He was born in Sirkali of Tanjavur District of Tamil Nadu in a middle class family in the year 1927.His father was employed in Railways whose name was Chinnayyah Pillai.His mother's name was Rajamani Ammal.Ganesan's inspiration for acting was inborn and when he got a chance to act on stage for a touring drama company he utilized it without his father's consent at the age of seven.When father came to know about this he punished the boy severely so that Ganesan ran away from home.He joined a drama troupe telling them that he was an orphan.
From the drama troupe trainers he was lucky enough to learn acting and dancing skills.He was trained in Bharatanatyam dance,western dance,Kathak,Kathakali,Manipuri dance etc.Since he had a lovely voice he was trained in Carnatic music also.Ganesan was an intellectual boy who could remember lengthy dialogues easily and could present it before the audience brilliantly with perfection which made him hero of the troupe in the long run.
He got the chance to perform the role of 'Chatrapathi Sivaji' in a drama 'Sivaji kanda Hindu Rajyam' written by C.N.Anna Durai.Ganesan's role as 'Sivaji' was superb which received much appreciation from the society and so he was given the title 'Sivaji Ganesan'.
His entry in to films at this stage of popularity was easy and inevitable and he could establish a better position there.Sivaji Ganesan, very soon became the super star of Tamil cinema because of his acting skill.The actors who are trained in classical dancing and Kathakali could effectively show the different expressions which are known as 'Nava Ras' on their face.The training which Ganesan got from Bharatanatyam and Kathakali helped him to show expressions preciously well.His unique voice was also much appealing.He adopted his own style of dialogue presentation with non stop long spell of dialogues like a poetry recitation with clarity.He trembled the cinema halls with his high pitched thundering style of long spell speeches so that the audience cheered and clapped with bliss.The actor got a respectful space in the heart of the film goers very soon.Some critics complained that he was over acting but such people also could not avoid seeing his films.Most of his films were box office hits which drew large crowds to cinema halls.Sivaji Ganesan was a versatile actor who could present any kind of roles with equal perfection.In block busters like 'Vasanta Malikai' 'Gouravam' 'Karnan' 'Raja Raja Chozhan' 'Thrisulam' 'Thankappathakkam' ' Sathyam' etc he presented the characters so brilliantly that the seduced audiences saw such films more than once.
In song scenes also Sivaji Ganesan was excellent.The charismatic actor could thrill the audience when he appeared as Lord Siva and sung the song sequence 'Patrum Nane' in 'Thiruvilayadal'.When he appeared singing the song 'Yarukkakai ini yarukkakai inta malikai....' in the film 'Vasanthamalikai' and song sequence 'Paalutti valartha kili pazham koduthu partha kili' in the film 'Gouravam' etc in such sad and susceptible scenes Sivaji Ganesan was able to convey and induce the whole miserable feeling of the characters to the audience very effectively.
He was the first Indian actor who was selected as best actor at Afro-Asian Film festival held at Cairo.He was
given the title 'Nadikar Thilakam' as a praise for his acting talent from Tamil Nadu.
His debut film was 'Parasakthi' in the year 1952.The screen play of this film was written by Sri.M.Karunanidhi,(The present
Chief Minister of Tamil nadu).'Veerapandya Katta Bomman' was a block buster film which boosted his acting career.'Thillana Mohanambal' was an excellent movie in which actress 'Padmini' had dance competition with Nadaswaram music.Vasanthamalikai of 1972 and Thrisulam of 1979 were milestones.His body language and majestic movements mingled with stunning dialogue rendering was marvelous in many blockbuster films.Title role in the film 'Raja Raja Chozhan' Sivaji Ganesan was stupendously great as the Maharajah.After 1979 he concentrated mainly on supporting character roles only.He appeared in prestigious projects of Kamal Hassan's
"Thevar Magan' and RajaniKanth's 'Padayappa'.He acted with Mohan Lal in 'Iruvar' and 'Oru Yatra Mozhi'.
He manifested very good qualities like 'give and take respect'.He considered his co-workers equally and mingled with all with love and affection.Everybody loved and respected him.
He was made 'Chevalier ' by an Arts society of France.
He was given 'Dadasaheb Phalke Award' for his contribution to Indian cinema in 1997.
He receved 'Padmasree' in 1966 and 'Padma Bhushan' in 1984.
He got National Special Jury award for film 'Thevar Magan' in 1993.
Best actor award was given for him from state for films 'Thiruvilayadal' and 'Motor Sundaram Pillai'.
He was given 'Kalaimamani' award from Tamil Nadu State in 1997.
Sivaji Ganesan was Rajya Sabha member from 1983 to 1989.
On July 21st 2001 at the age of 73 he died at Chennai.
Sivaji Ganesan Postal Stamp was issued on 1st Oct. 2001 by Indian Postal Department.
Sivaji Ganesan's elder son is a film producer and younger son Prabhu, is a film producer and Actor.
Some of his films and actresses therein;-
Aalayamani - Devika
Pasai Malar - Savithri
Thiruvilayadal - Savithri
Karnan - Devika
Puthiya Parvai - Saroja Devi
Ooty vare uravu - K.R.Vijaya
Vasantha Malikai - Vanisree
RishiMoolam - K.R.Vijaya
Thanka Pathakkam - K.R.Vijaya
Andaman Kathali - Sujatha
Thillana Mohanambal - Padmini
Pattikada Pattanama - Jayalalitha
Mudhal Mariyadai - Radha
Nenjukkum Varai - K.R.Vijaya
Enga Mama - Jayalalitha
Gouravam - Usha Nandini
Anbe Aruyire - Manjula
Dr.Siva - Manjula
Padikkathavan - Ambika
Deepam - Sujatha
Imayam - Sreevidya
Sumathi en sundari - Jayalalitha
Iru malargal - K.R.Vijaya
Ponnoonjal - Usha Nandini
Uthama Puthiran - Padmini
Thirudan - K.R.Vijaya
Savalae samali - Jayalalitha
Amara deepam - Padmini
Thookku thooki - Padmini
Gjana Oli - Sarada
Uthaman - Manjula
Cauveri - Padmini
Thyagam - Lakshmi
Ennai pol Oruvan - Usha Nandini
Saraswathi sapatham - Savithri,Padmini
Poo Parikka varukiren - Malavika
Panam - Padmini
Neela Vaanam - Devika
Neethi - Shokkar Janaki
Nan petra selvam - Vara Lekshmi
En Magan - Manjula
Thrisoolam - K.R.Vijaya
Anbu - Padmini
Lakshmi Kalyanam - Ven Nira Aadai Nirmala
Engal Thanga Raja - Manjula
Mannavan Vanthanadi - Manjula
Punarjanmam - Padmini
Keezhvanam Sivakkum - Saritha
Kalyana Kathali - Bhanumathi
Kaveriman - Sreedevi
Motor Sundaram Pillai - Shokkar Janaki
Deiva Magan - Jayalalitha
Galatta Kalyanam - Jayalalitha
Anjalpetti 520 - Sarojadevi
Thangaikkaka - Lakshmi
Thangai - K.R.Vijaya
Nallathoru Kudumbam - Vanisree
Pattum Barathamum - Jayalalitha
Nirakudam - Vanisree
Ezhuthatha Sattangal - Nalini
Kangal - Pandari Bai
Enkiruntho vanthal - Jayalaitha
Bharatha Vilas - K.R.Vijaya
Amara Kaviyam - Sree Priya
|Sivaji Ganesan,M.Karuna Nidhi,M.G.R,Jaya Lalitha|
|From the film Veerapandya Kattabomman|
|As the Great Karnan'|