7 January 1953
Vellankoil, Madras State, India
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
(m. 1981; died 1983)
|Relatives||Kiki Vijay (Daughter in law)|
Krishnasaamy Bhagyaraj (born 7 January 1953) is an Indian director, actor, screenwriter, music director, producer and politician active mainly in Tamil films. He has also written and directed Hindi and Telugu films and TV serials. As an actor, he has worked in more than 75 films and has directed more than 25 films. He won a Filmfare Best Actor Award for Mundhanai Mudichu (1983). He received Lifetime Achievement Award in SIIMA (2014). He is the editor of weekly magazine Bhagya and has also written several novels.
Bhagyaraj was born in Vellankoil near Gobichettipalayam in Erode district in Tamil Nadu. His parents were Krishnaswamy and Amaravathiamma. He married twice. His first marriage was with actress Praveena, in 1981. She died due to an aggravated case of jaundice in August 1983. His second marriage was with actress Poornima Jayaram, who was his co-star in Darling, Darling, Darling (1982), on 7 February 1984. The couple has a daughter Saranya Bhagyaraj (who starred in Parijatham (2006) and Photographer (2006)) and a son Shanthnu Bhagyaraj.
Early years (1977–1979)
Beginning his career as an assistant to directors G. Ramakrishnan and Bharathiraja, Bhagyaraj became recognised for his scriptwriting talent. He first appeared as a junior artist playing small supporting roles with screen-space of not more than three minutes in films such as 16 Vayathinile (1977) and later appeared similarly in Sigappu Rojakkal (1978). He was assistant director to Bharathiraja in two films – 16 Vayathnile and Kizhakke Pogum Rail. Among his early work was writing the script for Bharathiraja's films Kizhake Pogum Rail (1978) and Tik Tik Tik (1981), and writing dialogues for Sigappu Rojakkal. He made his directorial début with Suvarilladha Chiththirangal in 1979 and also his debut as the leading man in Puthiya Vaarpugal, directed by Bharathiraja. He received the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Dialogue Writer in Puthiya Vaarpugal (1979). He wrote dialogues and screenplay and acted in Kanni Paruvathile (1979).
Rise to stardom (1980–1999)
He quickly established his own concern and started producing a string of distinctive films made mainly in the Tamil language. Bhagyaraj often cast himself in the lead roles of the films he scripted and directed, effectively carving out a niche for himself in the actor-auteur vein. His style of filmmaking is notable for its relatively elaborate, witty, and double entendre-laced script and socially-themed framework. His on-screen personae are typically characterised by their ironic sense of humour and intelligent bravado.
He introduced actress Urvashi in the Tamil film Mundhanai Mudichu (1983) and Kalpana (sister of Urvashi) made her debut with the 1985 film Chinna Veedu, directed by Bhagyaraj, a commercially successful film. He received the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil in Mundhanai Mudichu. He became nationally famous when he wrote the script for Mundhanai Mudichu remade in Hindi as Masterji with Rajesh Khanna in the lead role, which was huge success at the box office.
He rarely acted in films not directed or written by him, with exceptions being Anbulla Rajinikanth (1984) and Naan Sigappu Manithan (1985). He decided to direct the Hindi remake of Bharatiraja's 1984 directorial venture Oru Kaidhiyin Diary with Rajesh Khanna in the lead in 1985, but later Khanna due to his date issues had to opt out and Bhagyaraj cast Amitabh Bachchan in the Hindi remake Aakhree Raasta (1986). Bhagayraj decided to remake the classic old Kannada film Mallammana Pavada, starring Rajkumar and B Saroja Devi into a new Tamil film Enga Chinna Rasa in 1987, which became a huge blockbuster. In 1988, he wrote the script for Idhu Namma Aalu and decided to produce it, but chose not to direct it by himself, as he wanted to act-write-direct a film on a serious issue, which was Aararo Aaariraro. He received the Best Film Award for Idhu Namma Aalu in 1990, directed by Balakumar, whereas the other film Aararo Aaariraro also was both critically acclaimed and successful at box office.
