Saroja Devi was born in Karnataka in 1938 to Bhairappa and Rudramma. Bhairappa worked for the police department. Saroja Devi was first spotted by B.R. Krishnamurthy while she was singing at a function at the age of 13. Initially, she refused his offer to act in movies. She debuted with the Kannada film Sri Rama Puja in 1955-56, which went on to win the National Award. Saroja Devi was married to Sri Harsha, an engineer by profession on 1 March 1967. She acted in more than 170 films in Tamil, Kannada, Hindi and Telugu languages. Her kannada film "Kittuura Rani Chennama" won the national award. She is also known in Tamil as: கன்னடத்து பைங்கிளி 'Kannadathu Paingkili' (Kannada's Parrot) in Tamil films. Her debut movie in Telugu was Panduranga Mahathmyam (1957) in which she acted opposite N.T. Rama Rao. Another Telugu actress Krishna Kumari dubbed her voice in this movie for Saroja devi. Later, without any dubbing for her voice Saroja Devi acted in many Telugu films. B. Saroja Devi was Chairperson of the Karnataka Film Development Corporation. She was also the chairperson of Kantheerava Studios, Bangalore
Life and social work Saroja Devi organized many donation camps in the name of her late husband Sri Harsha, daughter Bhuvaneshwari and her mother; and has organized Charitable Trusts, rehabilitation centers and health programmes.