Biography of Sivaji Ganesan- Tamil Cinema Actor-Part 1


Nadigar Thilagam Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan


Date of Birth: 01st October 1928

Place of Birth:: Soorakkottai Village, Thanjavur District, Tamilnadu

Date of Death: 21st July 2001 (at Chennai at the age of 72 years)

Father: Chinnaiah Pillai Mandradiyar

Mother: Rajamani Ammal

Education: Elementary School

Tamil Dramas/Movies Actor

Popular For:
Sivaji Ganesan had been popular for his unique natural acting with the best and timely delivery of lip movements in dialogues and songs with the apt body language, expressing a variety of emotions.

However, his acting had been criticized as ‘over-acting’/’exaggerated acting’.

Sivjai Ganesan in Engirundho Vandhal Ore Paadal Song

Sivaji Ganesan had responded to the criticism and said that nobody can act without ‘exaggeration’ and to express various feelings of a character in a movie, an actor must act according to the character and the situations and overacting would be unavoidable.

Acting is an art and every actor will have his/her own style of acting.

It is true that in real life people do not always express their real feelings of joy, happiness, anger or sorrow and only  such people suppressing their real feelings are the real ‘actors’ in real life. 

Malargalai Poll Thangai Urangugiraal Song

Early Life /Career of Sivaji Ganesan:

V.C.Ganesan started acting in Tamil stage dramas for a touring drama company at the age of 7 years without his parents’ knowledge or consent.

Obviously, V.C.Ganesan could not go to school and get even primary education.

He went to Trichy (Sangiliyandapuram) at the age of 10 years and joined a drama troupe there.

Along with stage acting Ganesan learnt dances such as ‘Bharatha Nattiyam’, ‘Kathakali’ and ‘Manipuri’.

In the early days, Ganesan acted in female characters and because of his quick grasping of dialogues and his sharp memory power, he started acting in stage dramas by delivering long and emotional dialogues, receiving appreciation from the audience and the conveners of the stage dramas.

Ganesan acted as ‘Chatrapathi Sivaji’, a Marathi emperor, in a stage drama named ‘Sivjai Kanda Hindu Rajyam’.

The audience, noticing the wonderful action of Ganesan as Sivaji, started referring to Ganesan as ‘Sivjaji’ Ganesan and in a public function, the social reformer of Tamilnadu,‘Thanthai’-E.V.Ramasamy Periyar/EVR conferred the title “Sivaji” to V.C.Ganesan in the year 1950.

Sivaji Ganesan with EVR Periyar

In the year 1952, ‘Sivaji’Ganesan acted in his first Tamil movie, “PARASAKTHI”:

  • Produced by the “National Pictures”, 
  • Funded by A.V.Meyyappan Chettiar of AVM Studios,
  • Directed by the twin directors- ‘Krishnan-Panchu ,
  • Co-starred by  the then popular Tamil heroine Pandaribai and S.S.Rajendran/SSR
  • With the mind-blowing revolutionary dialogues and screen-play, written by the former Chief Minister of Tamilnadu, ‘Kalaignar-M.Karunanidhi’.
Sivaji Ganesan in Parasakthi

After the success of his first movie ‘Parasakthi’, Sivaji Ganesan acted in the Tamil movies like, the Indian President’s Silver Medal winning movie-’Andha Naal’ as an ‘anti-hero’ and and ‘Koondukkuli’, co-starring as anti-hero against his arch-rival ‘Makkal Thilagam’- ‘MGR’ in the year 1954.

Sivaji Ganesan and MGR in Koondukili

‘Sivaji Ganesan’ acted with unique lip-movements and timing delivery of dialogues in a clear and understandable tone and became popular in a variety of expressions, called ‘ navarasam’ and his performance in Sakthi T.K.Krishnaswamy’s- ‘Veerapandya Kattambomman’ in the year 1959, fetched him, the ‘Best Actor Award’ at the ‘Afro-Asian Film Festival’ held in March 1960 at Cairo, in South Africa.

Veerapandia Kattabomman

Sivaji Ganesan has acted in many Tamil movies co-starring with many popular and talented Tamil actresses  including:



Banumathi Ramakrishna,




“Nadigaiyar Thilagam”-Savithri,


“Naatiya Peroli”-Padmini,




“Abinaya Saraswathi”/ “Kannadathu Paingili”B. Sarojadevi,

Abhinaya Saraswathi B Sarojadevi

“Punnagai Arasi”-K. R. Vijaya,

Punnagai Arasi K.R.Vijaya



 and “Puratchi Thalavi”/”Amma”-J. Jayalalithaa, the present Chief Minister of Tamilnadu.


Related Reading:

Biography of  Sivaji Ganesan-Part 2

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