Famous for her roles in Tamil movies such as Athisaya Piravi (1991) and Samundi (1992), she is also notable for her work in the Malayalam feature Godfather (1991) and in the Telugu movie Valu Jada Tolu Beltu (1992).
She made her cinematic debut in the 1989 Tamil blockbuster Karakattakaran, co-starring with Goundamani and Ramarajan.
In 2013, a viral social media hoax claimed that she had passed away.
Born Kanaka Mahalakshmi in Chennai, India, she is the daughter of the prominent Tamil and Telugu screen actress Devika. In the early 2000s, Kanaka married an American engineer.
She and Vijayakanth were both cast in the 1993 Tamil movie Sakkarai Devan.