Greatest Indian Actors with Unique Style (Never before Never after)
Raaj Kumar was noticed in his earlier films like Rangeeli, Aabshar, Ghamand, and Lakhon Mein Ek, but it was as Prince Naushazad in Sohrab Modi’s Naushervan-e-Adil that he became famous. In his brief role as the husband of Nargis in Mother India, he achieved prominence. He followed this with the unglamorous role of a mill worker in Paigham. He was cast with Sunil Dutt, Shashi Kapoor and Balraj Sahni in B.R. Chopra’s Waqt. In Sridhar’s Dil Ek Mandir, Raaj Kumar essayed the role of a cancer patient.
He also won the Filmfare Award in Best supporting actor category for movies Dil Ek Mandir and Waqt.
From his screen debut in Rangeeli to God & Gun, his was a fruitful journey of memorable characters in 60-odd films ” - scribblersid
Reverently called Dadamoni (affectionate term for elder brother), he was born in Bhagalpur and educated at Presidency College of the University of Calcutta, Kolkata). He started his career in Bombay (Mumbai), albeit accidentally, with the Bombay Talkies production Jeevan Naiya in 1936. The male lead, Najam-ul-Hussain, went absconding with the heroine Devika Rani, the director's wife who returned later on. The director and studio head, Himanshu Rai, in retaliation dismissed the hero and called upon his laboratory assistant Ashok Kumar to take the part and thus began a six-decade-long acting career. However, it was his subsequent venture with Devika Rani in Achhut Kanya in the same year that set him up for the big league. The movie itself stands out as one of the heralding social dramas of pre-independence Indian film. It was the story of a Brahmin boy falling in love with a girl from the so-called untouchables in Indian society. It was a big hit and started the trend of socially committed films. ” - scribblersid
Radha came out of his house at very earlier age due to his a fight with his mother as she refused to give him extra piece of fish to eat.Radha was a popular theatre artist who made more than 5000 stage shows. Starting at the age of 10, where he appeared in small roles, grew to a level that stories for dramas were custom made for him. Radha gained popularity with the success of his stage play Ratha Kanneer. When he acted in the film version of the play, he quickly gained star status. Ratha Kanneer gave Radha international recognition and an award. Recently, Ratha Kanneer has been remade by Upendra from Karnataka. Ratha Kaneer is his most famous work, and receieved acclaim by veteran actors Dev Anand, Amitabh Bachan and others, saying" that it was one of the most brilliant performances in Indian film history, and that no other actor could ever duplicate that role.
With his versatile acting, Radha played roles of both villains and comics. After the 1950s, film-makers created roles especially for him, and he often stole the limelight from other actors. He was an active member of the Dravidian movement, and was known for his atheistic views. Towards the end of his career, however, he started acting in Hindu devotional movies like Velum Mayilum Thunai. He often used to ridicule atheism in these movies. ” - scribblersid
Nagesh was born in a Kannada family from Dharapuram, Erode. He was educated in Madras and worked as a clerk in the Indian Railways before entering Tamil film industry. He acted in over 1,000 Indian films from 1958 to 2008, performing in variety of roles as comedian, lead roles, supporting actor and antagonist. He died on 31 January 2009.
In a stark contrast to the comic roles he performed, Nagesh's personal life was wrought with suffering. After losing his father at an early age, Nagesh had to endure a weak financial situation and family ostracism which plagued him throughout his life. The film Server Sundaram, a rags to riches story in which Nagesh plays the lead role, is believed to be roughly based on the real life story of the actor.
Despite being primarily a comedian, Nagesh was rated highly as a character actor by his peers. Nagesh's style of comedy was largely inspired by Hollywood actor Jerry Lewis. Similarities between Nagesh and Lewis earned Nagesh the sobriquet "Jerry Lewis of India".
Rise to stardom
Server Sundaram marked Nagesh's rise to prominence. The film was about a restaurant waiter "server" Sundaram who struggles to make his ends meet. He is in love with Radha (K. R. Vijaya), the daughter of the owner of the hotel in which he is working. The film is about how with the aid of his rich friend Raghavan (R. Muthuraman), "server" Sundaram gets a chance to act in movies and eventually, emerges as a rich and prominent actor. However, he is heartbroken when he learns that Radha is actually in love with Raghavan. While Nagesh drives viewers into laughter with his comical antics in the early scenes, his sensitive portrayal of a failed lover in the second half of the movie too earned widespread appreciation. The rags-to-riches story in the movie was actually based on Nagesh's own life. With Server Sundaram, Nagesh earned critical acclaim for versatility.
