||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2015)|
|Leader of the Opposition in Tamil Nadu|
13 May 2011-Incumbent
|13th Member of the Legislative Assembly (India)|
8 May 2006 – 8 May 2011
25 August 1952
Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Political party||Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Residence||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Occupation||Actor, Producer, Director, Politician|
Vijayaraj better known by his stage name Vijayakanth, is an Indian politician and the current Leader of the Official Opposition of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly. Prior to becoming a politician, he was a leading film actor in Tamil cinema from 1979 to 2010. He is the founder of the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam and a Member of Legislative Assembly representing the constituency of Rishivandiyam. In films, he is credited with the title "Puratchi Kalaingar"(revolutionary artist) while also commonly referred to as "captain" following the success of his film Captain Prabhakaran (1991).
Vijayakanth is one of the very few Tamil actors to have acted only in Tamil movies throughout his career, though his movies have been dubbed into other languages like Telugu and Hindi. Many of his recent movies contains nationalist plots about a terrorist, corrupt Indian politician or mafia don troubling the Indian people and Vijayakanth getting back at the troublemakers single-handedly. He is also famous for acting village oriented movies, many of them had huge success across Tamil Nadu. He was considered as the third major star in Tamil films after Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth in the 80s and early 90s. His first film was Inikkum Ilamai. His subsequent films Dhooraththu Idi Muzhakkam, Neerottam, Saamanthippoo and Agal Vilakku were not commercially successful. He then had a success with Sattam Oru Iruttarai in 1981 , directed by S. A. Chandrasekhar, most of his movies are with him.  He is nicknamed Captain after the 1991 movie Captain Prabhakaran which was his 100th film, his 125th film Ulavuthurai and 150th film Arasangam.
Vijayakanth was booked in "Inikkum Ilamai" his first film, which was directed by M. A. Kaja acted in 1979. After three movie unsuccessful, he then had a success with Sattam Oru Iruttarai in 1981 directed by S. A. Chandrasekhar, and his career took off and was remade in Hindi, Telegu, Malayalam and Kannada. After this film, Vijayakanth became one of the leading actors of Tamil cinema. He acted in various hits such as like Vaidhegi Kaathirunthaal in 1984. Annai Bhoomi 3D, the first film 3D made in Tamil film industry in 1985, Manakanakku "the only film where Kamal Hassan and Vijayakanth worked together till date", and Naane Raja Naane Mandhiri, a romantic comedy movie. In 1986, Vijayakanth acted in Amman Kovil Kizhakale, which earned a Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Tamil. It was a commercial success, followed by drama movie Oomai Vizhigal which is a blockbuster. It was one of the trendsetters of the 1980's Tamil cinema portraying the role of a cop for a change an aged cop, though he had a small screen time in this multi-starrer he gave a powerful performance. In 1987, he co-starred with the Legend Tamil film actor Sivaji Ganesan in Veerapandiyan, this was followed by Cooliekkaran, Ninaive Oru Sangeetham who are successful movies. In 1988, he worked in the movies like Therkathi Kallan, Poonthotta Kaavalkaaran which earned won a Cinema Express Award for Best Actor – Tamil and Senthoora Poove who a a Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor and was declared a blockbuster. In 1989, he also starred was two of the super hits of year are Paattukku Oru Thalaivan and Ponmana Selvan followed by crime movie Rajanadai and devotional movie Meenakshi Thiruvilayadal at the end of the year.
