Born in 1926 in Mysore, Shrimati
R. Nagarathnamma began her professional career on stage as a child actress. Subsequently she played major roles in the productions of Sri Chamun- deswari Nataka Sabha, Gubbi Veeranna’s Sri Chenna Basav- eshwara Swamy Kripa Poshita Nataka Mandall, Hiranniah Mitra Mandali and Seshakamala Kala Mandali.
In 1959, Shrimati Nagarathn- amma established her own all- female drama company — Sri Sthree Nataka Mandali — at Bangalore and presented plays Including Krishna Leela, Krishna Garudi, Bedara Kannappa, Samsara Nowka and Devadasi. As an actress she achieved phenomenal success in male roles such as Bhima, Kamsa, Ravana, Dasharatha and Kannappa. She is popularly known as ‘Bhima Nagarathn- amma’ for her powerful render- ing of the role. She has also acted in a number of Kannada and Tamil films. She received the Karnataka Nataka Akademl Award in 1987.
Shrimati R. Nagarathnamma receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to theatre as an actress.