From 1991, he gradually started accepting more acting offers as a lead hero, where director-producer-scriptwriter would be three different people, rather than he himself writing-directing-acting in his films. Rudhra, Amma Vanthachu, Gnanapazham and Suyamvaram were such successful films where he was involved only in the capacity of actor. He also started the weekly magazine "Bhagya" and he is the editor of that magazine. His successful directorial ventures written by him from 1991 on were Pavunnu Pavunuthan, Sundara Kandam, Raasukutti and Veetla Visheshanga. He cast his son Shanthanu Bhagyaraj as the child artist in Vaettiya Madichu Kattu in 1998 and the film dealt with the father-son relationship, this proved to be both a critical and financial disappointment capping an end to a string of continuous flops including Oru Oorla oru Rajakumari, Gnanapazham and Mr. Bechara (1996).
His successful Tamil films written by him continued to be in demand for Hindi remakes in the 1990s and were huge hits in Hindi – with Raasukutti remade as Raja Babu, Sundara Kandam remade as Andaz (1994) and Avasara Police 100 remade into Gopi Kishan, which were successful. He also wrote the script for the Tamil film Thaikulame Thaikulame (1995), starring Pandiarajan, whose actor-director was not himself in Hindi, remade as Gharwali Baharwali.
End of directions (2000–2010)
He took a break from acting as the lead hero in Tamil films after the release of the massive critical and commercial failure Vaettiya Madichu Kattu. Instead, he directed the TV shows Neenga Nenaicha Saadhikkalanga and Idhu Oru Kadhayin Kadhai (for DD Podhigai), and appeared in Apapadi Podu on Jaya TV in this period. His tele-serial Rules Rangachari was very famous on DD channel and it completed 390 episodes. He wrote and directed the 2003 film Chokka Thangam, starring Vijayakanth. He launched his daughter Saranya Bhagyaraj with Parijatham, which he wrote and directed in 2006. He returned to acting with Something Something... Unakkum Enakkum and Rendu in a supporting role and with Kasu Irukkanum as the lead hero in 2007. In 2010, he directed his adult son Shanthanu Bhagyaraj in the romantic film Siddhu +2.
Later Years (2011–present)
At the end of the 2010s, he acted in supporting roles such Appavi (2011) and Vaagai Sooda Vaa (2011). He ventured into Malayalam film as supporting actor with Mr. Marumakan (2012).
He was the leading judge for the show Junior Super Star (2016) and Junior Super Stars (season 2) (2017).
He wrote books such as Vaanga Cinemavai Pattri Pesalam, Neenga Nenaicha Saadikkalaam and Ungal Bhagyaraj in Kelvi Bhadhil (Five Parts).
He appeared in action thriller films which went on to become commercial hits with Kanithan (2016) and Thupparivaalan (2017).
In 2020, he later acted in the legal drama film Ponmagal Vandhal. Bhagyaraj plays as grandfather with Shanthanu in the adult comedy film Murungakkai Chips. Bhagyaraj starrer in Super Senior Heroes (2022) hints at redefining Superhero genre.
MGR Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (MGR Popular Progressive Federation) was a political party in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu launched by Bhagyaraj in February 1989. MGR MMK contested the 1991 Kerala assembly elections. It had one candidate, who got 87 votes. The MGR MMK party failed in its initial stages. Bhagyaraj later joined All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.
On April 5, 2006, Bhagyaraj joined the DMK in the presence of party president M Karunanidhi, and he criticised AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa. Later, he left DMK and remained as a spectator in politics.
