Jayalalithaa was born to Jayaram and Vedavalli in a Tamil Iyengar Brahmin family. Jayalalitha was given her grandmother's name Koamalavalli at the time of birth. The personal name Jayalalitha was adopted at the age of 1 for the purpose of using the same in school and colleges. Her mother also an actress in Tamil cinema under the name of Sandhya. Jayalalithaa attended Bishop Cotton Girls' School. She completed her childhood education at Sacred Heart Matriculation School (popularly known as Church Park Presentation Convent or Presentation Church Park Convent) in Chennai. She won Gold State Award for coming first in 10th standard in not just her school but also in Tamil Nadu. She appears not to have accepted the admission offered to her at Stella Maris College, Chennai. In Chennai, Jayalalithaa trained in classical music, western classical piano, and various forms of classical dance, including Bharatanatyam, Mohiniattam, Manipuri and Kathak. Her debut dance performance at the Rasika Ranjani Sabha in Mylapore in May 1960. The Chief Guest at the Arangetram was Shivaji Ganesan who predicted to Sandhaya, that her daughter will be a huge film star. She acted as child artiste in Sri Shaila Mahathme (1961) in Kannada. She made her acting debut in an English film called 'The Epistle'. B.R. Panthulu cast her in the Kannada movie 'Chinnada Gombe', the film became a blockbuster in 1964 and she became a well known face. Jayalalithaa's debut in Tamil cinema was the leading role in Vennira Aadai (1965), directed by C. V. Sridhar. She made her debut in Telugu films as lead actress in Manushulu Mamathalu opposite Akkineni Nageshwara Rao. She acted in one Hindi film called Izzat, with Dharmendra as her male costar in 1968. She starred in 28 box-office hit films with M G Ramachandran between 1965 to 1973. She had 11 releases in Tamil in the year 1966, spread across 12 months and each of them became successful. Her films with Sivaji Ganesan include Galatta Kalyanam and Deiva Magan; the latter holds the distinction of being the first Tamil film to be submitted by India for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Jayalalitha was paired opposite Sivaji Ganesan in 17 films as his heroine and as his daughter in their first film named Motoram Sunderapillai. She made her debut in Malayalam with Jesus(1973) and the film was huge hit. Jayalalithaa holds the record for having been the Tamil actress with maximum silver jubilee hits in her career - 85 hits of 92 Tamil films as main female lead heroine and in addition she also has all 28 films in Telugu as silver jubilee hits. She was the highest paid Indian actress from 1965-1980. She made guest appearances in 9 films and 6 of her films were dubbed into Hindi. She had 118 box office hits between 1961 to 1980, of the total 125 films she did as the main female lead.