||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2013)|
Kamal Haasan at a promotional event for Vishwaroopam (2013)
7 November 1954 |
Paramakudi, Madras State, India
|Residence||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Occupation||Film actor, producer, director, screenwriter, dialogues, playback singer, lyricist, choreographer|
|Children||Shruti Haasan (born 1986)
Akshara Haasan (born 1991)
Kamal Haasan (born 7 November 1954) is an Indian film actor, screenwriter, producer, director. Kamal Haasan has won several Indian film awards, including four National Film Awards, the most number of National Awards for any actor, one Rashtrapati Award for Best Child Artist and a record nineteen Filmfare Awards ranging across five languages. He is also known for having starred in the largest number of films submitted by India in contest for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In addition to acting, screenwriting and directing, he has also featured in films as a songwriter, playback singer and choreographer. His film production company, Rajkamal International, has produced several of his films. In 1990, he was awarded the Padma Shri for his contributions to Indian cinema. Kamal Haasan is also a recipient of an Honorary doctorate by Sathyabama University. In 2009, he completed 50 years in cinema.
After several projects as a child artist, Kamal Haasan's breakthrough into lead acting came with his role in the 1975 drama Apoorva Raagangal, in which he played a rebellious youth in love with an older woman. He secured his first Indian National Film Award for his portrayal of a guileless school teacher who tends a childlike amnesiac in 1982's Moondram Pirai. Haasan was particularly noted for his performance in Mani Ratnam's Godfatheresque Tamil film Nayagan (1987), which was ranked by Time magazine as one of the best films of all time. He has also acted in other films such as 16 Vayathinile, Kokila, Kabita, Ek Duuje Ke Liye, Sagara Sangamam, Swathi Muthyam, Saagar, Pushpak, Chanakyan, Apoorva Sagodharargal,Thevar Magan, Mahanadhi, Kuruthipunal, Indian, Aalavandhan, Anbe Sivam, Dasavathaaram and his own productions, Hey Ram, Virumaandi, as well as Vishwaroopam, directed by himself.
Debut as child artist: 1959–1963
There are two versions regarding his entry into films. One version has it that, as a little boy, he accompanied a doctor who went to treat an ill woman at the home of movie mogul A V Meyyappa Chettiar (father of AVM Saravanan). On hearing loud shouting from a first-floor tenant of the bungalow, the doctor became uneasy. Young Kamal Haasan strode up the stairway to ask the noisemaker not to shout over the phone as someone was ill, leaving the person astonished. An impressed Meyyappa Chettiar later provided him an entry into films. The other version is that when young boy Haasan accompanied a family doctor of Meyyappa Chettiar to his house, producer AVM Saravanan noticed Kamal as a hyperactive child. He took him over and introduced to AV Meyyappa Chettiar who was looking for a young boy to play a role in the movie Kalathur Kannamma.
Haasan was four years old when he faced the camera for the first time in Kalathur Kannamma, which was directed by A. Bhimsingh. The film was released on 12 August 1959 and Haasan's performance as child actor in the film earned him the President's Gold Medal in 1961. Following his debut, he starred in five more films as a child actor. He debuted in the Malayalam film industry in the film Kannum Karalum (1961). Haasan's family was very supportive of his interest in arts. He joined a theatre repertory, TKS Nataka Sabha, that was headed by T.K. Shanmugam. He continued his school education at the Hindu High School in Triplicane. The time spent as part of the theatre company Kamal Haasan's craft and was instrumental in his interest in makeup.
Following a seven-year hiatus from films, Haasan returned to the industry to be a part of the technical crew of films. However, he played a few supporting roles instead. As an adult, his first film role was in the 1970 film Maanavan, in which he appeared in a dance sequence. He also did a supporting role in the film Annai Velankani in which he was the assistant director. He appeared in K.Balachander's 1973 film Arangetram. He played the antagonist in Sollathaan Ninaikkiren and Gumasthavin Magal. His first serious role was in K. Balachander's Aval Oru Thodar Kathai (1974). His last role as a supporting actor was in 1974, in the film Naan Avan Illai.
