil and Hindi films from the 1950s to the 1980s. Some of her famous Telugu movies include Missamma (1954), Bhagya Rekha (1957), Sati Anusuya (1957),Mooga Manusulu (1964)  and Pandanti Kapuram (1972). She reprised her role in Mooga Manusulu (1964) in the Hindi film Milan (1967). Her other well-known Hindi movies  areMiss Mary (1957), Ek Raaz (1963), Hamrahi (1963), Beti Bete(1964) and Rishte Naate (1965).

Jamuna is credited with having started the Telugu Artists Association and remained active in social service for some time. Unsurprisingly, she joined the Indian National Congress and was associated with politics for a brief while.

Married to a professor, Dr. Juluri Ramana Rao, Jamuna has one son, Vamsi Juluri and one daughter, Sravanthi. Her husband passed away on November 10, 2014. Retired from an active, long life, Jamuna now lives in the city of Hyderabad.