7 January 1953
|Height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
(m. 1981; died 1983)
|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 (1977–1979)
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). Kanni Paruvathile (1979), 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 Osai (1980), which, though not a huge success.
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 scripts and directs, 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.
From 1981 onwards, successful Tamil films written, directed by and starring him started being remade in Hindi, with the first being Mouna Geethangal, remade as Ek Hi Bhool and Andha 7 Naatkal remade as Woh Saat Din.
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. His next directorial venture Mayadari Mogudu in Telugu, which was a success.
His assistant directors for his directorial ventures Darling, Darling, Darling, Dhavani Kanavugal, Mundhanai Mudichu, Mayadari Mogudu was Pandiarajan, whereas Parthiban was his assistant director for Dhavani Kanavugal; later both Pandirajan and Parthiban went on to become director and actors.
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. 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 Latha and make the film Avasara Police 100 (1990), starring himself as well in the lead.
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. He directed his adult son Shanthanu Bhagyaraj in the romantic film Siddhu +2 in 2010.
Later Years (2011–present)
He wrote books such as Vaanga Cinemavai Pattri Pesalam, Neenga Nenaicha Saadikkalaam and Ungal Bhagyaraj in Kelvi Bhadhil (Five Parts).
|1||1977||16 Vayathinile||Tamil||Assistant director|
|2||1978||Kizhake Pogum Rail||Tamil||Ponnandi||Assistant director|
|3||Sigappu Rojakkal||Tamil||Waiter||Cameo appearance|
|4||1979||Puthiya Vaarpugal||Tamil||Shanmugakani||Debut film as hero|
|6||Suvarilladha Chiththirangal||Tamil||Debut film as director|
|8||Oru Kai Oosai||Tamil|
|9||Kumari Pennin Ullathile||Tamil|
|12||Indru Poi Naalai Vaa||Tamil|
|13||Vidiyum Varai Kaathiru||Tamil|
|14||Andha 7 Naatkal||Tamil|
|15||1982||Thooral Ninnu Pochu||Tamil|
|17||Darling, Darling, Darling||Tamil|
|18||1983||Mundhanai Mudichu||Tamil||Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil|
|19||Saattai Illatha Pambaram||Tamil|
|24||1985||Oru Kaidhiyin Diary||Tamil|
|25||Naan Sigappu Manithan||Tamil|
|27||1986||Aakhree Raasta||Hindi||Remake of Tamil film Oru Kaidhiyin Diary|
|28||Kanna Thorakkanum Saami||Tamil|
|29||1987||Enga Chinna Rasa||Tamil|
|30||Chinna Kuyil Paaduthu||Tamil|
|31||1988||Idhu Namma Aalu||Tamil||Also composer,|
also singer for song "Pachaimalai Saamy"
|32||1989||En Rathathin Rathame||Tamil|
|33||Aararo Aaariraro||Tamil||Also composer|
|34||Ponnu Pakka Poren||Tamil||Also composer|
|35||1990||Avasara Police 100||Tamil|
|36||1991||Pavunnu Pavunuthan||Tamil||Also composer|
|42||1995||Oru Oorla oru Rajakumari||Tamil|
|44||1996||Mr. Bechara||Hindi||Remake of Tamil film Veetla Visheshanga|
|45||Gnanapazham||Tamil||Also Music composer|
|46||1998||Vaettiya Madichu Kattu||Tamil|
|47||2000||Papa the Great||Hindi||Remake of Tamil film Vaettiya Madichu Kattu|
|49||2003||Chokka Thangam||Tamil||25th Film (Director)|
|50||2005||Radha Gopalam||Telugu||Lawyer||Cameo appearance|
|52||Something Something Unakkum Enakkum||Tamil|
|55||Kasu Irukkanum||Tamil||G. R.|
Tamil dubbed version of Telugu film Magadheera
|62||Vaagai Sooda Vaa||Tamil|
|64||2013||Oruvar Meethu Iruvar Sainthu||Tamil|
|65||2014||Ninaithathu Yaaro||Tamil||Himself||Cameo appearance|
|67||Moone Moonu Varthai||Tamil||Himself|
|71||Ayyanar Veethi||Tamil||Subramania Sastry|
|73||Ivan Yarendru Therikiratha||Tamil||Love Guru|
|80||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.
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- "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.
- "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.