His second malayalam movie was the 1974 film Kanyakumari. He won his first regional Filmfare award for this film. He appeared in the Malayalam film industry with Kanyakumari and Raasaleela. He played the lead actor in the Tamil films Apoorva Raagangal, directed by K.Balachander, for which he also won his first Filmfare award in Tamil. The plot of the film revolved around a young man in love with an older woman and won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil. Haasan learned to play the mridangam for this role.
The late 1970s was a period that saw Haasan's continued collaboration with K. Balachander, who cast him in many of his social-themed films. In 1976, Balachander cast him as a womaniser trying to woo many women in Manmadha Leelai which was followed by Oru Oodhappu Kan Simittugiradhu, which won him his second consecutive Regional Filmfare (Tamil) Best Actor Award. Later, Kamal Haasan appeared in the drama Moondru Mudichu, another Balachander film. Avargal (1977) was a film about women's liberation, for which he learnt the art of ventriloquism. The film was also remade in Telugu as Idi Katha Kaadu (1979) with Haasan repeating his role. 16 Vayathinile won him his third consecutive best actor award, where he appeared as a village bumpkin. In 1977, he starred in his first Kannada film, Kokila, which was the directorial debut of another friend and mentor, Balu Mahendra. The same year, he acted in a Bengali film, Kabita, a remake of the Tamil film Aval Oru Thodar Kathai. In 1978, he debuted in the Telugu film industry as a lead actor with the cross-cultural romantic film, Maro Charithra directed by K. Balachander. His fourth consecutive Filmfare award came with Sigappu Rojakkal, an anti-hero thriller in which he played a psychopathic sexual killer.
In the Telugu film Sommokadidhi Sokkadidhi, he played dual roles, the musical entertainer. He also appeared in Ninaithale Inikkum, a snake horror film Neeya. Other films include Kalyanaraman. During this time, Haasan acted in 23 Malayalam films. The film Ponni Kuttavum Sikshayum, Satyavan Savithri and Nirakudum , Agni Pushpam and Kathirunna Nimiksham , Yaetta , Vayanadhan Thamban and Madanolsavam . For the movie "Yeatta" he won his second Filmfare Award for Best Malayalam Actor. Film "Madanolsavam" was dubbed in Hindi as Dil Ka Saath Dil and in Tamil as Paruva Mazhai. At the end of this period, he had won six regional Best Actor Filmfare Awards, including four consecutive Best Tamil Actor Awards.
Haasan's films in the 80s included the Tamil language Varumayin Niram Sigappu in 1980, where he played an unemployed youth. Haasan also made a guest–cameo appearance in the Rajnikanth's Thillu Mullu. He made his Bollywood debut with Ek Duuje Ke Liye, the remake of his Telugu-language film, Maro Charithra, also by K. Balachander which earned him his first Filmfare nomination. He made his 100th film appearance in 1981 with Raja Paarvai, which also marked his debut in film production. Despite this film's relatively poor reception at the cinemas, his portrayal of a blind session violinist earned him a Filmfare Award. Following a year of starring in commercially-oriented films, he won his first of three National Awards for Best Actor with his portrayal of a school teacher who looks after an amnesia patient in Balu Mahendra's Moondram Pirai, later reprising the role in the Hindi version, Sadma. During this time he concentrated more in Bollywood acting in remakes of his Tamil films, most Yeh To Kamaal Ho Gaya and Zara Si Zindagi. In 1983, he appeared in Sagara Sangamam, directed by K. Vishwanath. His portrayal as a drunkard classical dancer fetched him his first Nandi Award for Best Actor and second Filmfare Best Telugu Actor Award.
After the multi starrer Raaj Tilak in 1984, he acted in Saagar, released in 1985, for which he was awarded both the Filmfare Best Actor Award and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Award at the same ceremony for this role. The film was India's representative for the Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film in 1985. He appeared in Geraftaar. Later, he featured in Japanil Kalyanaraman, which followed up his previous Kalyanaraman.
In 1986, he again collaborated with K. Vishwanath in Swathi Muthyam which portrayed him as an autistic person attempting to change society. The film was India's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards in 1986. The enormous response to these films in Tollywood helped him capture a strong audience in Andhra Pradesh, and many of his later Tamil films were regularly dubbed in Telugu.