The success of Server Sundaram ensured that Nagesh was one of the most sought-after actors in the 1960s. At the height of his career, he acted in as much as 35 movies in a single calendar year, at one time, shooting for six movies simultaneously. He appeared in a cameo in the 1965 mythological Thiruvilayadal in which he portrayed the poor, simpleton temple priest Dharumi. The soliloquy which Dharmi indulges in, within the temple precincts, is regarded as one of the unforgettable scenes of Tamil cinema. He followed the success with supporting roles in films as Kaadhalikka Neramillai where he wants to direct a film under his own production house named OHO PRODUCTIONS(but till climax he didn't make film), Anbe Vaa, Shanthi Nilayam, Pattanathil Bhootham and Vietnam Veedu. He played the role of Mohan in Major Chandrakant which was a popular hit and won for its lead actor Sundararajan, the nickname "Major" Sundararajan. His portrayal of the detestable pimp Vaidhy in Thillana Mohanambal was noted for the way in which Nagesh blended humour with villany. In most of his films as comedian, Nagesh paired with the actress Manorama. In 1967, Nagesh acted in his first Hindi movie Farz
And Apart from performing in supporting roles, Nagesh also acted as the main protagonist in a number of movies. Server Sundaram is one of them. Another performance which is well-remembered is his role as the poor struggling orphan Maadhu in Ethir Neechal. His sensitive and sympathetic portrayal of Maadhu evoked comparisons with top character actors of the day. Jayakanthan chose Nagesh to play the lead in the 1966 film Yaarukkaha Azhudhan overlooking Sivaji Ganesan. ” - scribblersid
Though he started as a hero but started donning the role of a villain - so much so that today his name is almost eponymous with the Kollywood villain. Nambiar has worked with seven generations of actors from Balaiyah to Manoj (Bharathiraaja's son).
His first pay was Rs.3 in the "Boys Company." He would retain Re 1 and send Rs.2 to his mother. A man of very limited needs, he has not eaten outside of his house. He is extremely health conscious.
He made quite a statement in the early 50s with his portrayal of 11 roles in ‘Digambara Samiyar.’ His arresting performance in films such as ‘Manthiri Kumari,’ ‘Velaikkari,’ ‘Ayirathil Oruvan,’ ‘Thillana Mohanambal,’ ‘Missiamma’ and ‘Nenjam Marappadillai’ paved way for a very successful career that spanned over five decades.
A majority of the more than 1000 films that he has done is in Tamil, though he has acted in Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi, besides an English film `Jungle' (with Rod Cameron, the film's hero, directed by William Burke) in which he appears in a few brief scenes. The film was released in 1952. The Hindi film he acted in was a remake of the Tamil `Kanavane Kankanda Deivam.'
After becoming popular in Tamil films he started his own drama troupe called Nambiar Nataka Mandram. They staged two plays — `Kaviyin Kanavu' and a comedy play `Kalyana Supermarket.'
M.N. Nambiar was a rare personality who was a cruel ruthless fellow in the screen and a very pious man in the real life. He was pure vegetarian and a teetotaler. He was also an ardent devotee of Sabarimala Sri Ayyappan. He has had a long association with the temple, and visited the shrine more than 65 years over the last half a century; this has led to him being called Maha Guruswamy. His colleagues noted that he died during the famous Sabarimala season and it may be due to the blessing of his Lord.
His favourite films remain `Aayirathil Oruvan' with MGR, `Ambikapathi' with Sivaji Ganesan, `Missiyamma' with Gemini Ganesan, `Nenjam Marappathillai' directed by Sridhar and `Thooral Ninu Pochu' with Bhagyaraj. This was the film that made him do character roles, something that he continued to do till his death. He also acted as hero in two films `Kalyani' and `Kavitha' produced by Modern Theatres.
He has done stage, films and also serials such as `Velan.' When it comes to acting, he supposedly likes all the actors; but of special mention are M. R. Radha and Savitri. Both, in his opinion, were brilliant in their own way. ” - scribblersid
Ajit, who ran away from home to Mumbai after selling his college books, started his career in films in the 1940s. Luck did not favour him in the initial stages. He began with the 1946 movie Shahe Misra, acting opposite Geeta Bose, and also did films such as Sikander (van mala), Hatimtai (1947), Aap Beeti (Khursheed), Sone Ki Chidiya (Leela Kumari), Dholak (Meena Shori) and Chanda Ki Chandni (Monica Desai) as leading hero, but flopped. He did most of films (15) with Nalini Jaywant. Ajit switched over to play the villain. His first movie as a villan was Suraj and with films such as Zanjeer and Yaadon Ki Baraat, there was no looking back for him.
In the mid-seventies he had acted in over 57 films, mostly as a villain. His dialogue delivery remains popular even to this date. His colleagues in the film industry —l eading personalities who have acted with him, grown seeing him in Mumbai — have expressed deep sorrow over the death of the legendary actor.
