Trained as a dancer at an early age, and when she was fifteen years old, actor R.S. Manohar saw photographs of her from a dance performance and sent them to major Tamil star M.G. Ramachandran who then cast her as his heroine in Ulagam Sutrum Valiban (1973).
She lived with her husband and their children in Singapore for a while, but her mother's death brought them back to India permanently.
Was a leading lady in South Indian cinema during the 1970s and 1980s. After her days as a heroine ended, she turned to television and played evil mothers-in-law in television serials, such as "Eenati Ramayanam (2002)".
Was briefly involved in politics, as her father Shanmugha Sethupathy was also once a politician.
Her birth name is Nalini, but she had to change it to Latha when she entered films, since there was already another actress using the name Nalini.