Following Punnagai Mannan, in which he portrayed dual roles including a satire of Charlie Chaplin as Chaplin Chellappa and Vetri Vizha as an amnesiac, Kamal Haasan appeared in Mani Ratnam's 1987 film Nayagan. Nayagan portrays the life of an underworld don in Bombay. The story revolved around the life of a real-life underworld don called Varadarajan Mudaliar, while sympathetically depicting the struggle of South Indians living in Mumbai. He received his second Indian National Award for his performance and Nayagan was nominated by India as its entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards in 1987. It was included in the Time's All-TIME 100 Movies list. In 1988, Kamal Haasan appeared in his only silent film to date, Pushpak, a black comedy. He went on to act in Unnal Mudiyum Thambi, a remake of the critically acclaimed Telugu film Rudraveena and in the action film Sathya, where he played an unemployed youth fighting the evils in society. In 1989, he appeared in three roles (one of which was that of a dwarf) in the dramedy Apoorva Sagodharargal. He then performed dual roles in Indrudu Chandrudu, winning the Filmfare Best Actor Award and Nandi Awards for his performance. Kamal Haasan ended the decade by starring in his last original Malayalam film as hero to date, titled Chanakyan. The multi-starrer film was critically acclaimed and was a hit.
The 1980s saw the transformation of Kamal Haasan from a young heartthrob performer in Tamil films to a nationally acclaimed star appreciated for his method acting. By the end of 1980s, he had entered and tasted success in the Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi film industries, had received Filmfare awards at each industry, two national awards and had his performances recognized at international film festivals.
In 1990, Michael Madhana Kamarajan saw Kamal Haasan go one step further from Apoorva Sagodharargal, acting in four different roles as quadruplets. It started an ongoing collaboration with Crazy Mohan, a dialogue writer, for future comedy films. The film became a blockbuster, and his portrayals were all critically praised; one cook role where he spoke in Palakkad Tamil formed the crux for a future venture by his production house. Kamal Haasan won successive Best Actor awards for his portrayal of the deranged, obsessive protagonist in Guna and Thevar Magan, where he played the son of actor Sivaji Ganesan. Guna met with critical acclaim but failed commercially, while the latter became a big success and was remade into Hindi as Virasat. Kamal Haasan was credited for the story and won his third National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil as a producer. The film became India's submission for the Academy Awards that year. After a series of films such as Singaravelan, Maharasan and Kalaignan, he played a cheated villager in the emotionally draining and underrated classic Mahanadi. Six years after it released, it was premiered at the Rotterdam festival. In 1994, he appeared in the film Nammavar, where he played a college lecturer trying to reform the wayward students in the college. The film, inspired by the classic British film To Sir With Love, was critically acclaimed, but did not fare too well at the box office. In 1995, he appeared in the romantic comedy Sathi Leelavathi, based on the English film She-Devil. The film, his home production, had Kannada actor Ramesh Arvind and featured him opposite comedienne Kovai Sarala and its success led to further regional remakes. He also renewed his collobaration with Kasinadhuni Viswanath in Telugu film, Subha Sankalpam. Later that year, Kamal Haasan starred in the police story Kuruthipunal, with Arjun Sarja. It was the first Tamil film to use Dolby sound. His success in Kuruthipunal was followed by his fourth National Film Award for Best Actor, for the film Indian. Playing dual roles of a freedom fighter fighting corruption and his untrustful son, the film also won Kamal Haasan regional awards and plaudits for his portrayal, apart from being a massive box office success. Moreover, both films were also selected as India's submissions for the Academy Awards in their respective release years.
