Circumstances had forced a 15-year-old Jayalalithaa to enter the world of cinema. Back then, she'd excelled in academics, winning scholarships and the Gold State Award for topping entire Tamil Nadu.
It was M G Ramachandran (MGR), her former mentor and co-star, who introduced Jaya to politics in 1982.
The second longest serving woman chief minister of India, here's a quick look at her political journey:
Jayalalithaa joins the AIADMK
The special position 'propaganda secretary' is created for her in AIADMK. She is also selected as a candidate in the by-election for the Tiruchendur Assembly constituency.
She is nominated and elected to the Rajya Sabha and retained her seat till 1984.
Following MGR's death, the AIADMK split into two, with one fraction supporting Jayalalithaa.
After defeating Bodinayakkanur in the elections, she becomes the first woman to be elected as the Leader of the Opposition. In the same year, both factions of ADMK come together to support her as their official leader.
Jayalalithaa wins her first term as the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, after the ADMK alliance with the Congress wins 225 out of the 234 seats in state elections.
After AIADMK won with a majority, Jayalalithaa started her second term as chief minister of the state. However, due to legal cases pending against her in court, O Panneerselvam was installed as the chief minister.
Finally, in 2003, Jayalalithaa assumed the position of chief minister after being acquitted of charges.
Once again, Jayalalithaa became the chief minister of the state for the third time.
After being convicted in the disproportionate assets case, Jayalalithaa was sentenced to four years in jail. With this, she was disqualified from the post of CM and fined Rs 100 crores. O Panneerselvam once again assumed her position.
A special Bench of the Karnataka High Court acquitted her and her associates from the legal cases. She returned to her position as the chief minister.
Once again, Jayalalithaa won the state elections and was sworn in as the Chief Minister.