While speaking to the media at a press event for the film Karuthukalai Pathivu Sei in 2019, Bhagyaraj remarked that women invite males to sexually assault them and provide them the room to do so. He went on to ask, why males are usually blamed for crimes while women encourage them, apparently in relation with the Pollachi rape case. His misogynistic remarks drew widespread condemnation and opposition from the public, and several women's organisations demanded that he be prosecuted for them. The Tamil Nadu Commission for Women has summoned him to appear before it.
|1977||16 Vayathinile||Tamil||Assistant director|
|1978||Kizhake Pogum Rail||Tamil||Ponnandi||Assistant director|
|Sigappu Rojakkal||Tamil||Waiter||Cameo appearance|
|1979||Puthiya Vaarpugal||Tamil||Shanmugakani||Debut film as hero|
|Suvarilladha Chiththirangal||Tamil||Debut film as director|
|Oru Kai Oosai||Tamil|
|Kumari Pennin Ullathile||Tamil|
|Indru Poi Naalai Vaa||Tamil|
|Vidiyum Varai Kaathiru||Tamil|
|Andha 7 Naatkal||Tamil|
|1982||Thooral Ninnu Pochu||Tamil|
|Darling, Darling, Darling||Tamil|
|1983||Mundhanai Mudichu||Tamil||Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil|
|Saattai Illatha Pambaram||Tamil|
|1985||Oru Kaidhiyin Diary||Tamil|
|Naan Sigappu Manithan||Tamil|
|1986||Aakhree Raasta||Hindi||Remake of Tamil film Oru Kaidhiyin Diary|
|Kanna Thorakkanum Saami||Tamil|
|1987||Enga Chinna Rasa||Tamil|
|Chinna Kuyil Paaduthu||Tamil|
|1988||Idhu Namma Aalu||Tamil||Also composer,|
also singer for song "Pachaimalai Saamy"
|1989||En Rathathin Rathame||Tamil|
|Aararo Aaariraro||Tamil||Also composer|
|Ponnu Pakka Poren||Tamil||Also composer|
|1990||Avasara Police 100||Tamil|
|1991||Pavunnu Pavunuthan||Tamil||Also composer|
|1995||Oru Oorla oru Rajakumari||Tamil|
|1996||Mr. Bechara||Hindi||Remake of Tamil film Veetla Visheshanga|
|Gnanapazham||Tamil||Also Music composer|
|1998||Vaettiya Madichu Kattu||Tamil|
|2000||Papa the Great||Hindi||Remake of Tamil film Vaettiya Madichu Kattu|
|2003||Chokka Thangam||Tamil||25th Film (Director)|
|2004||Mee Intikoste Em Istaaru Maa Intkoste Em Testaaru||Telugu|||
|Something Something Unakkum Enakkum||Tamil|
|Kasu Irukkanum||Tamil||G. R.|
|2010||Uthamaputhiran||Tamil||Raghuram (Washington Vetrivel)|
Tamil dubbed version of Telugu film Magadheera
|Vaagai Sooda Vaa||Tamil|
|2012||Mem Vayasuku Vacham||Telugu||Subramanyam|||
|2013||Oruvar Meethu Iruvar Sainthu||Tamil|
|2014||Ninaithathu Yaaro||Tamil||Himself||Cameo appearance|
|Moone Moonu Varthai||Tamil||Himself|
|Ayyanar Veethi||Tamil||Subramania Sastry|
|Ivan Yarendru Therikiratha||Tamil||Love Guru|
|2020||Ponmagal Vandhal||Tamil||'Petition' Pethuraj|
|2021||Murungakkai Chips||Tamil||Arjun's grandfather|
|2022||Super Senior Heroes||Tamil||Ganeshan (Aadhith's Grandfather)||Direct television release in Sun TV|
|1988||Idhu Namma Aalu||"Pachamala Saami"||K. Bhagyaraj|
|1989||Ponnu Paaka Poren||"Yerapooti"||K. Bhagyaraj|
|2020||Chithi 2||Himself||Sun TV||Tamil||Cameo Appearance|
|Raja Rani||Star Vijay|
|2022||Vidhya No.1||Judge Subramani Vathiyar||Zee Tamil|
|2014||Ninaithale Inikkum||Guest||Vendhar TV||Tamil|
|2015||Koffee With DD||Vijay TV||Along with Poornima and Pandiarajan|
|2016||Junior Super Star||Judge||Zee Tamil||Tamil|
|2017||Junior Super Star 2|
|2019||Comedy Stars Season 2||Guest||Asianet||Malayalam||Along with Poornima|
|2022||Super Queen||Guest||Zee Tamil|
- ^ Pillai, Sreedhar (15 February 1984). "K. Bhagyaraj; The reigning king in the world of Madras film Hollywood". India Today. Archived from the original on 28 August 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2020.