Post Indian, Kamal Haasan appeared as a woman in the comedy Avvai Shanmughi, inspired by the Hollywood production Mrs. Doubtfire. Avvai Shanmughi was another huge success at the box office. Kamal Haasan initially chose noted adfilm maker Shantanu Sheorey to direct the Hindi remake of Avvai Shanmughi, titled Chachi 420. But unhappy with the complaints after five days of shoot and after checking the actual result, he took over as director. In 1997, Kamal Haasan began his directorial venture, the biopic of Mohammed Yusuf Khan, Marudhanayagam, which failed to complete its schedules with only half an hour and a trailer being recorded during its shoot. Marudhanayagam had been speculated to be the biggest and most expensive film in Indian cinema with a number of high profile actors and technicians signing up for roles. Moreover, the film was launched in a highly publicized ceremony by Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom during her visit to India in 1997. Due to budget constraints, the film failed to materialize into a feature film, but he has since stated his interest in building up funds for the project. Kamal Haasan eventually finished the decade with a romantic comedy Kaadhala Kaadhala, which was a box office success.
Following a two-year hiatus in Indian cinema, he opted against reviving his magnum opus, Marudhanayagam, and filmed his second directorial venture, Hey Ram, a period drama told in flashback with a semi-fictional plot centring around India's Partition and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Kamal Haasan also took on roles as the writer, the lyricist and the choreographer as well as producing the film under his home banner. The film, also featured Shahrukh Khan and was India's submission for the Academy Awards that year. Hey Ram was a box office failure in India, partly due to the Congress enforcing a ban on the film, but successful worldwide. The same year, he acted in the comedy Thenali, where he played a Sri Lankan Tamilian mentally affected due to war and is under the treatment of a psychiatrist. Thenali, which also starred Malayalam actor Jayaram, became a box office success. His following film was Aalavandhan, released in 2001, where he portrayed two distinct roles, for one of which he had his head shaved bald and gained ten kilograms. To play the other Army Major in Aalavandhan (Abhay, in Hindi), he went to the NDA for a crash course. The Hindi version Abhay was distributed by reputed Shringar Films. Despite much publicity prior to release, the film failed commercially, and he opted to repay distributors who had suffered losses with the film.
Following a series of successful comedies, Pammal K. Sambandam, Panchathantiram and a couple of guest appearances, Kamal Haasan directed his third project Virumaandi, a feature film about the death penalty which won the Best Asian Film award at Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival. Kamal Haasan also appeared in Anbe Sivam alongside Madhavan. Priyadarshan, who started the film, departed allowing commercial director Sundar C to complete the film. Anbe Sivam told the story of Nallasivam, enacted by Kamal Haasan as a communist. Kamal Haasan's performance was highly lauded by critics with The Hindu stating that he "has once again done Tamil cinema proud".
In 2004, Kamal Haasan appeared in the film Vasool Raja MBBS, a remake of the Bollywood blockbuster Munnabhai MBBS, alongside Sneha, which was a box office success. In 2005, he starred in the comedy Mumbai Express, which was written by him. Released during Tamil New Year along with the Rajinikanth starrer Chandramukhi and Vijay's romantic comedy Sachien, it was a massive disappointment at the box office, despite positive reviews. In 2006, Haasan's long delayed project, the police story Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu emerged as a blockbuster. Directed by Gautham Menon, the film is about a police officer sent to the USA to investigate a series of medical related murders. In 2008, he appeared in Dasavathaaram portraying ten distinct roles in the venture which was released in multiple languages including Tamil, Telugu, Hindi throughout India and overseas. Dasavathaaram is known to be one of the first modern sci-fi films made in India which Kamal Haasan co-wrote along with the film's director K. S. Ravikumar. Featuring him opposite Asin Thottumkal, the film as of 2008 became the first highest grossing film ever in Tamil cinema, and won him critical praise for his performance. In Canada, the film was distributed by Walt Disney Pictures, the first Tamil film to be done so. He had written the story and screenplay for the project.
Following the completion of Dasavathaaram, Haasan directed a film tentatively titled Marmayogi, which after a year of pre-production became stalled. He then opted to produce and star in a venture, Unnaipol Oruvan,  a remake of the Bollywood film, A Wednesday, co-starring him with the Malayalam actor Mohanlal (Venkatesh in the Telugu version). The film, where he played the antagonist and which had Shruti Haasan appear as the music director, became a successful venture for him at the box office. Haasan worked on his fifth collaboration with Ravikumar, in Manmadan Ambu, for which he also wrote the dialogues and screenplay. The film was released in December 2010. The story revolves around a man who hires a detective to find out if he is being cheated by his fiancée.
