Monday, October 27, 2014


T.P.Rajalakshmi was the first heroine of Tamil Cinema,the first Woman director of  South Indian Cinema,the second female director of Indian cinema(the first woman director was Fathima Begum),She received the title as
'The Rani of Cinema' because of her contributions to diversified fields of cinema.
T.P.Rajalakshmi was born in a poor family in the town of 'Thiruvaiyaru' of Tanjore District on 11 November 1911.She could study only up to 4th standard  at school.She had intrinsic talent to act and sing beautifully.She memorized and sang whatever songs she heard with perfection as per the original.
Her family later moved to Trichy where she got chances to be introduced to pioneers of Tamil Drama field and that paved way as a stage actress very soon.On the stage she paired along with legends like S.G.Kittappa Bhagavathar,Thyagaraja Bhagavathar etc and earned fame and prestige.
In 1929 she acted as heroine of silent film 'Kovalan'.
She acted as heroine of Raja Sandow(1894-1944) in the film Rajeswari in 1931.
She rose to the height of popularity as the heroine of the film 'Kalidasa' which was the first Tamil talkie in which she sang songs also.It was directed by H.M.Reddy.Films like Sathyavan Savithri, Valli Thirumanam  etc helped her to  achieve stardom.
She was a trend setter and she participated in the freedom fight movement and worked along with Indian National Congress.She was imprisoned several times for her freedom movement activities.She tried to convey the message of patriotism  through her films and her film titled as 'Mother India'(India Thai) was not allowed by the British government and was released by the name 'Tamil Thai' which became a failure at the box office but she was happy that she could spread the message of patriotism to the society.
She wrote the story,screenplay,produced,directed as well as edited  the film 'Miss Kamala' and acted as the heroine also.This film which became a blockbuster successful film of that period made her the first woman director of south Indian cinema.She also produced and directed another blockbuster successful 
film 'Madurai Veeran'.
T.P.Rajalakshmi became wealthy and earned much properties in Chennai and she  helped her relatives also.
Most of her films were hits like 'Gulebakavali,Lalithangi,Draupati Vasthraharanam,Harischandra etc.
She was given  'Kalaimamani' award from the government of Tamil Nadu.
T.P.Rajalakshmi passed away in th year 1964.She was honored with the title 'Cinema Rani' earlier.
T.P.Rajalakshmi's birth centenary was celebrated as a government function by the government of Tamil Nadu to honor that great artist.
Selected Filmography
Usha Sundari
Savithri Sathyavan
Poorna Chandra
Bhakta Kuchela
Idhaya Geetham
Tamil Thai
Madurai Veeran
Tamil Thai
Miss Kamala
Bhama Parinayam
Bhakta Kumaran
Kausalya Parinayam
Nanda Kumar

