Amala was born in West Bengal. Her mother is an Irish while her father is a Bengali. She also has two siblings in the form of an elder brother and a sister. Her father was working in the Indian navy and as part of that, Amala moved to Visakhapatnam when she was a kid and stayed there. Amala did her schooling a catholic school and then her interest towards classical dance brought her to Chennai.
Here, she went to Kalakshetra and got trained in Bharatanatyam. Her career began in movies with the Tamil movie Mythili Ennai Kaathali in the year 1986 which was a big hit. From then on, there was no turning back with Amala being part of many successful hits not just in Tamil but also in Telugu. Her best shot to fame was with the Telugu movie Siva where she paired with her future husband Nagarjuna.
Amala continued acting for a while but after marriage she quit films. It was then that she found the Blue Cross of Hyderabad, a NGO. The objective of this is to ensure welfare of animals and preservation of animal rights. Amala is a key player in terms of environment protection and she is also a pure vegetarian. She has taken every opportunity to spread environmental awareness and vegan habits.
Not only that, Amala is also into Yoga and she has been teaching Yoga for women. She is also into active promotion of communal harmony. On personal front, she is the step mother to noted actor Naga Chaitanya and has a son Akhil Akkineni who is also on the path to become an actor. As an actress, Amala has also worked in Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi movies as well.