2011 to present
Haasan then started working on his fourth directorial venture titled Vishwaroopam, which released in both Tamil and Hindi. Vishwaroopam is a 2013 bilingual spy thriller film written, directed and co-produced by Haasan who also enacts the lead role. The film has Rahul Bose, Shekar Kapur, Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah and Jaideep Ahlawat in supporting roles. Produced simultaneously in Hindi as Vishwaroop, the film features soundtrack composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, with lyrics by Vairamuthu and Haasan himself for the tamil version and Javed Akhtar for the Hindi version. Vishwaroopam won two National Film Awards, one for Best Production Design and one for Best Choreography at the 60th National Film Awards. Haasan stated that the sequel Vishwaroopam 2 was already planned and several sequences had already been shot featuring Andrea Jeremiah in a more prominent role.
In addition to acting, Haasan has also played various roles behind the camera and is known for his involvement in several aspects of film-making. He wrote the story and/or screen-play for many of his films including Raja Paarvai, Apoorva Sagodharargal, Michael Madhana Kamarajan, Thevar Magan, Mahanadhi, Hey Ram, Aalavandhan, Anbe Sivam, Nala Damayanthi, Virumaandi, Dasavathaaram, Manmadhan Ambu and Vishwaroopam. His film production company, Rajkamal International, has produced several of his films. He also directed the films Chachi 420, Hey Ram, Virumaandi and Vishwaroopam. He considered taking up film direction full-time, if Hey Ram was a success, but did not do so as the film was a box office failure. In 2010, he stated his intention to direct more films as many young actors had wished to work under him and gain his direct guidance. When Haasan was playing supporting roles early in his career, he wanted to become a technician. Speaking about it in a lighter vein, he once said, "Film makers like K. Balachander told me that I won’t be able make much money by being a technician. So the end result is that the star Kamal funds the technician Kamal in pursuing his dreams". Kamal has attended workshops for make-up techniques in US for several years and once trained as a make-up artist under Michael Westmore.
Haasan has also been a song-writer for some of his films. He first penned lyrics for a single in Hey Ram and followed it with few more numbers in films like Virumaandi, Unnai Pol Oruvan until he did the lyrics for the complete album in Manmadhan Ambu. They were well received by his peers in the Tamil film industry. Kamal Haasan is also a playback singer. He has sung songs in Tamil, Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and English.
Haasan was born in the town of Paramakudi in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu, to a criminal lawyer named D. Srinivasan and Rajalakshmi, who was housewife. One source says that his parents originally named him Parthasarathy. In the interview given to Karan Thapar, Kamal Haasan said his father was Sanskrit literate. Kamal Haasan was the youngest of four children, the others being Charuhasan, Chandrahasan and Nalini Raghu. His father was a martinet. He wanted all his sons (Chandrahasan, Charuhasan, Kamalahaasan) to study and do well. The two elder brothers followed their father’s example and studied law. Kamal spent his childhood learning everything except staying focused on his studies.
Haasan had referred to his parents in a couple of his films, with references being made in Unnaipol Oruvan as well as in the song Kallai Mattum from Dasavathaaram. His eldest brother Charuhasan, like Kamal Haasan, is a National Film Award-winning actor, who appeared in the Kannada film Tabarana Kathe, among others. Kamal's niece (Charuhasan's daughter), Suhasini is also a National Film Award winner and is married to director and fellow Award winner Mani Ratnam, who collaborated with Kamal Haasan on 1987's Nayagan. Chandrahasan has appeared as the producer for several of Kamal Haasan's films as well as being an executive of Kamal Haasan's home production company, Rajkamal International. His brother's daughter Anu Hasan has appeared in several films in supporting roles, most notably in Suhasini's Indira. His sister Nalini Raghu is a dance teacher. Kamal Haasan later named an auditorium after his sister as Nalini Mahal. Her son, Gautham, played Kamal Haasan's grandson in his directorial venture, Hey Ram.
