Vijay (born Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar on 22 June 1974) is an Indian film actor, playback singer and philanthropist who works in the Tamil film industry. He is popularly known by his fans as Ilayathalapathy (junior commander-in-chief) or Thalapathy (commander-in-chief) and is one of the most popular and influential actors of Tamil cinema. The son of S. A. Chandrasekhar and Shoba Chandrasekhar, Vijay initially appeared as a child actor in a number of his father's films, starting with Vetri (1984). He made his debut as a lead actor in Naalaya Theerpu (1992), which was also directed by his father. He received his breakthrough with Poove Unakkaga (1996) and Kadhalukku Mariyadhai (1997). He went on to act in other commercially successful films such as Thulladha Manamum Thullum (1999), Kushi (2000), Friends (2001), Thirumalai (2003), Ghilli (2004), Thirupaachi (2005), Sachin (2005), Sivakasi (2005), Pokkiri (2007), Vettaikaran (2009), Velayutham (2011), Nanban (2012), Thuppakki (2012), Jilla (2014), Kaththi (2014) and Theri (2016), which rank among the highest-grossing Tamil films. To date, he has acted in 60 movies as a lead actor and has won three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, seven Vijay Awards and two Edison Awards. Vijay is also a playback singer and has sung a couple of songs for his movies.
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