Name: Kamal Hassan
Date of Birth: 07 Nov 1954
Place of Birth: Paramakudi, TamilNadu
Kamal Haasan well known as Universal Hero by the fans, Tamilian by birth, is an Indian film actor and director, considered among the leading method actors of Tamil cinema. Hassan is known for winning several Indian film awards, including National Film Awards and Filmfare Awards, and has the distinction of being the actor with the most number of films submitted by India in contest for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
In addition to acting and directing, he is a screenwriter, lyricist, playback singer and choreographer. His film production company, Rajkamal International, has produced several of his films.
Kamal Haasan's breakthrough into lead acting came with his role in the 1975 drama, Apoorva Raagangal, in which he played a rebellious youth in love with an older woman. He secured his first Indian National Film Award for his portrayal of a guileless school teacher who tends a child-like amnesiac in 1982's Moondram Pirai. He was particularly noted for his performance in Mani Ratnam's Godfatheresque Nayagan (1987), which was ranked by Time magazine as one of the 100 best films of all-time.
Early career: 1960s – early 1970s
Kamal Haasan made his film debut as a 6-year-old child artiste, in the 1960 film, Kalathur Kannamma, directed by A. Bhimsingh. He was cast along with the veteran Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan in the film, which won him the National Film Award for Best Child Artist.He acted as a child actor in five other Tamil films in the subsequent few years co-starring with popular actors at the era, including Sivaji Ganesan and M. G. Ramachandran.
Following a nine year hiatus from films, to concentrate on his education, Haasan returned with a series of low budget films in 1972, in all of which he played supporting roles to more established actors. These films included roles in Arangetram and Sollathaan Ninaikkiren, both co-starring Sivakumar. His final supporting role before establishing himself as a lead actor was in Naan Avanillai, which became a trendsetter for some of Haasan's later ventures.
Classic period: 1970s – 1980s
Kamal Haasan first received a regional Filmfare Award for acting for his role in the Malayalam film Kanyakumari (1974). In the next four years, he won six regional Best Actor Filmfare Awards, including four consecutive Best Tamil Actor Awards. After a series of less-successful films, his acted in director K. Balachander's Apoorva Raagangal, an exploration of age-gap relationships; the film is also known for introducing another prominent Tamil actor, Rajinikanth.
The 1970s, especially between the mid- and late 1970s, was a period that saw Kamal Haasan's frequent collaboration with K. Balachander, who also cast him in many of his socially-themed films such as Avargal (1977). The film won Haasan his first Filmfare Best Tamil Actor Award. In 1976, Haasan appeared in the drama Moondru Mudichu with Rajinikanth and Sridevi, another K.
Balachander film, Manmadha Leelai, and Oru Oodhappu Kan Simittugiradhu, which won him his second consecutive Best Actor Award. 16 Vayathinile won him his third consecutive award, where he appeared as an mentally ill villager, once again alongside Rajinikanth and Sridevi.
The fourth consecutive award came with Sigappu Rojakal in which he appeared as an anti-hero who is a psychopathic sexual killer. Furthermore in the late seventies, Haasan appeared in successful films such as the comedy, Ninaithale Inikkum and the horror film, Neeya.
Following his increased prominence in the latter half of the 1970s, Haasan was considered a major Tamil film star at the turn of the decade. His popular pairing with the actress Sridevi continued with Guru and Varumayin Niram Sigappu in 1980. Both films were blockbuster successes for these actors. Kamal Haasan also made guest/cameo appearances, such as in the Rajinikanth film Thillu Mullu; Rajinikanth had previously appeared in some of Kamal Haasans previous films.
Haasan's 100th career film appearance was in 1981's Raja Paarvai, which also marked his debut in film production. Despite this film's relatively poor reception at the cinemas, his portrayal of a blind session violinist earned him a Filmfare Award. His next acting role, in Ek Duuje Ke Liye, became his first Hindi-language film.
It was the remake of his previous Telugu-language film, Maro Charithra by K. Balachandar. Following a year of starring in commercially-oriented films, Haasan won his first of three National Awards for Best Actor with his portrayal of a school teacher who looks after a mentally retarded girl in Balu Mahendra's Moondram Pirai.
Till 1985, Haasan began to appear in more Hindi language films, which went relatively unnoticed but his performance in Saagar, won him both the Filmfare Best Actor Award as well as the Best Supporting Actor Award, making him the first actor to win both awards for a single film in the award's history. Saagar portayed him alongisde Rishi Kapoor both of whom were pinning for a woman, but Haasan ultimately loses out.
Haasan also appeared in Geraftaar, a film which failed to make an impact upon release, but today is known for featuring three prominent actors in Indian cinema: Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth and Haasan. He featured in Tamil cinema's first sequel Japanil Kalyanaraman, which followed up his previous, Kalyanaraman as well as acting in Uruvangal Maralam co-starring Sivaji Ganesan and Rajinikanth.
In the mid-1980's, Haasan appeared in two legendary Telugu language films, Sagara Sangamam and Swathi Muthyam with director, Kasinadhuni Viswanath. The latter film was India's representative for the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film in 1986. Whilst, the former film portrayed Haasan as a drunkard classical dancer, Swathi Muthyam portrays him as an autistic person attempting to change society.
Following more successful film such as Punnagai Mannan, in which he portrays dual roles including a satire of Charlie Chaplin and Vetri Vizha as an amnesiac, Haasan's most worldwide recognized role came in Mani Rathnam's 1987, trendsetter, Nayagan. Nayagan, commonly referred to "The Godfather" of Tamil cinema, portrays the life of an underworld don in Bombay.
The story revolves around the life of a real-life underworld don called Varadarajan Mudaliar, whilst sympathetically depicting the struggle of South Indians living in Mumbai. The film helped Kamal Haasan secure a Indian National Award for his performance and Nayagan was nominated by India as its entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards in 1987 as well as being included in the Time top 100 movies list.
In 1988, Haasan appeared in his only silent film to date; appearing in the black comedy, Pushpak, which was dubbed as a "speechless classic" with reviewers stating that "Haasan surpasses himself", delivering an all time best performance. Apoorva Sagodharargal became Haasan's first attempt at playing a triple role. The commercial film portrayed him in a role as a dwarf, making it the first time that an actor had attempted to play such a role. He then attempted dual roles in Indrudu Chandrudu and its Tamil remake, winning the regional Best Actor Award for his performance.
Kamal Haasan in his yet-to-be-completed Marudhanayagam
1991's Michael Madhana Kamarajan, he acted in four different roles as quadruplets, the film started an ongoing collabaration for comedy films between Haasan and Crazy Mohan, a dialogue writer. Haasan won successive best actor awards for his portrayal of the protoganist in Guna and in Thevar Magan, where he played the son of noted actor, Sivaji Ganesan. Th