Sudha Rani began her acting career as a child actor in the movie Kiladi Kittu, where she played a younger childhood role of actress Kavitha, who was indeed the heroine of the film. She was observed by Paarvatamma Rajkumar, wife of Dr. Rajkumar in a Thread Ceremony video when she was not even in her teens. Paarvatamma who was in search for a female artist for the launch movie of her eldest son Shivarajkumar, selected her to be the lead actress of the movie Anand at a ripe age of 12 years.
In the year 1989, she made her Tamil film debut with the film Annakili Sonna Kathai and her second Tamil venture was three years later when she starred in Vasanthakala Paravai, which was a huge hit. In all she acted in 10 or more Tamil cinemas and in all these movies she was credited as 'Shali'. Till date she has acted in over 80 movies as a lead actress of the film and a huge percentage of the movies were based on Heroine-oriented subjects, where she had a powerful role and sublime scope to showcase her foremost acting skills.
She married an NRI, Dr. Sanjay in the year 1999 but it couldn’t last long and they divorced. She then remarried to one of her relative Govardhan in the year 2003.