Born: Sirkali Sirkazhi, Tanjore District, Madras Presidency, British India
Villupuram Chinnaiah Ganesan (1 October 1928 – 21 July 2001) better known as Sivaji Ganesan, was an Indian stage, and film actor who was active in Tamil cinema during the latter half of the 20th century. He was well known for his versatility and variety of roles depicted on screen, which gave him also the Tamil honorific name Nadigar Thilagam (lit. the pride of actors). In a career that spanned close to five decades, he had acted in 283 films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi. His eidetic memory helped him remember his scripts at a glance.Ganesan was the first tamil film actor to win a Best Actor award in an International film festival, the Afro-Asian Film Festival held in Cairo, Egypt in 1960. Many leading South Indian film actors have stated that their acting was influenced by Ganesan. He received the President Award for Best Tamil Actor on twelve occasions. In addition, he received four Filmfare Awards South and a National Film Award (Special Jury). In 1997, Ganesan was conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, highest honour for films in India. He was also the first Indian actor to be made a Chevalier of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.Ganesan is remembered as an iconic figure of Tamil cinema. He has been described by the Los Angeles Times as The Marlon Brando of Indian Cinema. In spite of his celebrated film career, his short stint in politics became a futile attempt.
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