- ^ "Here's how Poornima and Bhagyaraj celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary". The Times of India. 8 February 2021. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
- ^ "Heroines who fell for their directors". The Times of India. Retrieved 5 August 2021.
- ^ "SIIMA Awards 2014 Tamil winners list - Times of India". The Times of India.
- ^ "K.Bhaagya Raj – Chitchat". Telugucinema.com. 12 June 2010. Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- ^ "Nayanthara to Khushbu Sundar: Top Kollywood heroines who fell in love with their directors". 13 May 2020.
- ^ "Parijatham review – A whiff of fresh air – scented Parijatham!!".
- ^ "Photographer". Sify. Archived from the original on 6 January 2022.
- ^ "Tamil director K Bhagyaraj, son Shantanu in rom-com".
- ^ "Stars : Star Interviews : K.Bhaagya Raj – Chitchat". Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- ^ "Exclusive biography of #Bhagyaraj and on his life".
- ^ "News Archives". The Hindu. 26 December 2010. Archived from the original on 24 June 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- ^ "Zee Tamil Junior Super Star 2016 Grand Finale Winner". 17 December 2016.
- ^ "Watch Junior Super Stars Season 2 Kids Show Online on ZEE5".
- ^ "Kids Stories | Panchatantra Stories for Kids | Podupu Kathalu - Eenadu".
- ^ Rangan, Baradwaj (27 February 2016). "Kanithan: For the most part, a punchy thriller". The Hindu.
- ^ Menon, Vishal (14 September 2017). "'Thupparivaalan' review: The adventure of an eccentric bachelor". The Hindu.
- ^ "'Ponmagal Vandhal' review: This courtroom drama about big issues has big issues".
- ^ "Murungakkai Chips review. Murungakkai Chips Tamil movie review, story, rating".
- ^ "Bhagyaraj-starrer 'Super Senior Heroes' hints at redefining Superhero genre". The Times of India.
- ^ "Theatrics to politics: Tamil Nadu's story of a few hits and many misses". The Hindu Businessline. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
- ^ "Actor-Director Bhagyaraj joins DMK". 5 April 2006.
- ^ "Bhagyaraj may return to AIADMK". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
- ^ Kan, Arsath (29 November 2020). "அதிமுகவில் மீண்டும் இணைகிறாரா பாக்யராஜ்... பிரச்சாரத்துக்காக படை திரட்டப்படும் நட்சத்திர பட்டாளம்.!". tamil.oneindia.com (in Tamil). Retrieved 20 April 2022.
- ^ "Panel summons K Bhagyaraj for misogynistic comment". Deccan Chronicle. 1 December 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
- ^ TK, Smitha (26 November 2019). "Women Let It (Rape) Happen, Don't Blame Only Men: Dir Bhagyaraj". TheQuint. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
- ^ Staff Reporter (30 November 2019). "TN State Commission for Women summons director Bhagyaraj over remarks on Pollachi rape case". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 20 April 2022.
- ^ Poornima (28 June 2003). "Bhagyaraj's Telugu debut". Rediff.com. Archived from the original on 30 September 2019. Retrieved 30 September 2019.
- ^ "Telugu cinema Review - Mee Intikoste Em Istaavu Maa Intkoste Em Testaavu - Aditya Om, Sangeeta".
- ^ "Review : Mem Vayasuku Vacham – Routine Love Story". 23 June 2012.
- Tamil film directors
- Tamil screenwriters
- 20th-century Indian male actors
- 1953 births
- Living people
- Filmfare Awards South winners
- Tamil Nadu State Film Awards winners
- 20th-century Indian film directors
- 21st-century Indian film directors
- People from Gobichettipalayam
- 21st-century Indian male actors
- Tamil male actors
- Screenwriters from Tamil Nadu
- People from Erode district
- South Indian International Movie Awards winners
- Tamil television writers