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Divya Spandana (born 29 November 1979), known by her stage name Ramya, is an Indian film actress, who predominantly acts in Kannada films and also appears in Tamil and Telugu films.
Ramya made her acting debut in the 2003 Kannada-language film Abhi, opposite Puneet Rajkumar. She subsequently starred in several Kannada films alongside lead actors and, following successive commercial successes, established herself as one of the most sought-after actresses in the Kannada film industry, becoming referred to as the "Golden Girl of Kannada cinema" and 'Sandalwood Queen'. Based on an online poll conducted by The Times Of India, Ramya won the Best Actor
Ramya was born in Bangalore, Karnataka on 29 November 1979. Her father is R. T. Narayan and mother is Ranjitha. Her parents originally hail from Mandya. She studied at St. Hilda's school in Ooty, and in Sacred Heart School (Church Park), Chennai, Tamil Nadu. She pursued her graduation at St. Joseph's College of Commerce, Bangalore, but later discontinued. Ramya participated in stage shows and dance rehearsals from her grade school days. She aspires to become a film producer very soon and assures that she would obviously be playing the lead role in the film produced under her home
Ramya has said that the first film offered to her was Ninagagi that eventually starred Radhika. She was then supposed to make her debut in Puneet Rajkumar's first film Appu, for which she, however, was not selected. She made her acting debut in the 2003 Kannada-language film Abhi, alongside Puneet Rajkumar, which became a commercial success. The same year, she had another release in Kannada with Excuse Me, which also did well at the box office, and also stepped into Telugu filmdom with the film Abhimanyu.
In 2004, Spandana debuted in the Tamil film industry, also under the name Ramya, with the film Kuththu alongside Silambarasan Rajendar, which managed only a mediocre run at the box office as did her next Tamil film Giri. Her debut film, however, gave her the name 'Kuthu' Ramya, by which she was then popularly known in Tamil Nadu. She had two releases in Kannada as well, Ranga S. S. L. C. and Kanti, out of which the latter, a love story set against the backdrop of borders and language issues, was declared a major success. In 2005 she had four releases, all being Kannada films, with the latter three films Aakash, Gowramma and Amrithadhare becoming major box-office successes, whilst also garnering critical acclaim for Ramya's performance and establishing her as a leading actress in Karnataka
In 2006 she starred in Julie, a remake of the same-titled 1975 Hindi-language film. She essayed the role of a single, unwed mother in the film, which failed to attract audiences. After her following release, Datta did average business at the box office, her next Kannada release, Jothe Jotheyali was a successful venture, in spite of largely unfavorable reviews by critics Her final 2006 release, Kavitha Lankesh's Tananam Tananam, an average grosser that released to mixed reviews fetched Ramya her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress. She had described her role in the film as "little complex" and "challenging. In 2007, Ramya starred in three feature films; the first releasing, Arasu, co-starring Puneet Rajkumar and Meera Jasmine, was a huge hit. She then appeared as a sex worker in a short film Prarambha, directed by Santhosh Sivan, which was made in order to create awareness about AIDS and was part of Mira Nair's AIDS Jaago project.Her fourth 2007 release was Polladhavan, where she acted against Dhanush. The film, released during the 2007 Deepavali period, was considered a dark horse success and made possible Ramya's breakthrough in Tamil Rajinikanth was all praises for the entire crew of
Her first 2008 release, the Kannada film Mussanjemaatu with Sudeep, was a big hit, for which she also received a nomination for a Best Actress Award at the 56th Filmfare Awards South. Her next film was the Tamil film Thoondil. Ramya later stated that she regretted accepting the film Later that year, she starred in the films Bombaat and Anthu Inthu Preethi Banthu, with the former becoming declared a "super hit" as well. Her final release in 2008 was Gautham Menon's Vaaranam Aayiram for which she changed her screen name to her actual name Divya again, which is believed to have brought her more luck. She had also dubbed in her own voice for Vaaranam Aayiram, which became a high critical as well as commercial success. She did not have any releases in 2009, since both her films Bhimoos Bang Bang Kids and Jothegaara got delayed heavily due to financial problems.Her first release of 2010 Just Math Mathalli which released on January 26, 2010 was a huge success and it also received rave reviews. Her role in the film was also very much appreciatedShe had two more releases that year, the long delayed Jothegaara eventually, and Kiccha Huccha. Her next release was the Tamil film Singam Puli opposite Jeeva, which released to mixed reviews, following which the romantic drama Sanju Weds Geetha released. The film opened to highly positive reviews, with Ramya being unanimously praised by critics for her performance, which was widely considered her best or one of her best in her career. She has completed shooting for Dandam Dashagunam, a Kannada remake of Kaakha Kaakha, and Kadhal 2 Kalyanam in Tamil, starring alongside a newcomer Sathya, while currently working on the comedy drama Siddalingu, in which she portrays the role of a school teacher.