Bhagyaraj in April 2014
7 January 1953
|Occupation||actor, director, screenwriter, producer, music director|
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|Spouse(s)||Praveena Bhagyaraj |
|Children||Saranya Bhagyaraj (b.1985) |
Shanthanu Bhagyaraj (b.1986)
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 Telugu and Hindi 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 and a son Shanthnu Bhagyaraj.
Early years (1977–79)
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 Pathinaru Vayathinile and later appeared similarly in Sigappu Rojakkal (1978). He was assistant director to Bharatiraja in two films – 16 Vayathnile and Kizhake 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 Suvarillatha Chiththirangal in 1979 and also his début as the leading man in Puthiya Vaarpugal in 1979, directed by Bharatiraja. He received the Best Dialogues Award for Puthiya Vaarpugal (1979). Kanni Paruvathile, a film for which he wrote dialogues and screenplay and acted in a negative role, was a huge success. Though he had not achieved success as a director till 1979, he was motivated with success as the hero with Puthiya Vaarpugal, a negative role, and as a writer of story and dialogues for Kanni Paruvathile and decided to write, direct and act for Oru Kai Oosai, which, though not a huge success, gave him his first Best Actor Award.
Rise to stardom (1980–99)
Stardom at 80's
He quickly established his own concern by 1980 and started producing and directing a string of distinctive films made mainly in the Tamil language. His first commercially successful main lead hero film was Bhama Rukmini in 1980. This film was neither directed, produced nor written by him. His voice was dubbed by someone else in all the films he did till 1980, including Bhama Rukmini. Beginning with films such as Mouna Geetangal, he started to dub his own lines in his films. He often stars in lead roles of the films he scripts and directs, effectively carving out a niche for himself in the actor-auteur vein. His style of film-making 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. The success of Bhama Rukmini was followed by 12 films directed by him – starring him as the main lead, which were box office hits – Vidiyum Vari Kaathiru, Mouna Geethanagal, Indru Poyi Naalai Vaa, Antha Ezhu Natkal, Thooral Ninnu Pochhu, Poyi Satchi, Darling Darling Darling, Dhavani Kannavukal, Munthanai Mudichu, Chinna Veedu, Enga Chinna Rasa and Idhu Namma Aalu. From 1981 onwards, successful Tamil films written, directed by and starring him started being remade in Hindi, with the first being Mouna Geetangal, remade as Ek Hi Bhool and Anztha Ezhu Natkal remade as Woh Saat Din. In the period 1980–1990, he rarely acted in films not directed or written by him, with exceptions being Naan Sigappu Manithan, Anbulla Rajinikanth and En Rathathin Rathame. His next directorial venture Chithirame Chithirame was box office flop, and then he directed Mayadari Mogudu in Telugu, which was a success. He introduced actress Urvashi in the Tamil film Mundhanai Mudichu and actress Kalpana (sister of Urvashi) made her début with the 1985 film Chinna Veedu, directed by Bhagyraj, a commercially successful film. He received the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor for his performance 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 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. 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 1989, K. Balaji produced a Tamil remake of Mr. India as En Rathathin Rathame and the film was successful. In 1989, he wrote the script for Idhu Namma Allu 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. After the death of MGR in 1987, during a meeting with director C V Sridhar and producer Duraiswamay, an idea came across to Bhagyaraj to make use of the unfinished 1977 film Anna Nee En Deivam, starring MGR and Lata and make the film Avasara Police 100, starring himself as well in the lead. This 1990 film was widely promoted as a film with MGR and Bhagyaraj in lead roles and the film was a superhit.During 80's his market level is equal to Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan.
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 (1996) and Suyamvaram (1999) 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, Veetla Visheshanga, Oru Oorla oru Rajakumari and Vaettiya Madichu Kattu. Failure of his Hindi directorial Mr. Bechara made Bhagyaraj decide that he should only write scripts for Hindi films and that he would not direct himself. He decided to remake Veetla Visheshanga as Mr Bechara in Hindi, but again his directorial venture in Hindi was not successful. 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. 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 Avasara Police 100 remade into Gopi Kishen, Sundara Kandam remade as Andaz (1994), Raasukutti remade as Raja Babu, 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 (1998).
His assistant directors for his directorial ventures Darling Darling Darling, Dhavani Kannavukal, Munthanai Mudichu and Mayadari Mogudu was Pandiarajan, whereas Parthiban was his assistant director for Dhavani Kannavukal; later both Pandirajan and Parthiban went on to become director and actors.
Later years (2000–present)
He took a break from acting as the lead hero in Tamil films after the release of Vaettiya Madichu Kattu (1998) and Suyamvaram (1999) as he was not happy with new scripts from other banners offered to him in 2000, and so from 2000 to 2006 he did not accept any films as the lead hero. 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 average 2003 film Chokka Thangam, an action film starring Vijayakanth. He launched his daughter Saranya Bhagyaraj with Parijatham, which he wrote and directed in 2006 and was a huge flop. 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. From 2007 to present he has been seen in more films as an actor in supporting roles. He directed his adult son Shanthanu Bhagyaraj in the romantic film Siddhu +2 in 2010. He ventured into Malayalam films as supporting actor with Mr Marumakan.
He wrote books such as Vaanga Cinemavai Pattri Pesalam, Neenga Nenaicha Saadikkalaam, Ungal Bhagyaraj in Kelvi Bhadhil (Five Parts) and has written seven novels. And now he is the leading judge for the show junior super star 3.O in ZEE TAMIZH
|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|
|Antha Ezhu Naatkal||Tamil|
|1982||Thooral Ninnu Pochu||Tamil|
|Darling, Darling, Darling||Tamil|
|1983||Mundhanai Mudichu||Tamil||Won Filmfare Best Actor Award,|
|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|
|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|
|1992||Sundara Kandam||Tamil||25th Film|
|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)|
|2005||Radha Gopalam||Telugu||Lawyer||Cameo appearance|
|Something Something Unakkum Enakkum||Tamil|
|Kasu Irukkanum||Tamil||G. R.|
Tamil dubbed version of Telugu film Magadheera
|Vaagai Sooda Vaa||Tamil|
|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|
- As judge
- As actor
|2020||Chithi 2||Himself||Sun TV||Cameo Appearance|
|2020||Kodeeswari||Participant||Colors Tamil||Along with Poornima Bhagyaraj|
|2020||Raja Rani Season 2||Himself||Star Vijay||Cameo Appearance|
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.
- 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.
- "K.Bhaagya Raj – Chitchat". Telugucinema.com. 12 June 2010. Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- "Stars : Star Interviews : K.Bhaagya Raj – Chitchat". Archived from the original on 30 December 2010. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- Social Post. "Bhagyaraj – Movies, Photos, Filmography, biography, Wallpapers, Videos, Fan Club". entertainment.oneindia.in. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
- "News Archives: The Hindu". hindu.com. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
- Parijatham#cite ref-1
- "Theatrics to politics: Tamil Nadu's story of a few hits and many misses". The Hindu Businessline. Retrieved 9 January 2019.