Writer Javed Akhtar, who scripted Zanjeer, said: "Like Bachchan, Ajit found a new image as villain after Zanjeer. He started a new innings in his career though he was an established hero in the fifties. His villainy started a new trend. Here was a new villain who was soft-spoken yet forceful. We wanted to give a different image to villainy which matched the hero." ” - scribblersid
His debut was in a big budget film called Fashionable India. He became notable though for his roles in Romantic India in 1935, Afasana in 1946 and Station Master in 1942. Jeevan appeared in several Dev Anand film from 1946–1978 and in Manmohan Desai movies like Amar Akbar Anthony and Naseeb. He also starred in the Punjabi film Teri Meri Ek Jindri. He died in 1987 at the age of 72 ” - scribblersid
He received National Film Award for Best Actor in 1970 and three Filmfare Best Comedian Awards. In 1990, the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance and Theatre, awarded him its highest award the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship for lifetime contribution to theatre. ” - scribblersid
In 1975 he was offered the role of dacoit Gabbar Singh for the film Sholay (literally meaning flames) by Salim who was one of its writers. For preparation for the role, Amjad read Abhishapth Chambal, a book on Chambal dacoits written by Taroon Kumar Bhaduri (actress Jaya Bhaduri's father). Amjad shot to stardom with the movie. His portrayal of Gabbar Singh is considered by many to be the first depiction of pure evil on the screen in Indian Cinema: a totally evil character who doesn't make excuses for his evil. His mannerisms and dialogues have become an integral part of Bollywood lexicon and spawned numerous parodies and spoofs. Sholay went on to become a blockbuster. Although it boasted an ensemble cast of superstars including Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan and Sanjeev Kumar, he stole the thunder with his unorthodox and eerie dialogue delivery that was perfectly apposite to the total lack of empathy his character was supposed to convey. Even today people fondly remember his dialogues and mannerisms. He later appeared in advertisements as Gabbar Singh endorsing Britannia Glucose Biscuits (popularly known as "Gabbar Ki Asli Pasand"), and it was the first incidence of a villain being used to sell a popular product.
After the success of Sholay, Khan continued to play villain roles in many subsequent Hindi films in the 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s — superseding, in terms of popularity and demand, the earlier Indian actor, Ajit — portraying more sophisticated and urbane criminal bosses, mastermind of bank robberies, murders and conspiracies to seize power. He often acted as villain opposite Amitabh Bachchan as the hero.
Khan was also acclaimed for playing many unconventional roles. In the critically acclaimed film Shatranj Ke Khiladi (1977) (based on the novel of the same title) by Munshi Premchand and directed by Satyajit Ray, Khan played the helpless and deluded monarch Wajid Ali Shah, whose kingdom, Avadh, is being targeted by British colonialists from the British East India Company. It is the only movie in which he dubbed a song. He played many positive roles in films such as Yaarana (1981) and Laawaris (1981) as Amitabh's friend and father respectively. In the art film Utsav (1984), he portrayed Vatsayana, the author of the Kama Sutra. In 1988 he appeared in the Merchant-Ivory English film The Perfect Murder as an underworld don. He excelled at playing comical characters in films such as Qurbani (1980), Love Story, and Chameli Ki Shaadi (1986). In 1991, he reprised his role as Gabbar Singh in Ramgarh Ke Sholay, a parody of the legendary film which included look-alikes of Dev Anand and Amitabh Bachchan.
He ventured into directing for a brief period in the 1980s directing and starring in Chor Police (1983), which was a success, and Ameer Aadmi Gareeb Aadmi (1985) which failed to do well at the box office.
Amjad was the president of the Actors Guild association. He was respected in the film industry. He would intervene and negotiate disputes between actors and directors/producers. One such dispute occurred when Dimple Kapadia agreed to play a mother role and later backed down. The entire film producer community tried to boycott her. Amjad intervened on behalf of the Actors Guild. ” - scribblersid
He played the protagonist of a Tamil soap opera, Oru Manidhanin Kadhai, about a well-to-do man who becomes an alcoholic. He received critical acclaim for his role as Father Alphonso in the Malayalam movie Daivathinte Vikruthikal, directed by Lenin Rajendran and based on M. Mukundan's novel of the same name.
Following his beginnings on the stage, Raghuvaran turned to film with 1982's Tamil film Elavathu Manithan (Seventh Man). He received several state and Filmfare Awards for his performances in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films. He began his career as a supporting actor in a number of films in Tamil including Mani Rathnam's Anjali as the father of an autistic child. He later played villains in Baasha as Mark Anthony, Mudhalvan as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shiva and Muthu as Ilaimaran. He later returned to supporting roles - sometimes as a father or as a mentor in films such as Alai, Yaaradi Nee Mohini, Tirumalai and Bala.
