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Thiagarajan Sivanandam

(1946-06-21) 21 June 1946 (age 76)[1]
Vilathur, Tamil Nadu, India
Years active1980 – 1999
2003 – present
(m. 1972)
ChildrenPrashanth, Preethi

Thiagarajan Sivanandam (born 21 June 1946) is an Indian actor, director and producer in Tamil cinema. Beside Tamil, he has also acted in several Malayalam and Kannada films and a few Telugu films. He is the father of Tamil actor Prashanth and the maternal uncle of Tamil actor Vikram.[2][3]


Basically a businessman, Thiagarajan made his acting debut with Alaigal Oivathillai, appearing as the elder brother of the film's lead actress Radha.[4] The film became successful and offers poured in for him.[5] His portrayal of a jungle bandit in Malaiyoor Mambattiyan provided him a major breakthrough in his career. He was part of such successful films as Neengal Kettavai and Paayum Puli.

He acted in the Malayalam film New Delhi, which became successful and his portrayal of a goon received acclaim. The success of the film prompted Thiagarajan to make his directorial debut titled Salem Vishnu, based on the character which he had played in that film. He then directed Aanazhagan, with his son Prashanth in the leading role. Prashanth appeared in a drag role and revealed that the most daunting aspects of the role were the "waxing, the threading, the works" as well as "wearing a sari in summer, doing a bharatanatya sequence in a woman's costume, and getting the nuances and variations right were the other challenges", revealing that his mum had assisted him.[6]

According to Prashanth, the film was an average grosser.[7] Thiagarajan then stayed away from the limelight, paving the way for his son. He later returned to acting, appearing in a small role as a father to his son in Jai.[8]

Thiagarajan then directed Shock, remake of the Hindi film Bhoot in 2004. Apart from directing and producing the film, Thiagarajan handled the art and costumes department and also appeared in the film as police inspector. The film's shoot was completed in twenty-six days, with meticulous pre-planning arranged by Thiagarajan.[9] The film received positive reviews citing that the makers "deserve an appreciation for his honest and sincere attempt on the screen".[10]

In September 2004, Thiagarajan launched Police, a remake of the Hindi film Khakee and the film received coverage from the media after producers had approached Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai for key roles. In interviews during the period, Thiagarajan mentioned the grand scale of the project, citing that schedules would also be shot abroad; however the film failed to progress.[11] He then returned to acting with the films Bodyguard, Drohi and Vaaimai.[12]

In early 2007, Thiagarajan approached M. Karunanidhi with the intention of making a film on his adaptation of the Ponnar Shankar epic that he had written in the late 1970s. The latter accepted Thiagarajan's offer and approved of his decision to cast his son Prashanth, in the dual lead role.[13]

The film was released in 2011 to mixed reviews and did average business.[14] The next year, he directed Mambattiyan, a remake of his successful 1983 film in which he had acted. His son played the titular role. The film received mixed reviews by critics, it took a good opening at the box office, but petered out to do average business commercially and due to its big budget, it failed to recover costs.[15]

In 2014, he revealed that he would direct the remakes of Hindi films Special 26 and Queen in four south Indian languages.[16]


As actor[edit]