Sunday, October 19, 2014


Everything happens in its own time and it was very true in the life of Amrish Puri.He was the most well sought and most popular iconic Villain actor of all times  in Hindi Cinema who also got the privilege of acting in some prestigious Hollywood movies like 'Gandhi'.
Amrish Puri wanted to become a hero actor and since his elder brother Madan Puri was already in the Hindi film field and was a very popular actor even at the time of 50's  young Amrish Puri expected his entry to the film field would happen with ease, but in 1954  he failed in the screen test and was rejected a role.
But with the distinguished and unique baritone voice and his inborn acting abilities, expressions which he makes to showoff furiously made him a well known stage actor and acted in plays of Prithvi Theatre and in plays of eminent playwrights like Girish Karnad and Sathyadev Dubey.Meanwhile during those period he worked in an Insurance Company also.As a stage actor he became very popular which gained him some TV advertisements and eventually opened way to Bollywood cinema but at the age of 40 only.
His debut film was Prem Pujari followed by some critically acclaimed films like Nishant,Manthan,Bhoomika etc.Very soon he became an essential part of Hindi Cinema and also acted in several Punjabi films,Kannada films,Malayalam,Tamil,Telugu and in International films also.
Amrish Puri was born as Amrish Lal Singh Puri  on 22nd June 1932 at Lahore.The family later moved to Shimla and he graduated from B.M. College Himachal Pradesh.Since two of his elder brothers were Hindi film actors and elder brother Madan Puri was very popular, he wished to act in films and set out to Mumbai to find his luck in films.Unexpectedly he was told that he failed in the screen test and the directors did not offer him roles.He found a job in an  Insurance Company and since the urge for acting was in his mind and intrinsic talents  in his blood he acted in plays of eminent drama troupes of Mumbai and earned a good opinion.In those days he put off his plans to act in films and never tried again to enter film field.He received Sangeet Natak Akademy Award for his acting on stage and his popularity as a stage actor was at its peak when he was chosen as model for certain TV ads.These advertisements were clicked and film directors noted him and he was given role in 'Prem Pujari' at the age of 40.
His  unique strong bass voice and  ability to look ferocious was counted as a plus point to offer him Villain roles and negative roles.In these type of roles he proved himself to be unmatched very soon and rose to the height of popularity as a brilliant actor.Evil at a maximum level was manifsted in some of his roles and the audience watched him as a wretched villain which proved the success of his acting  prowess and could standout among the other villains of his period.His role as 'Mogambo' in the blockbuster film 'Mr.India' earned him much accolades.The phrase 'Mogambo Khush Hua' was very much liked by the audience especially the youngsters.
He portrayed the role of Khan in Richard Atten borough's 'Gandhi'(1982).
His portrayal as 'Mola Ram' earned much appreciation in Spielberg's 'Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'.
During the period from 1967 to 2005 he could act in more than 400 films.
He received Maharashtra State Drama Competition Award in 1968.
He received Sangeet Natak Akademy Award for Theatre in 1979.
Received Filmfare Best Supporting actor award in 1986
Received Maharashtra Government Gourav Puraskar in 1991
Received Sydney Film Festival Best Actor Award for 'Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda'
in 1994.
Received Singapore Int'l Film Festival Award for Best Acor-Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda in 1994
Received Filmfare Best Supporting Actor Award for film 'Ghatak' in 1997
Received Filmfare Best supporting actor award for film 'Virasat' in 1998
Received Star Screen Award for Best Supporting Actor-Virasat in 1998
Amrish Puri passed away on 12 January 2005 at the age of 72.
Selected Filmography
Prem Pujari
Reshma aur Shera


Hindusthan Ki Kasam
Sawan Ko Aane Do
Jani Dushman
Hamare Tumhare
Patther se Takkar
Maan Abhiman
Johney I Love You
Andha Kanoon
Yeh Desh
Teri Meherbaniyam
Paisa Yeh Paisa
Meri Jung
Mera Dharam
Asli Naqli
Dance Dance
Ram Lakhan
Do Qaidi
Jeene Do
Aaj Ka Arjun
Phool aur Kaante
Pehla Pehla Pyar
Chachi 420
Shaheed Uddham Singh
Chori Chori Chupke Chupke
Badhai Ho Badhai
Jaal:The trap
Out of Control
Taezan:The wonder car
Kisna:The warrior poet
Kachchi Sadak

