Jayaram Jayalalithaa, who had been undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospital in Chennai, died on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest.
She had been in hospital since late September.
A former actress, Ms Jayalalitha was the head of the regional AIADMK party and was elected chief minister of Tamil Nadu six times.
She had established a personality cult over the years as many publicly funded projects have been named after her.
Amma Canteen, Amma Bottled Water, Amma Salt, Amma Pharmacies and more recently, Amma Cement are some of them.
She worked in more than 140 films and was a celebrated actress.
Ambitious and young in the ’70s, she wanted to study further, but a role in a movie, Vennira Aadai, altered the course of her life.
Her entire career was marked by ups and lows.
After over a decade-long cinema career, she began her political innings in the early 1980s.
She joined AIADMK in 1982, founded by Marudhur Gopalan Ramachandran (MGR), who was Tamil Nadu CM since 1977.
The TN Chief Minister rose to prominence when Rajiv Gandhi imposed President’s rule in the state and she was named the Leader of Opposition in 1989.
She first took oath as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on June 24, 1991 and completed her tenure till May 12, 1996.
Her second tenure was short termed from May 14, 2001 to 21 September, 2001 (due to more charges against her).
Then, O Panneerselvam was appointed as CM, to fill her void.
Jayalalithaa was arrested in 1996 after Subramanian Swamy filed disproportionate assets case against her.
The trial went on for 18 years and was transferred to Bangalore from Chennai.
The judgement was pronounced on 27 September 2014 in the Special Court.
It convicted all four accused namely Jayalalithaa, Sasikala Natarajan, Ilavarasi and V.N. Sudhakaran and sentenced all to four years simple imprisonment.
While Jayalalithaa was fined Rs 100 crores, the other three were fined Rs 10 crore each.