Vijayakanth acted in a good number of blockbuster and super hit in the 1990s also. Some of them are Pulan Visaranai, this film loosely based on the life of the notorious serial killer Auto Shankar , had R. Sarathkumar portraying the antagonist. Directed by R. K. Selvamani , this film was considered to be one of the best crime thrillers of its time. At the end of the year, he acted in Sathriyan , he was produced by Mani Ratnam is about an honest cop and a corrupt politician. This can be easily termed as Vijaykanth's best attempt at the cop role amongst the innumerable times he donned the Khakhi. This is undoubtedly Vijaykanth's best film and also comes in the list of the good cop films made in Tamil cinema . The movie was a super hit. After the success of Pulan Visaranai , Rowther decided to make another project with Vijayakanth and director R. K. Selvamani titled "Captain Prabhakaran". It was Vijayakanth's 100th film, after which he earned the nickname "captain". He is the only actor from his period to have tasted a jubilee box-office hit on 100'th film. The film was a commercial success upon its release and became a blockbuster hit followed by Maanagara Kaaval and Moontrezhuthil En Moochirukkum. In 1992, Vijayanth worked in the movies like Chinna Gounder , this film was radically different from Vijaykanth's earlier portrayals as he was donning the role of a soft spoken village chieftain. The film is remembered for Vijaykanth's underplay. It was one of best movie of the year, followed by Bharathan (1992 film) , Thai Mozhi who Vijayakanth made a guest appearance who was successful movie. In 1993, he co-starred with the son of the director S. A. Chandrasekhar , Vijay in Sendhoorapandi for his second film. In 1994, he starred in Sethupathi IPS directed by P. Vasu, the movie was a blockbuster hit, followed by Honest Raj , Pathavi Pramanam , En Aasai Machan and Periya Marudhu . In 1995, he acted in Karuppu Nila , a super hit and Thirumoorthy and Gandhi Pirantha Mann are failed at the box office. In 1996, he acted in a action film, Thayagam who won a Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize . The movie was a blockbuster hit. In 1997, he starred in Dharma Chakkaram with the only movie with the director K. S. Ravikumar and was succesful. In 1998, he acted in 125th film in Ulavuthurai became a super hit. In 1999, he acted in Periyanna with the actor suriya and was last collaboration by S. A. Chandrasekhar and the end of the year, he starred with the movie Kannupada Poguthaiya who was a super hit a box office.
Vijayakanth had three releases in 2000 Vaanathai Pola who won a Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film of the year, Vallarasu and Simmasanam out of which former two films became hugely successful in box office. His portrayal of elder brother and his younger brother in "Vaanathaipola" received praise. In 2001, he had three films Vaanchinathan, Narasimma and Thavasi former two got flopped at box office, with Narasimma. In 2002, Vijayakanth gave a blockbuster Ramanaa, this film was Vijaykanth's last sensible film before he set on a rampage to deliver duds and bid adieu to films in order to join politics and who won Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film of the year and Raajjiyam, following year he also appeared in a guest role in Devan (film) for his friend Arun Pandiyan. Vijayakanth two releases in 2003 Chokka Thangam and Thennavan became average grossers at box office. In 2004 he had three releases Gajendra, Engal Anna, a comedy film and Neranja Manasu all the three received average reviews. He acted in 2006 three action movies, Perarasu, Sudesi, Dharmapuri was all successful at a the box office. In 2007, he starred in Sabari, the story of Doctor Sabarivasan who goes on a revenge spree against rowdy elements who are disturbing peace and tranquility in the city. In 2008, he make her 150th film in Arasangam, the film is about a police officer who discovers and unravels the mystery behind a terrorist gang plotting to steal information about the growth of the Indian economy, set in Chennai and Toronto. It was a average hit at the box office. He acted in Mariyadhai with the second film with the director Vikraman and followed by Engal Aasan became a colossal flop. In 2010, he acted in Virudhagiri, remake a of the English movie Taken. The movie was a positive reception by critics, but became a commercial Hit at the box office. After five years , he make a special appareance with her son Shanmugapandian movie in Sagaptham released in April 2015.
- Engal Anna
- Chokka Thangam
- Devan (film)
- Vaanathai Pola
- Kannupada Poguthaiya
- Dharma Chakkaram
- Karuppu Nila
- En Aasai Machan
- Honest Raj
- Sethupathi IPS
- Bharathan (1992 film)
- Chinna Gounder
- Captain Prabhakaran
- Pulan Visaranai
- Ponmana Selvan
- Paattukku Oru Thalaivan
- Senthoora Poove
- Poonthotta Kaavalkaaran
- Therkathi Kallan
- Uzhavan Magan
- Oomai Vizhigal
- Amman Kovil Kizhakale
- Naane Raja Naane Mandhiri
- Puthiya Theerppu
- Annai Bhoomi 3D
- Vaidehi Kathirunthal'
- Nooravathu Naal
- Sattam Oru Iruttarai
Awards and recognition
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- 1986 - Filmfare Best Actor Award for Amman Koyil Kizhakalae
- 1989 - Cinema Express Best Actor Award for Poonthotta Kavalkaran
- 2001 - Kalaimamani Award from the Government of Tamil Nadu
- 2001 - Cinema Express Best Actor Award for Vanathai Pole
- 2009 - Filmfare Top 10 Legends of Tamil Cinema Award
- 2001 - Government of Tamil Nadu presented the title and award of Kalaimamani
He formed the center-left party Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), a regional political party in Tamil Nadu. He formally announced the party's formation on 14 September 2005 in Madurai. His party contested in all seats in 2006 assembly elections and won one seat contested by him. The DMDK, led by Vijaykanth, proved to be an important player in the 2006 Tamil Nadu assembly election, garnering 10% of the voters and securing 10.1% in this Lok Sabha election. According to the study, it secured more votes than the winning margins of candidates in about 25 constituencies. In 2006, polling showed that DMDK was able to get more DMK votes than AIADMK votes, but in this election according to the table on the right, they were able to wrestle more Congress voters from 2004, than any another party. Contrary to the claim of many in the AIADMK camp blaming DMDK for the defeat, there is no evidence for this to be true. Vijaykanth has declared that he would not ask donations for his party, and most of the funding for the party comes from his own pocket. He has so far rejected alliances with other political parties. In a by-elections to Madurai Central assembly constituency DMDK has secured around 17000 votes which is just 2000 votes less than ADMK. DMDK was also able to secure significant no of seats in Local Body elections.
