Living legend Kamal Haasan turns 60 – The Metro Talk team wishes Happy Birthday . Kamal Haasan was born to criminal lawyer D Srinivasan and wife Rajalakshmi in the small town of Paramakudi in Tamil Nadu. The actor turns 60 today, and for 50 of those years, he has been in front of the camera.
As a child, Kamal was noticed by AVM production house owners A V Meyappa Chettiar and A V Saravanan and they cast him in their home production.
In 1960, he debuted as a child artiste at the tender age of seven in Kalathur Kannamma with Gemini Ganesan. The film won the President’s Gold Medal and the awards haven’t stopped flowing in ever since.
Kamal joined thespian T K Shanmugam’s theatre company TKS Nataka Sabha to hone his craft. After a break of seven years, Kamal returned to films, but as part of the technical crew. He also acted in several cameos and supporting roles.
His first film as a full-fledged hero in Tamil was in K Balachader’s Apoorva Ragangal, which saw him romance a much older heroine, Srividya. He went an extra mile to learn mridangam for his role. His efforts paid off when he won his first Filmfare award in Tamil.
His association with his mentor K Balachader continued with him acting in several of his films including ‘Manmadha Leelai’, ‘Oru Oodhappu Kan Simittugiradhu’ and ‘Moondru Mudichu’.
He also won his first National Award for his sensitive portrayal of a school teacher taking care of an amnesia patient (Sridevi) in ‘Moondram Pirai’ directed by Balu Mahendra.
Kamal’s portrayal of an underworld don (inspired by real life don Varadaraj Mudaliar) in the Mani Ratnam directed film ‘Nayagan’, won him his second National Award. It was his second film as India’s entry to the Academy Awards. The film also made it to the Time’s All-TIME 100 Movies list.
In the drama-comedy Apoorva Sagodharargal, Kamal appeared as a dwarf in one of the three roles that he played. He also sang of the most popular songs of the movie. The movie was a colossal hit and was dubbed into Telugu and Hindi too.
The Crazy Mohan scripted hilarious comedy ‘Michael Madhana Kamarajan’ saw Kamal donning four roles. His role as a Palakkad Brahmin cook was bang-on, with the perfect accent.
He went on to act in blockbusters like ‘Devar Magan’, ‘Mahanadhi’, ‘Avvai Shanmughi’, ‘Indian’, ‘Sathi Leelavathi’, ‘Kadhala Kadhala’. Singeetham Srinivas’ ‘Kathala Kathala’ saw Kamal pair up with Prabhudeva along with comedy writer Crazy Mohan again. And the result was a side-splitting laughter riot all the way.
An interesting fact is when Kamal’s home production ‘Alavandhan’, dubbed in Hindi as Abhay, failed to impress people, he compensated the distributors for their losses.
2008 saw Kamal re-invent himself by playing ten roles in the film Dashavataram. Though the film received mixed reviews, it went on to become one of the most highest-earning films of Tamil cinema.
He has won over 200 awards for his vast body of work. Kamal won President’s gold medal at the age of six for Kalathur Kannamma. He received the Padma Shri award in 1990. He has won three National Awards in the best actor category and one as the producer of the best film.
He was one of the first celebrities who converted his fan clubs into welfare organizations and had done a lot of charitable work through them.
Seven of Kamal’s films have been official Indian entries to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. It is the most films ever submitted for any actor in India. Kamal is one of the esteemed few, who has completed 50 years in the film industry. He was chosen as the “Director in Focus” at the Rotterdam Film Festival and his Hey Ram was shown at the festival.
He was given the title “Indian of the Year” in 2010 for completing 50 years in the film industry by CNN IBN television network. Kamal was also given an honorary doctorate from Sathyabama Deemed University.