Despite his celebrated film career, his personal life had some setbacks which have been exploited by the media. In his early career, he co-starred in several films with actress Srividya. The pair were reported to have had an affair in the 1970s, with their relationship being explored in the 2008-released Malayalam film, Thirakkatha by Renjith, with Anoop Menon portraying Kamal Haasan and Priyamani playing Srividya. Srividya, who died in 2006, was visited by Kamal Haasan at her bedside during her final days. In 1978, at the age of 24, Kamal Haasan married danseuse Vani Ganapathy in a low-key affair. Vani put on the mantle of costume designer for her husband's movies and was publicised for walking along with Haasan into the Filmfare Awards South ceremony of 1980 immediately after their wedding. However, the couple split after ten years together, after Kamal Haasan began dating fellow actress Sarika, confirming in a later interview that he and Vani have never been in touch since their divorce.
Subsequently, Haasan and Sarika lived together from 1988, and got married after having their second child. Of the two children: Shruti Haasan (born 1986) and Akshara Haasan (born 1991), the former is a singer as well as a Tollywood / Kollywood actress, while the latter has worked as an assistant director with her dad for his film Vishwaroopam (2013). Sarika took a break from acting soon after her marriage. However, she replaced his ex-wife, Vani Ganapathy, as Haasan's costume designer, with work in Hey Ram. The couple filed for divorce in 2002, with Sarika estranging herself from Kamal Haasan by the end of the procedure in 2004. His intimate relationship with co-star Simran Bagga, who is twenty-two years younger, became the reason for the split. However, Haasan's relationship with Simran, who appeared opposite him in two consecutive ventures – Pammal K. Sambandam and Panchathantiram, was short-lived as Simran went on to marry her childhood friend in late 2003. Haasan now lives with former actress Gouthami Tadimalla, who starred with him in several films in the late 80s and early 90s. He had helped her during her traumatic breast cancer experience and the pair have been in a domestic relationship since 2005. Along with Shruti and Akshara, Gouthami's daughter, Subbalakshmi, from an annulled marriage also lives with them.
Haasan, despite being born into a Brahmin family, has declared himself as an atheist; many of his films, notably Anbe Sivam and Dasavathaaram, both written by himself have featured anti-theistic views. Kamal Haasan, has also been mistaken for a Muslim due to the Arabic surname, and was famously stopped for his name at the Toronto Pearson International Airport in 2002. It is widely believed that the name originated from a friend of his father, Yaakob Hassan, a Muslim freedom fighter who spent time with Kamal Haasan's father while imprisoned by the British. However, Kamal Haasan clarified in an interview with Karan Thapar in BBC that his last name 'Haasan' is, in fact, of Sanskrit origin from the word 'Hasya', which was his father's wish and that the Yaakob Hassan connection was highly publicized by the media and was only a "story"
Hassan has refrained from politics in spite of several people from the film Industry taking the plunge in Politics. Kamal Hassan is basically considered by most as a person with Left-leaning or Independent political alignment. He once said, the kind of politics he would indulge would get him killed in 365 days.
Kamal Haasan is the first Tamil actor to convert fan clubs into welfare organisations, and is actively involved in several social service activities through the clubs under the banner Kamal Narpani Iyakkam. (Kamal Welfare Association) His fan clubs are involved in organising blood and eye donation drives and donating education materials to school students. He received the first Abraham Kovoor National Award for his Humanist Activities and Secular Life in 2004. He has turned his fan associations into social service organisations. He was also the project ambassador of Hridayaragam 2010, a fundraiser to set up an orphanage for HIV/AIDS-affected children. In September 2010, Kamal Haasan launched a children’s cancer relief fund and presented roses to children with cancer at Sri Ramachandra University in Porur in the suburbs of Chennai. He has also pledged to endorse consumer products, social causes and use the money for social service. Haasan won 50 lakhs in Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi in March, 2013 and said the prize money would be used for the philanthropic activities of 'Petral Thaan Pillaya', which supports the HIV affected kids.
Kamal Haasan is involved in running the magazine Mayyam, by the Kamal Haasan Welfare Association (Narpani Iyakkam). His views on a wide range of issues including cinema, child and drug abuse and the Kashmir conflict, have been collected and published as a book titled Thedi Theerpom Va (Come, Let's Solve Together), by his fan association. His interest in Tamil literature and his own writing skills are well known.
