Suseela Krishnasamy, a popular TV and radio artiste who voiced Tamil announcements at Changi Airport, died at the age of 87 on 24th January, Sunday.
Her cremation took place on Monday and she is survived by her three sisters, nieces and nephews. Her husband, Krishnasamy passed away in 2007.
Suseela, also a retired former Singapore Telecoms supervisor, had been hospitalised for about a month before breathing her last at about 5 am on Sunday in her sleep, her sister, Kamala Thiagarajan, said.
Suseela began her career at the age of 11 as a child radio presenter on Radio Malaya in 1945.
In numerous television, radio and stage dramas, the multi-talented artiste went on to act.
At the inception of the Singapore Indian Artistes’ Association (SIAA) in 1970, she was one of those who played a role and also served as its president.
She joined Singapore Telecoms in 1954 before retiring in 1992, following in the footsteps of her late father, Valoo, whom she looked up to as an inspiration and role model.
She was actively involved in the Public Employees’ Amalgamated Union. She received the Efficiency Award in 1967 from Singapore’s first President, Yusof Ishak, for her outstanding service in her stance.
She won the title of Miss Golden Voice in a competition organised by the Telecoms Board in the same year that she joined.
Suseela was the voice behind Changi Airport’s Tamil announcements, many of which nicknamed her the ‘sweet voice of the airport.’
From the young age of nine, her passion for Indian classical music was kindled. She was a versatile musician, able to play the veena, the violin and the harmonium.
Also, in 1963, she was one of the first Tamil TV broadcasters.
Her devotion to the development of arts and culture won her the 1990 Kalaichemmal Award and the 1998 SIAA Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 2004, Mediacorp’s Vasantham channel awarded her the Lifetime Achievement Award at its Pradhana Vizha Awards.
“Suseela was a multi-faceted artiste and her pronunciation of Tamil words was excellent. She was an important pillar when we formed SIAA,” said S. Varathan, 86, a veteran artiste, a former SIAA president and Suseela’s family friend.
S P Panneerselvam, 72, a former senior news broadcaster, said she was one of the greatest actresses the Singapore Tamil drama fraternity has ever had.
“She had acted in many dramas made by senior producers. She is known for her ‘mother’ characters,” he added. She acted in many dramas written by Panneerselvam.
Re Somasundaram, 73, a veteran Tamil artiste, said: “Her passing is a great loss to Singapore’s drama industry.”
“She had taught me how to deliver dialogues effectively and how to act well,” he added.
In a tribute on his Facebook post, popular TV actor Vadi PVSS described her as “always generous, encouraging and supportive of younger artists.”
“Always having a mother’s touch in the way she approached a younger artiste, she was a joy to work with,” he wrote.
“Even in her old age, she had the dream that the local Tamil drama industry should accomplish more,” he said.
Saravanan Ayyavoo, a local celebrity, said that Suseela “is truly deserving of all the accolades she has received”
Source: The Straits Times