Top legends in Tamil cinema

Kamal Haasan

The three time national award winner, Kamal Haasan, called as Ulaganayagan, is well known for coming up with astonishing roles in films of all genres. At the age of six he was introduced as a child artist in Kalathoor Kannama.

Reverently passionate about movies, he has acted in Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu and off late in Kannada films. He won national awards for the films Moonram PiraiNayaganand Indian. Seven of his movies have been sent by the Indian officials for the Oscar award.

He was awarded Padhmashree for his achievements and contributions to the Tamil film industry. Not only is he an extraordinary actor but also a great director, producer, singer and a very good writer. His present projects include Vettaiyadu Vilayadu directed by Gowtham Menon and a Kannada film directed by Ramesh Arvindh. He is the first actor to turn his fan clubs into service organization.

kamal haasan Top legends in Tamil cinema


The evergreen unique actor and the Superstar of Tamil industry, Rajnikanth was introduced by the renowned director, K Balachandar in the movie Aboorva raagangalas a co-artist. He continued acting in Tamil films as a villain and was given a chance to act in a protagonist role in Bhairavi. His style of acting, free flowing comedy and stunts helped him in achieving continuous hits over a long period of time. It was Thalapathy and Batsha that brought him to the pinnacle of glory.

Film Baba which was written and produced by him did not give him fame and was taken up much by its downfall. Then after a long gap Rajnikanth proved himself as the sole leader in Tamil industry through his film Chandramukhi. He was conferred Padhma Bushan.

Rajnikanth wallpaper 586x316 Top legends in Tamil cinema

Mani Ratnam

Mani Ratnam can be given the credit for bringing Tamil films into International arena. His long career in Tamil film industry is characterized not by the quantity but the quality of his films. He is the only person who has become a director without ever working as assistant director He is the front line directors of Tamil cinema. His works includeNayagan, Mauna Ragam, Anjali, Thalapathy, Roja, Bombay and Uyirae.

Pagal Nilavu was his first film in Tamil, from then he went on to establish a place for himself in Tamil film industry. His films are very popular for the exotic locations and excellent photography. He introduced the king of music AR Rahman through the film Roja.

The Tamilnadu Government Award was given to his best film “Roja” Sparing Alaipayuthae his recent films had not done well only in urban areas. His production works are done under the banner Madras Talkies. He had recently received award for the best screen play for the film “Yuva”.

maniratnam Top legends in Tamil cinema


Making his debut in the film Pathinaru Vayathinilae as a writer and director, Bharathiraja had introduced many leading artists in Tamil industry. He was the person who brought Karthick, Radha, Revathi, Suganya and Priyamaniin Tamil film industry.
He wrote, directed his first dramas Oor Sirikkirathu (the town laughs) and Oru Kadhai (just a story) and this kindled the artistic spirit in and gave him the courage to look for an opening in the Tamil industry.

The best Regional Film Award was for his remarkable work Mudhal Mariyadhai with the legend, Sivaji Ganesan and he was the recipient of the national award for the filmKaruthamma, named after his mother. His other appreciable works include Alaigal OivadhillaiMan VaasanaiVedham Pudhidhu and Kadalora Kavidhaigal. He had acted in the film Ayuthaezhuthu, directed byManirathnam. He introduced his son Manoj through his film TajMahal. 

bharathiraja Top legends in Tamil cinema

K Balachandar

The only ace director of Tamil cinema, who has worked against the challenges for the past three decades and is a special identity to Tamil films. Balachandar called asK.B. had directed hundred films in his long career and great stars like Kamalahasan and Rajinikanth got their introduction into Tamil cinema only through him. He started a drama troupe by name Rahini Creations and staged Major Chandraganth which gave him very good popularity and his burning desire to enter Tamil film started then onwards. He put forth his thoughts on women freedom through his films Aval Oru Thodarkathai,Manathil Urudhi Vendum and Kalki. He had done films in almost all topics relevant to Tamil industry when M.G.R.and Sivaji Ganesan were the prime lead role players in Tamil industry. Though his hundredth film, Paartahle Paravasam was a flop, he is doing a film project, Poiiproduced by Prakash Raj who was introduced by none other than by K.B. himself. He also produces films under the banner Kavithalaya. His never compromising attitude brought glory and success to Tamil films and also films in telugu, Hindi, and kannada He won Film Fare Award on 12 occassions.

