Mahalakshmi Menon, best known by her stagename Shobha (23 September 1962 – 1 May 1980), was an Indian actress best known for her work in Malayalam and Tamil films. At the age of 17, she won the National Film Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1979 Tamil film Pasi. She also received three Kerala State Film Awards: for Best Actress (1978), Best Supporting Actress (1977) and Best Child Artist (1971); and two Filmfare Awards South for Best Actress in Kannada (1978) and Tamil (1979). Considered one of the finest talents to have emerged in the Indian film world, her promising career was unexpectedly cut short as she committed suicide in 1980, due to unknown reasons. Her popularity resulted in considerable public scrutiny of the events that led to her death and also various conspiracy theories. The 1983 Malayalam film Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback is supposedly based on her life and death. Born to Malayali parents in Madras, she started her career in the Tamil film industry, making her debut as a child artist in Thattungal Thirakkappadum (1966). Her first film as the main lead actress was in the 1978 Malayalam film Uthrada Rathri.