Vanisri (born Rathna Kumari) is an Indian film actress known for her works predominately in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi films. In a film career spanning 40 years, she has received three Filmfare Awards South, the Nandi Awards and the Tamil Nadu State Film Award. She made her debut with the 1964 Kannada movie Veera Sankalpa. She gained attention with a supporting role in a film penned by K. Balachander titled Sukha Dukhalu, and Marapurani Kadha (1967). Vanisri has starred in super hits such as Krishnaveni, Prem Nagar, Dussehra Bullodu, Aradhana, Jeevitha Chakram, Rangula Ratnam, Sri Krishna Tulabharam, Bhakta Kannappa, Bobbili Raja, etc.She played dual roles in Iddaru Ammayilu (1972) (Telugu remake of 1969 release Kannada film Kappu Bilupu), Ganga Manga (1973 remake of the Hindi film Seeta Aur Geeta), Jeevana Jyothi (1975), and Chilipi Krishnudu (1978). She financed and starred in Shyam Benegal's only Telugu film Anugraham (1977), co-starring Smita Patil.
With actor M. G. R Vanisri acted in three films: Kannan En Kadhalan (1968), Thalaivan (1970), and Oorukku Uzhaippavan (1976).
She acted with Sivaji Ganesan in a 11 films such as Uyarntha Manithan (1968), Nirai Kudam (1969), Kulama Gunama (1971), Vasantha Maligai (1972), Sivakamiyin Selvan (1974), Vani Rani (Tamil remake of the Hindi film Seeta Aur Geeta) (1974), Rojavin Raja (1976), Ilaya Thalaimurai (1977), Punniya Boomi (1978), Vaazhkai Alaigal (1978) and Nallathoru Kudumbam (1979). In 2013, she received the state Raghupathi Venkaiah Award for her contribution to Telugu cinema.Vanisri got married to Dr.Karunkaran in 1978 and left the film industry. The couple have a son and a daughter. Vanisri returned back to film to acting in mother roles from 1989, such as her character in Athaku Yamudu Ammayiki Mogudu (1989). A practicing Shaivite Hindu, Vanisri is very religious. She was also in the 1999 Hindi film Main Tere Pyar Mein Pagal, directed by Telugu director K. Raghavendra Rao.She lost her son at Abhinaya Venkatesha Karthik aged 36 on 23rd May 2020 by cardiac arrest.