She was mostly seen in mother and mother-in-law roles - the most popular being Vadivelu’s mother in V Shekar directed film Kaalam Mari Pochu. She also played Goundamani’s mother-in-law in several films. Some of her most memorable films were Idhayakani, Malathy, Lakshmi Kalyanam, Valaikaapu, and Middleclass Madhavan.
Apart from being an actress, Shanmugasundari was also a dubbing artist. She was survived by five daughters TK Kala, Mala, Neela, Meena and Selvi. Her eldest daughter TK Kala is an established singer, it may be mentioned here.