Kamal Haasan

From Academic Kids

Kamal Haasan (born November 7, 1954) is an Indian movie star working mainly in the Tamil film industry. He is one of the finest actors produced by India.

He made his screen debut with the Tamil movie Kalathur Kannamma at the age of 5. 16 Vayathinile, in which he co-acted with Rajinikanth, established him as a popular actor. However, he got his break with K. Balachander's Telugu hit Maro Charithra. Besides Tamil, he has also performed in movies in the Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada languages. He has played a wide range of characters including

  • a ventriloquist in Antu leni Katha (= Endless Story)
  • an under-world don in Nayagan (= Leader)
  • a freedom-fighter in Indian
  • a classical dancer in Saagara Sangamam (= Tryst with the Infinite)
  • a blind violinist in Raajaparvai
  • a dwarf clown in Apoorva Sahodaragal
  • and a mentally challenged man in Swathi Muthyam (= Rare gem)

He is a three time winner of the Indian National award for best actor, for the films Nayagan, Moonram Pirai, and Indian. He has also received the best actor award at the Asian Film festivals held in 1983 and 1985 for Saagara Sangamam and Swathi Muthyam, respectively. Seven of his movies have been sent as India's official entry to the Oscars, more than any other person. He got the most Film Fare awards.

He has also involved himself in film production. He wrote screenplays for several of his films and ventured into film direction with Hey Ram, a film depicting the conflict between revolutionaries and proponents of non-violence during the Indian independence movement. The film is also remembered for depicting the flashback in color and the present day events in black and white.

Kamal Hassan renamed his recent venture Sandiyar to Virumandi owing to a protest from a community in Tamil Nadu. He then gave a stunning performance in "Vasool Raja M.B.B.S", a remake of Vidhu Vinod Chopra's "Munnabhai M.B.B.S". Both "Virumandi" , "Vasool Raja" and "Mumbai Xpress" were successes. His unfinished projects include Maruda Naayagam.

He is a self-professed rationalist, atheist, activist, and a follower of Periyar. Some of his movies, especially Anbe Sivam (It is love that is god), have put forward his atheistic views. The discussion between Kamal and Madhavan about Tsunami in the movie (released in 2003) showed the Tamil viewers Kamal's in depth knowledge in every field.

Kamal is the first actor to turn his fan club into a service organization. Though born to an affluent Iyengar family, he denied his caste identity. Along with his daughter, Kamal has donated his eyes and also offered his body for research after his death, the first Indian celebrity to do so. He was the first Indian actor to promise that he won't act in smoking scenes in movies.

Like many actors, his personal life has been the subject of media gossip. In his early years, he was much spoken about for his relationship with Sri Devi, a famous actress of that time. He married Vani Ganapathy, another actress, but they divorced almost immediately when Sarika an Hindi actress claimed that she was pregnant with his child. Kamal then married Sarika. They have two teenage daughters and their marriage lasted until 2002, when media attention to his relationship with the young actress Simran resulted in their separation. Soon afterwards, the media reported that another of his co-stars, Gouthami, living in his house.

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