He has also acted in a number of Hindi movies, such as Izzatdaar, Shiva, Lal Baadshah, Rakshak and Hitler. ” - scribblersid
Goundamani was initially a solo actor and then paired up with Senthil to form a comedy duo. Widely considered[who?] as Kollywood's Laurel and Hardy, Senthil and Goundamani have now performed slapstick humour and acted more than 450 films.
His most famous piece of comedy is the "Vazhaipazham" (Banana) scene with Senthil in the film Karagattakaran. His famous dialogue Arasiyalla ithellam saatharanampa (meaning all these are usual in politics), from the movie Suriyan, later became one of his trademarks. He has also played the protagonist in 10 films including Raja Enga Raja and Piranthaen Valarnthaen.
Some of his memorable movies are with leading actors such as Prabhu, Sathyaraj, Karthik, Vijayakanth, Rajinikanth, Arjun, Parthiban, Jayaram, Kamal Hassan, Ajith Kumar, Sarath Kumar and Vijay. In several Tamil films, he has even accompanied the lead actor in almost all of the scenes and in a few songs.
Early days in his career he had a memorable role in 16 Vayathinile as a sidekick to Rajinikanth's "Parattai" and famous for his dialogue "pattha vechutiye paratai". Later in early 80's he had a string of hits like Unnai Nan Santhithen, and Vaidhegi Kathirundal, after which his career slumped. His career revival in Karagattakaran is attributed to comedians like Janakaraj.
His career peaked in the 1990s and producers often required his services. He also has acted in several films with double-hero subjects such as Ullathai Allitha along with Karthik and Unakkaga Ellam Unakkaga. During those years, movies had plot such that Goundamani might be either a friend of the hero or a close relative and would be seen in the whole movie along with the hero (E.g.: Magudam, Maaman Magal, Pangaali, Gentleman). If this is not the case, he might have a separate track, which will be given equal importance in the movie sequence (E.g.: Chinna Gounder, Cheran Pandiyan, Sethupathi IPS). His pairing with Sathyaraj was a mega success combination and they acted together in a number of movies. Comedy track writer A. Veerappan used to write comedy tracks for Goundamani and they both became fantastic duo. A. Veerappan stayed out of field due to his ageing (This veteran used to write comedy dialogues for Actor Nagesh) since 1998 and expired in 2005. Since then, the world has not seen such a writer who would bring out Goundamani's usual excellence in dialogues and Goundamani is also largely staying out of acting. ” - scribblersid
S.V.R. got an invitation from one of his relatives, B.V. Ramanandam, to play the hero in his film "Varoodhini". He immediately abandoned the job, and left for Salem to join the celluloid world. In fact, it’s a great beginning for the young man. The film "Varoodhini" was released, and in a few days people began to forget that they had ever seen such a movie. No producer dared to offer a role to him.
Soon, S.V.R. was disillusioned with the filmdom and left the Madras presidency and reached Jamshedpur, where he took up the job as a budget assistant with the Tata Company. However, his love for dramas began to bloom multifold. At this juncture, he was married to Leelavathi Badeti on 27 December 1947. In the days that followed, S.V.R. was given an opportunity to play the villain in the film, "Palletoori Pilla", produced by B. A. Subba Rao. Unfortunately, when S.V.R. was about to take a train to Chennai, his father expired. After performing the final rites, S.V.R. reached Chennai, but somebody had knocked away the villain role.
Opportunity tapped at S.V.R.'s door through Vijaya Pictures, which offered him the most memorable "Nepala Mantrikudu" role in "Pathala Bhairavi." Immediately, he came into the limelight, followed by "Pelli Chesi Choodu" (1952). Its Tamil version was also played by him.
Maya Bazaar and Nartanasala are among his movies. SVR was the second Indian actor to get an international award in Jakarta International Film Festival for his role of Keechaka in Nartanasala.
His compatriot Gummadi Venkateswara Rao once exclaimed "Fortunate are we, to have SVR born in India but SVR is unfortunate to have been born here... If he had the fortune of being born in the West he might have been one of the top actors of all time in the world".
He had a coronary failure at Hyderabad in February 1974. He was admitted to Osmania General Hospital, where he recovered with an advise to rest. Another attack on July 18, 1974 at Chennai proved fatal and the actor was dead before any medical treatment could be instituted. ” - scribblersid
His comedies are still very famous especially his scenes in Thillana Mohanambal. Actor Sivaji Ganesan had once mentioned, Balaiah was his most admirable actor. Debut Movie: Tamil - Sathi Leelavathi (1936) ” - scribblersid