Leader of the Official Opposition, 2011
In the 2011 election held on 13 April 2011 he formed an alliance with All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and contested in 41 constituencies. His party saw phenomenal success by winning 29 of the 41 seats it had contested from. It is a significant day in the history of Tamil Nadu as DMDK has won more seats than the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and vijayakanth occupied the position of MLA for the second time. Vijayakanth emerged victorious from the Rishivandhiyam constituency in the 2011 state assembly elections. Cho Ramaswamy encouraged Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) to forge an alliance with AIADMK. DMDK launched a vigorous campaign to defeat DMK; It made a resolution to call all parties to come together to defeat the ruling DMK in a conference held in Salem on 8 January presided over by its leader Vijayakanth. S. Ramadoss, leader of Pattali Makkal Katchi expressed his dissatisfaction with people from film industry ruling Tamil Nadu since 1967. He also urged voters not to vote for Vijayakanth with long career as a Tamil actor.
Following the election, Jayalalitha and Vijayakanth fiery exchanges in the assembly that started the rift between the two parties. Due to this reason, Vijayakanth got separated from AIADMK. In the 2014 parliament elections, DMDK forged an alliance with BJP, a non-DMK and non-ADMK alliance of parties such as MDMK, PMK, IJK, and other small parties. Even though his party did not show well in the polls, his image in the national politics rose with PM Modi giving special reference to him in the NDA leaders meet and referring him as his friend.
The media has widely publicized an ongoing dispute between Vijayakanth and comedic actor Vadivelu, who was Vijayakanth's co-star in a number of notable films. On 21 September 2008, Vadivelu's residence, located in Saligramam in Chennai, was pelted with stones by a gang leaving several windows and furniture damaged. Vadivelu reported that he suspected that it was Vijayakanth's men who because of a court case which he had filed against Vijayakanth for assault, for which the final court hearing was to take place the following day. The attack may have been set up to prevent Vadivelu from attending the hearing. Filing another case for attempted murder against Vijayakanth, Vadivelu mentioned his interest in competing against him in the next assembly elections and "teaching him a lesson." In response, Vijayakanth told a press meet on that Vadivelu's allegations are based on hearsay. During the legislative assembly elections in Tamil Nadu in 2011, Vadivelu vehemently campaigned for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its alliance. During his public speeches, he predominantly condemned Vijayakanth, whose party, the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), allied with the opposition party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK). In a campaign speech in Tiruvarur, Vadivelu stated that "(his) only aim is to sweep out Vijayakanth’s whole team and to campaign vigorously for DMK’s victory". Vadivelu was criticized as being biased, only supporting a DMK-led victory for personal gains and not once mentioning the then-official opposition, the AIADMK, or its leader, J. Jayalalitha. In a turn of events, the election was eventually successful for the AIADMK alliance while Vijayakanth was victorious by a significant margin[quantify] in his own constituency and vadivelu admitted his defeat.
He founded Shri Andal Alagar College of Engineering in 2001. His wife is the chairman of this college. On October 1, 2001, Vijayakanth declared that October 1, which is actor Sivaji Ganesan's birthday, be observed as Actors' Day in Tamil Nadu. In 2001, he was the former president of South Indian Film Artistes' Association and under his presidency the debts of the association were cleared by organising celebrity shows overseas. Vijayakanth has launched a 24-hour television channel called Captain TV on April 14, 2010.
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