Awards and honours
Kamal Haasan, a Padma Shri awardee, is the most decorated actor in the history of Indian cinema. At the age of six, he won the President's Gold Medal for Best Child Actor for his debut film Kalathur Kannamma. Haasan holds the record for the most number of National Film Awards—three Best Actor awards and one award for producing the Best Regional Film—for an actor. The 1992 Tamil film Thevar Magan which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil was produced by Kamal Haasan. Moreover, Haasan holds a record nineteen Filmfare Awards, ranging across five languages. After his latest award in 2000, he wrote to the organisation requesting exemption from further awards. In 2003, his films Hey Ram, Pushpak, Nayagan and Kuruthipunal were showcased under the "Director in Focus" category at the Rotterdam Film Festival. In 2004, Virumaandi won the very first "Best Asian film" award at Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival (PiFan).
In 2005, Sathyabama Deemed University awarded Kamal Haasan an honorary doctorate. He received the Chevalier Sivaji Ganesan Award for Excellence in Indian Cinema at the 2006 ceremony of the inaugural Vijay Awards. He received the Living Legend Award in 2007 from FICCI, which recognizes outstanding personalities from the entertainment arena and honors them with awards at their annual global convention, FRAMES. In 2010, the United Progressive Alliance government organised a retrospective of Kamal Haasan's films. During that event, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said the actor fell under a special category, as his cinema broke barriers of language and region. The same year, the Government of Kerala honoured him for completing 50 years in Indian cinema during the inauguration of statewide Onam celebrations in Thiruvananthapuram.
Kamal Haasan is also a recipient of the Kalaimamani Award from the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1979. Other recognitions include a string of Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, Nandi Awards, Screen Awards and Vijay Awards, including four separate awards for his performance in Dasavathaaram. In 2009, Kamal Haasan was appointed as the chairman of FICCI Media and Entertainment Business Conclave, organised by the entertainment division of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He has recently been roped in to be part of academic advisory council for ISFM (International school of Film+Media). Kamal Hassan was also recently invited on board an American ship as a special friend of the US Government. In April 2013, Kamal Haasan received an award on behalf of the Indian cinema, presented by Chris Brown, Executive Vice President, Conventions & Business Operations for the National Association of Broadcasters, part of the New York Festivals International Film & TV awards. Coca-Cola India has recognized 20 luminaries of the film industry with the launch of the 24th Edition of the Limca Book of Records 2013 - ‘Cinema Special’ Edition, acknowledging the extraordinary achievements of 20 Indian Cinematic Icons as "People of the Year", including Kamal Haasan.
Acclaim and criticism
His mentor K. Balachandar, while agreeing with such sentiment, says in that case Kamal would not have been able to have a diverse acting career and the adulation he has now. Mani Ratnam, who directed Kamal in Nayagan, has claimed he had missed working with Kamal, adding that there are many things Kamal Haasan can do that no other actor can. Veteran Tamil actor Nagesh rated Kamal Haasan as the best actor he had seen. Kamal Haasan's contributions to films have been lavishly praised by his peers in the Indian film industry like Sridevi, Amitabh Bachan, Mohanlal, Shahrukh Khan and Aamir Khan. Younger actors Surya, Madhavan and ace filmmakers Bala, Ameer and Gautham Menon consider Kamal Haasan as their inspiration. His list of admirers go beyond cinema. M. F. Husain has claimed, he found Kamal Haasan as the most exciting Indian film-maker/actor.
The animation-action sequence in Quentin Tarantino's 2003 film Kill Bill was inspired by the use of 2D animated sequences in an Indian film which is believed to be Kamal Haasan's film Aalavandhan. The recent addition to list of admirers is Hollywood filmmaker, Barrie M Osburne, who termed Kamal Haasan's knowledge about literature, history and films: "encyclopedic"  and acclaimed director, Ang Lee who admitted being stunned by Kamal's brilliance and knowledge of world class films.
Kamal Haasan has been accused of plagiarism, self-indulgence and criticised for using sexually explicit scenes and themes, for offending religious sentiments and for being superficial about the social issues he depicts in his films. Other criticisms of Kamal Haasan include complaints about his obsession with perfection, which might have caused some of his films to overshoot their budgets.
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