T. R. Sundaram
Tiruchengodu Ramalingam Sundaram (1907–1963) was a Tamil, Malayalam, Hindi, Telugu, Kannada and Sinhalese film actor, director and iconic film producer. He is the founder of the Salem-based movie production company Modern Theatres.
Sundaram was born in 1907 in Coimbatore to a wealthy textile merchant and had his studies in India and in Leeds, England where he graduated in textile engineering. On returning to India, Sundaram managed his family business.
After the production of the first Tamil talkie Kalidas in 1931, the movie industry emerged as a profitable means of investment. Sundaram set up Angel Pictures in Salem and produced movies along with S. S. Velayutham.
Sundaram split with Velayutham after a few years and set up his own production company Modern Theatres. The first film produced under the banner of Modern Theatres was Sathi Ahalya in 1937. The next year in 1938, Sundaram produced the Malayalam talkie Balan. He was instrumental in giving MGR his first major break in Manthirikumari. It catapulted MGR to greater name and fame.