Full Biography of Actor Sivaji Ganesan
Viluppuram Chinnaiahpillai Ganesan Mandrayar, popularly known as Sivaji Ganesan was a Tamil stage and film actor who was considered to be among the first and finest method actors in India. His fame came from his versatility and expressive prowess in Tamil cinema. He was the first Indian film actor who won a best actor award in an international film festival, the Afro-Asian Film Festival held in Cairo, Egypt in 1959 and the first Indian actor to be made a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Sivaji Ganesan was born on 01.10.1927 to Chinayya Mandrayar and Rajamani Ammal, in a Tamil middle class Kallar family. That day was a Monday, and on that day his father Chinnaiya mandrayar was arrested for taking part as a freedom fighter in an anti-British campaign in Villupuram.
Sivaji Ganesans acting career runs to more than 6 decades. He came to cinema from Stage. Apart from his immense success and reception in Tamil cinema, he has also acted in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada-language films. Ganesans first film was the Tamil film Parasakthi in 1952, co-starring actress Pandari Bai. The script for the film was written and directed by the now-Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi. Periyar E.V. Ramasamy, a torch bearer for Dravidian Movement, freedom fighter and atheist, was very much impressed by Ganesans performance as the Maratha warrior Sivaji in the Play "Sivaji Kannda Hindu Raajiyam" and called him as Sivaji.Incidentally the role should have been played by M.G. Ramachandran.
In his career spanning 6 decades, Sivaji Ganesan has donned innumerable characters. Right from the first film Parasakthi, he has covered almost all characters of the society as well as puranic, historic and the like. In puranic epic stories, his performance as Bharatha in Sampoorna Ramayanam was outstanding and the accolade came from none other than Chakkaravarthi Rajagopalachariar. In Karnan, based on Mahabharatha, his performance as Karna, stands evergreen even today. In historic roles too, his performances as Raja Raja Sozhan, Samrat Asokan, have won him laurels throughout the world. And his performance as Appar in Thiruvarut Selvar, received appreciation from the Saint Maha Periyaval, Jagat Guru Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi. His performance as Lord shiva in the movie Thiruvilayaadal is a classic and is the first to be bought one intends to collect movies for personal use. In the film Navarathiri (1964), Ganesan donned nine different roles that represented the nine emotional states of a person. His role in the film Veerapaandiya Kattabomman won him the Best Actor Award at the Afro-Asian Film Festival held in March 1960 at Cairo. Sivaji Ganesan was the first Indian actor to get an award for Best Actor abroad. His roles included V.O.C., Vanchinathan, Thiruppur Kumaran, Bhagat Singh (freedom fighters), Karnan, Bharathan (epic characters), Naradhar, Appar, Aazhvar (puranic characters), lepor, doctor, judge, advocate, rickshaw puller, etc. in real life characters. This is only a sample and this page would be insufficient to describe the versatile and variety of roles he has played. More information available in the website.
Nadigar Thilagam, as fondly remembred by his fans the world over, struck on success note from his very first film Parasakthi, which was a Silver Jubilee Hit (25 weeks run). He was the darling of the producers throughout his career and was a Directors actor. His films Veerapandiya Kattabomman, Bhaga Pirivinai, School Master (Kannada), Paava Mannippu, Paasa Malar, Thiruvilaiyadal, Dharti (Hindi), Pattikkada Pattanama, Vasantha Maligai, Thanga Padhakkam, Uthaman, Thiyagam, Thirisulam, Theerppu, Needhipadhi, Sandhippu, Mudhal Mariyadhai, Padikkadhavan, Dhevar Magan, Padaiyappa, were all Silver Jubilee Hit Films. Nearly 100 of his films saw more than 25 weeks run.
After a brief respiratory problems, Sivaji Ganesan, breathed his last on Juy 21, 2001 at around 7.45 pm (IST) the Apollo Hospital in Chennai. A documentary, Parasakthi Muthal Padayappa Varai was made to commemorate Sivaji Ganesans legacy. His funeral was attended by millions of people including politicians and personalities from the South Indian film fraternity.
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