CHENNAI , India, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- Jayalalithaa Jayaraman, governor of India's Tamil Nadu state and known nationally as the "Iron Lady," died Monday after suffering a heart attack, officials said. She was 68.
"It is with indescribable grief we announce the sad demise of our esteemed honourable chief minister of Tamil Nadu Puratchi Thalavi Amma," Apollo Hospitals in Chennai said Monday.
An actress-turned-politician who starred in more than 150 films over two decades, Jayalalithaa has supporters who called her "amma," or "mother," and her personal and populist political style earned her an intense following in Tamil Nadu.
She was hospitalized on Sunday, after which thousands of supporters surrounded the facility and 1,000 security personnel were sent to maintain order.
In a statement earlier Monday, the hospital reported Jayaraman was on life support systems, as well as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a treatment for lung failure in which an external machine removes carbon dioxide from, and adds oxygen to, the bloodstream.
Jayalalithaa suffered the heart attack on Sunday evening and died a day later.
Two months ago, the fiery leader was hospitalized for fever and dehydration. She was also found to have lung congestion, put on a ventilator and was given a tracheotomy, in which doctors cut an opening in her windpipe to accommodate a breathing tube.
Leader of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party in Tamil Nadu state, Jayaraman's third term in office was interrupted in 2014 by a conviction for corruption, a decision that triggered rioting. The ruling was set aside in 2015 and she returned to office.
Jayaraman served as chief minister to Tamil Nadu on five separate occasions between 1991 and Monday, and appeared in dozens of Bollywood films between 1961 and 1992, a short time after she entered politics.