Year Movie Role Language
1981 Alaigal Oivathillai David Tamil
Andhi Mayakkam Tamil
Rama Dhandu Telugu
Tik Tik Tik Victor Tamil
1982 Deviyin Thiruvilaiyadal Tamil
Kalyana Kalam Tamil
Avanukku Nigar Avane Tamil
Billa Ranga Hindi
Ekalavya Telugu
Garuda Saukiyama Deenadayalu Tamil
Mullillatha Roja Tamil
Nadodi Raja Tamil
Nenjangal Tamil
Nenjil Oru Ragam Tamil
Neram Vandhachu Tamil
1983 Malaiyoor Mambattiyan Mambattiyaan Tamil
Bhagavathipuram Railway Gate Boodalingam Tamil
Ethanai Konam Ethanai Parvai Tamil
Ennai Paar En Azhagai Paar Tamil
Paayum Puli Thiyagu Tamil
1984 John Jani Janardhan Gopaldas Hindi
Nalla Naal Kaali Tamil
Neengal Kettavai Arun Tamil
Neruppukkul Eeram Tamil
Komberi Mookan Komberi Mookan Tamil
Sankari Tamil
1985 Erimalai Shankar Dada Tamil
Kaaval Tamil
Karuppu Chattaikaran Tamil
Raja Yuvaraja Tamil
Chillu Malayalam
1986 Machakaran Tamil
Murattuk Karangal Veeran Tamil
1987 New Delhi Nataraj Vishnu a.k.a. Salem Vishnu Malayalam
1988 Adholokam Nandakumar Malayalam
Manu Uncle Gomas Malayalam
Oohakachavadom Malayalam
Oru Muthassi Katha Chemparundu Machan Malayalam
Oomai Dhurai Tamil
Poovukkul Boogambam Tamil
Abkari Chidambaram Malayalam
Anthima Theerpu Nataraj Vishnu a.k.a. Salem Vishnu Telugu
New Delhi Nataraj Vishnu a.k.a. Salem Vishnu Hindi
New Delhi Nataraj Vishnu a.k.a. Salem Vishnu Kannada
Arjun Dennis Malayalam
1989 State Rowdy Telugu
Miss Pameela Victor Malayalam
Jeevitham Oru Raagam Raghavan Malayalam
1990 No.20 Madras Mail Cameo Appearance Malayalam
Salem Vishnu Vishnu Tamil
Magadu Telugu
1991 Theechatti Govindhan Theechatti Govindan Tamil
CBI Siva Kannada
1992 Marana Mrudanga Thyagaraj Kannada
Police Lockup Kannada
1993 Sangharsha Kannada
1997 Police Bete Kannada
1999 Ravimama Kannada
Vishwa Kannada
2003 Thilakkam Maheswaran Thampi Malayalam
2004 Jai Veerapandi Tamil
Shock Police Inspector Tamil
2006 Adaikalam Sathyamurthy Tamil
2010 Bodyguard Ashokan Malayalam
Drohi Narayanan Tamil
2016 Vaaimai Dheenadayalan Tamil
Pachakkallam Malayalam
2017 Yaman Karunakaran Tamil
2018 Chekka Chivantha Vaanam Chinnappadasan Tamil
2020 Ponmagal Vandhal Varadharajan Tamil
2022 Captain Tamil

As director, producer, writer and art director[edit]

Year Film Credited as Language cast Notes
Director Producer Writer art director
1988 Poovukkul Boogambam Yes Yes Yes No Tamil Thiagarajan, Parvathy
1990 Salem Vishnu Yes Yes Yes No Tamil Thiagarajan, Rupini
1995 Aanazhagan Yes No Yes No Tamil Prashanth, Suneha
1997 Mannava No No No Yes Tamil Prashanth, Sanghavi, Urvashi, Goundamani
2004 Shock Yes Yes Yes Yes Tamil Prashanth, Meena
2004 Jai No Yes No No Tamil Prashanth, Anshu Ambani, Rajkiran
2011 Ponnar Shankar Yes Yes No No Tamil Prashanth, Pooja Chopra, Divya Parameshwaran, Rajkiran
2011 Mambattiyan Yes Yes Yes Yes Tamil Prashanth, Meera Jasmine, Prakash Raj, Mumaith Khan, Vadivelu
2016 Saagasam No Yes
Yes No Tamil Prashanth, Amanda Rosario
2018 Johnny No Yes
Yes No Tamil Prashanth, Prabhu, Sanchita Shetty
TBA Andhagan[17] Yes Yes Yes TBA Tamil Prashanth, Priya Anand


  1. ^ "POI". 23 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Director Thiagarajan on his latest film". The Times of India. 31 March 2011. Archived from the original on 17 September 2011. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Vikram and Prashanth are cousins". The Times of India. 5 August 2014. Retrieved 16 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Its all about choices". The Hindu. 9 October 2002. Archived from the original on 12 March 2003.
  5. ^ Shiva Kumar, S (20 December 1981). "In fool's paradise". Mid-Day. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  6. ^ "How to train your drag". 22 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Young and mature at once". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 25 March 2002. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Reel Talk for 4th October 2002". 4 October 2002. Retrieved 25 February 2003.
  9. ^ "Prashanth in 'Shock'". The Hindu. 21 June 2004. Archived from the original on 3 November 2014. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  10. ^ "Shock review. Shock Tamil movie review, story, rating". Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Will Amitabh star in Prashanth's film?". 24 October 2005. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Thyagarajan plays Nayanthara's dad!". Archived from the original on 26 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Prashanth, on 'Ponnar-Shankar'".
  14. ^ "Ponnar Shankar Movie Review, Trailer, & Show timings at Times of India". The Times of India.
  15. ^ Rangarajan, Malathi (17 December 2011). "Return of Robin Hood". The Hindu – via
  16. ^ "Thiagarajan to direct four remakes of 'Special 26'". Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 28 January 2018.
  17. ^ Lakshmi, V (18 March 2021). "Priya Anand on Andhagan: The character will have my own interpretation". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 23 March 2021. Retrieved 23 March 2021.

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