Sujatha was born to Malayali parents in Galle, Sri Lanka, where she spent her childhood. She participated in school plays, and later moved to Kerala when she was about 15. She acted in Ernakulam Junction, a Malayalam movie. Sujatha made her debut in the Malayalam film Thapasvini. Her first Tamil film was Aval Oru Thodar Kathai directed by K. Balachander. She again collaborated with K. Balachander in Avargal (1977), Rajinikanth, and Kamal Haasan. acted in over 300 films in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi, with almost 200 in Tamil. Despite displaying her acting prowess through fiery characters in films like Aval Oru Thodarkadhai and Vidhi, Sujatha was equally known for her performances in family dramas like Mayangugiraal Oru Maadhu, Sentamizh Paattu and Aval Varuvaala. She seldom resorted to glamorous roles and graduated to playing older women in the late 1980s. During the 1980s, she started playing character roles, often portraying mothers. Her performances as a senior actor in films like Kodi Parakuthu, Uzhaippali, Baba in all which she played the mother of Rajinikanth; and Villain in which she played Ajith Kumar's Grandmother. Varalaru (2006) was her last film. While undergoing treatment for a heart ailment, Sujatha died of cardiac arrest in Chennai on 6 April 2011.