Saturday, October 11, 2014


The legend M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar (The word Bhagavathar means Classical music exponent) was an excellent Carnatic Musician,Stage actor and a Film actor in Tamil Nadu .
M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar is claimed as the first Superstar of Tamil Cinema by many film critics and film lovers.In his film career he acted as lead actor in only 14 films which were all hits but 6 of them were super duper hits.One of his films 'Haridas' created history in those period of 40's by running continuously in a single theatre in Madras(Chennai) for more than three years.
'Mayavaram  Krishnamurthy Thyagaraja Bhagavathar' was born to  parents Krishna Murthy and Manikkathammal in 'Mayiladuthurai' of Tanjore District in Madras Presidency in the year 1910.His father was a goldsmith by profession.
The family later moved from there and  settled in Trichy.
The young Thayagaraja was not interested in studying lessons at school but he was keen interested  to listen songs of any types  and could even  sing them back like the original with much expertise.He was also interested to watch stage shows such as drama,dance music concerts etc.The boy used to express his intention to become a drama artist which was declined by his parents since the stage artists in those days  were not getting due respect and the wages was also very low.The little boy left the house at the age of 10 without telling anybody.He went to 'Cudappa' in Andhrapradesh where he managed to get good income by singing.Large mob gathered to listen his singing and he earned name and prestige at that place and the news about the whereabouts of the lad  reached his father through  a travelling  friend.
His father Krishnamurthy immediately went to Cudappa, and found him.He took him to Balaji Temple,Tirupathi and the priest blessed the boy to become a well known musician.They came back to Trichy and the little boy earned fame very soon  there also by participating in certain musical programs like 'bhajans' etc.
During this perid he was chosen to work in professional drama troupe and his first role was as 'Lohitaksha' the son of Raja Harischandra in the drama 'Harishchandra'.During that period most of the professional drama troupes selected plays from Hindu epics or historical themes and the dramas included dialogues,songs and dances.Only actors with singing talents rose to fame and to the forefront.
By watching Thyagarajan's acting skill, a Carnatic musician and violinist 'Madurai Ponnu Iyengar' got much inspired and felt impression about the boy's talent that he offered him to train  Carnatic music.The classical music was taught to him by this 'Guru' for a period of six years and Thyagarajan became 'Thyagaraja Bhagavathar' and started conducting music concerts for which he received much applause.
His acting on stage was also continued during this period.
During that period the leading famous stage actors included 'S.G.Kittappa,N.S.Krishnan,M.G.Ramachandran(MGR),K.P.Kesavan,S.V.Sahasranamam,T.K.S.Brothers,K.K.Perumal,K.B.Sundarambal,K.P.Kamatchi,S.D.Subbu

lakshmi,T.P.Rajalakshmi,Ratna Bai' etc etc.
'Pavalakkodi' was the first play in which Thyagaraja Bhagavathar acted as the lead actor which was in the year 1926.At that time the heroine role was handled by male actors and in this play T.P.Ramakrishnan acted as the female lead.
'T.P.Ramakrishnan,P.S.Velu Nair,K.S.Anantha Narayana Iyer,Rangaswamy Iyengar' etc were some of the actors famed for female roles.
Couple of years later  S.D.Subbulakshmi paired with him in this play which received hearty welcome by the spectators and this pair earned much reputation like 'Kittappa-K.B.Sundrambal pair'.
The songs rendered by Thyagaraja Bhagavathar in the plays earned much accolades and his rendering style,melodious voice etc were much liked by the audience.He  was lovingly called as 'MKT' by the audience.His fame soon reached to other countries like Srilanka,Malasia,Burma,Singapore' etc also.
The habit of MKT was to shift from one troupe to another.He did not like to stick to one company like most of the other stage artists.The daily wages received by Bhagavathar was more than the usual pay of that period.
His first film was made in 1934 and it was 'Pavalakkodi' produced by Lakshmana Chettiyar and Alagappa Chettiyar.His secnd film was in 1935 'Naveena Sarangadhara' which was directed by K.Subramanyam.
Next film was 'Sathyaseelan' and it was produced by Bhagavathar himself under the banner 'Trichy Thyagaraja Films'.
In 1937 a film by name 'Chintamani' became roaring success which ran continuously for more than one year and his role in it was as 'Bilwamangal'.
In the same year he acted in 'Ambikapathy' made by an American film director in which he handled the title role and the film was also a blockbuster success.
It broke the records set by 'Chintamani'.
In 1939 Bhagavathar acted as 'Thiruneela Kantar Nayanar' in the film 'Thiruneela Kantar'.It was about a Hindu Saint.
Bhagavathar earned the love and fame because  of his acclaimed acting style,powerful rendition of songs with much expertise and ease even in high pitch.He was a philanthropist who helped the needy and the poor.He also contributed for social and religious causes.
The film career of Bhagavathar was from the year 1934 to 1959.
He was arrested suspecting that he was involved in a murder case and was jailed in 1944 but later by investigations revealed that he was innocent and got released in 1947.
'Chintamani,Ambikapathy,Thiruneelakantar, and Haridas' were the huge hts in his film career.
Films 'Sathyaseelan, Thiruneelakantar,and Puthuvazhvu' were produced by him and he directed the film 'Puthu Vazhvu'.
M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar passed away in the year 1959.
Naveena Sarangadhara
Ashok Kumar
Raja Mukthi
Puthu Vazhvu

