Kanchanamala was born in 5th March, 1917 in Tenali, Andhra Pradesh. She had a keen interest on music and acting since her childhood. She started her acting career with a minor role as Mitravinda in the 1935 film, Srikrishna Tulabharam. The filmmaker who popularized social films in Telugu, Gudavalli Ramabrahmam, assumed that she couldn’t act and eventually rejected her. The music director Bhimavarapu Narasimha Rao criticized her voice. But Kanchanamala rose in her career with each film. Her next role was Uthara in Veerabhimanyu, which is also another minor role.
The Bollywood actor and producer, Jaddan Bai (the mother of most elegant Hindi actress, Nargis), was mesmerized by her beauty and asked her to act in Hindi films. Even Mehboob Khan and renowned hero Motilal requested Kanchanamala to learn Hindi and promised her stardom in Bollywood. Being a teenager, she rejected all these offers and is content with her career in Telugu film industry.