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A snapshot from the 1948 movie Chandralekha
|Born||Ramanarayana Venkataramana Sarma
March 2, 1918
Madras, British India
|Died||September 12, 1983
New Jersey, USA
Ranjan (Real name: Ramanarayana Venkataramana Sarma) (March 2, 1918 - September 12, 1983) was an Indian film actor, singer, journalist and writer. He debuted in the 1941 movie Ashok Kumar but gained fame in S. S. Vasan's 1948 magnum opus Chandralekha.
Ranjan was born Ramanarayana Venkataramana Sarma in Mylapore, Madras in 1918. His family hailed from the town of Srirangam. Ranjan had his schooling in Madras and received an M.Litt degree from Madras University. While studying in college, he participated in a number of stageplays. Coincidentally, an employee of Gemini Studios Veppattur Kittu was present at one of his plays. Impressed by Ranjan's performance, Kittu suggested his name to P. G. Raghavachari who cast him in the M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar-starrer Ashok Kumar in which he played the role of Gautama Buddha. However, Ranjan did not have any dialogues to mouth in the film. Following the success of Ashok Kumar Ranjan was cast in Rishyasringar in which he played the title role of Rishyasringa. In his early movies, Ranjan was credited as "R. Ramani, B. A." The screen name "Ranjan" was actually bestowed upon him by Jithen Banerjee of Newtone Studios.
In 1940s, Ranjan established a School of Music and Dancing, and edited an art journal entitled, Natyam. He was also awarded a Rockefeller Fellowship under the International Art Program sponsored by the Institute of International Education, New York, in 1950-51. Though Ranjan acted in a number of bollywood movies, especially costume dramas and some social movies in 1950s, his star faded by the end of 1950s. He is best known for his roles in 'Madari', 'Bahut Din Hue', 'Suvarn Sundari', 'Nishan', 'Magic Carpet', 'Chor Chor', Chor Ho To Aisa'. His come-back attempt in Tamil movies also flopped without much opportunities to show case his talents.
- Chandra Lekha
- Neela Malai Thirudan
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