Sunday, October 5, 2014


T.R. Rajakumari was the first 'Dream Girl' of Tamil Cinema who captured instant stardom with the release of 'Kacha Devayani'(1941) which was practically her third film but which was released as the first film.This extremely beautiful actress was described by well known Tamil writer 'Kalki' as 'Kollum Vizhiyal'(her eyes Kills or she has enchanting,beautiful eyes).
T.R.Rajakumari was born in Tanjavur, Madras Presidency in the year 1922 in a family of musicians and her well known grandmother-musician trained her in music and dance from the childhood days itself.Her original name was 'Tanjavur Ranganayaki Rajayee'  and her screen name was adapted as 'T.R.Rajakumari'.
Her entry to films was at the age of 16 in a movie 'Kumara Kulothungan' in 1938 which was directed by R.Dwarakanath.The film could not release for more than two years due to some problems and meanwhile her second film 'Kacha Devayani' got released in 1941 which was directed by K.Subramanyam.Kacha Devayani became a thumping success and T.R.Rajakumari became very popular and her appearance and acting style was very much liked by the audience.After the release of another film 'Mandharavathi' only, her original debut film 'Kumara Kulothungan' got released and was not a success.
But in the 40's many of her films were big hits and successful at the box Office.
Some of her super-hit movies of 40's were 'Kacha Devayani,Manonmani,Sivakami,Haridas, Chandralekha' etc.
In the 1943 film 'Sivakami' she acted opposite the first Superstar of Tamil Cimema 'M.K.Thyagaraja Bhagavathar'.
In the same year  another film  " Kubera Kuchelawas made in which   P.U.Chinnappa acted as the hero.
In 1944 in the super-hit  film 'Haridas' she acted as the heroine of Thyagaraja Bhagavathar in which N.C.Vasan,Kokilam etc acted along with them.The film which was directed by Sunder Rao Nadkarni was the first Tamil film which ran continuously for 110 weeks in a single Cinema house.
Another hit film was 'Valmiki' which was directed by Sunder Rao Nadkarni.
In 1948 the film 'Chandralekha' broke all records and it was screened all over the world in film festivals.M.K.Radha and T.R.Rajakumari acted as the lead pair of the film and the movie  was produced and directed by S.S.Vasan.The shooting of the film  extended for five years and the fantastic   lavishly made film became the most expensive film of that period.Initially the film could not recover the production costs and so producer/director  S.S.Vasan made some changes in the film and released it in Hindi and it turned to be India's first nationwide hit.It was dubbed in English,Japanese,Danish,and many other foreign languages and screened at Indian and International film festivals also.
'Vana Sundari' was 1951 film in which P.U.Chinnappa and T.R.Rajakumari paired and which was directed by T.R.Raghunath.
'Anbu' was a film of 1953 in which Sivaji Ganesan was the hero and T.R.Rajakumari and Padmini acted as female leads.
In the film 'Gulebagavali' of 1955 M.G.R. was the hero and T.R.Rajakumari was the female lead.Raja Sulochana,Varalakshmi,S.D.Subbu Lakshmi etc acted along with them.The adventures faced by an young man who goes about in search of a rare flower for the treatment to get back the vision of an old person was the story.The old man was his father and a King who lost his Kingdom.This was all revealed later  in the film which was a big success.
In another film of  the next year 1956, again M.G.R was the hero and T.R.Rajakumari was the heroine of that movie  'Puthumai Pithan' which was also a big hit.
In the film 'Thagamalai Ragasyam' Sivaji Ganesan,Jamuna,T.R.Rajakumari acted in main roles.

She also started film production with her brother T.R.Ramanna under  the banner 'R.R.Pictures'  and produced films like 'Vazha Pirandhavan,Koondukkili,Gulubagavali,Paasam,Periya Idathu Penn,Panam Padaithavan,Parakkum Pavai etc.
Her last film as an actress was 'Vanampadi' in 1963.
T.R.Rajakumari died on September 20, 1999 after a prolonged illness.

Selected Filmography

Kacha Devayani
Kumara Kulothungan
Kubera Kuchela
En Veedu
Vazha Pirandhavan
Pudhumai Pithan
Thangamalai Ragasyam
Thanga Padhumai