National Award was given to him for the best social film “Oru Veedu Iru Vaasal”and He was awardedKalai Maamani award by the Tamilnadu GovernmentPadmaSree Award was awarded to him by the Indian Government in 1987.

k balachandar Top legends in Tamil cinema


The Isaignani (wisdom of music) of Tamil industry, Ilayaraja, had inspired masses with his music works. He walked through the rough road ahead of him from starting an orchestra named Pavalar brothers until he got the chance to compose in Annakilli, his first film. He is uncomparable in trend setting and his professional composing style. His potential in background music is amazing. He has composed music in all South Indian languages and won the best music director award in Malayalam and he was the first person who designed songs which starts with a rhythm He had won three national awards; two for Telugu films and one for a Tamil film (Sindhu Bhairavi). He had introduced many singing legends, the prominent one being the six time national award winner Chitra. He had composed and released a symphony on Thiruvasagam. Six tunes of Chinna Thambiwere produced in 45 minutes by Ilayaraja. His talents in carnatic music is in no way inferior and he was appreciated by most of the carnatic specialists. He has completed 10 degrees in piano in a London university the top most piano university. His both sons, Karthick andYuvan are music directors and his daughter Bavadharaniis a singer.

Ilayaraja Padmabhushan Top legends in Tamil cinema

AR Rahman

Allah Rakha Rahman was born AS Dileep Kumar on January 6, 1966, in Madras (now Chennai), India, to a musically affluent family. Dileep started learning the piano at the age of 4, and at the age of 9, his father passed away. Since the pressure of supporting his family fell on him, he joined Ilayaraja’s troupe as a keyboard player at the age of 11. He dropped out of school as a result of this and traveled all around the world with various orchestras.

He accompanied the great tabla maestro Zakir Hussain on a few world tours and also won a scholarship at the Trinity College of Music at Oxford University, where he studied Western classical music and obtained a degree in music. Due to some personal crisis, Dileep Kumar embraced Islam and came to be known as A.R. Rahman. In 1987, he moved to advertising, where he composed more than 300 jingles over 5 years. In 1989, he started a small studio called Panchathan Record Inn, which later developed into one of the most well-equipped and advanced sound recording studios in India.

At an advertising awards function, Rahman met one of India’s most famous directors, Mani Ratnam. Rahman played him a few of his music samples. Mani loved them so much that he asked Rahman to compose the music for his next film, Roja (1992). The rest, as they say, is history. He went on to compose several great hits for Tamil-language films before composing the score and songs for his first Hindi-language film, Bollywood Dreams (1995). The enormous success of his first Hindi venture was followed by the chart-topping soundtrack albums of films such as Bombay (1995) , Dil Se.. (1998), Taal (1999), Zubeidaa (2001), and Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (2001), which was nominated for best foreign-language film at the 2002 Academy Awards.

AR Rahman Top legends in Tamil cinema

More recently, he worked with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Shekhar Kapur (director of Elizabeth (1998)) on a musical called “Bombay Dreams.” At 36 years old, A.R. Rahman has revolutionized Indian film music and one can only expect this musical genius to reach greater heights.

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  1. SA Ravikumar says

    Top 10 Music Directors of Tamil Cinema!!!

    10. Dina

    He started out with television serials and shot to popularity with Manmadha rasa. Although his type of music appeals to the front-benchers, he has to go a long way in creating an identity for himself. He joined the big

    league with Tiruppachi. He is a man who believes in himself and is a tireless worker. These two qualities will surely take him places. Interestingly, he does not use a cellphone.


    Deva was first noticed in the movie, Manasukketha Maharasa. For a couple of years, he was the leading music director with the maximum number of releases. His trademark was the peppy gana songs which were a hit

    with the youth. He got the title, Thenisai thendral from the legendary MSV. His combination with superstar Rajinikanth worked out very well. He has almost retired now as his son has taken over the mantle.

    8. Joshua Sridhar

    Joshua Sridhar became popular with the movie, Kadhal. He is a talented composer and has shades of Rahman and Harris Jayaraj. He has to mould his music to provide more

    variety. He got into a controversy due to an alleged affair with an accompanist. Now, things have sorted out and he is back to making music. His next project is Ninaithu Ninauthu Parthen which has Vikranth in the lead role.

    7. Srikanth Deva

    Successor to the talents of Deva, he follows his father to a fault. His biggest hit was M. Kumaran. His music for Sivakasi has also won him applause. He is an innovative music director and tries to bring in variety. He has a

    bagful of projects like Pambarakkannale and K. Bhagyaraj’s Parijatham. The industry is keenly watching his progress so that he can reach new milestones in his musical journey.

    6. Devi Sri Prasad

    The talented music director who is much in demand in Telugu shot to fame with Tirupachi. His subsequent release Mayavi and Sachien also fetched a good name for him. Mazhai produced by SPB who is himself a musical

    genius, has received good review for its music. He received the Filmfare award for the Telugu original, Varsham. He entered the film industry at the age of 17. His much-awaited release is Aaru with Surya and Trisha in the lead.

    5. Baratwaj

    A chartered accountant who started his career in Ashok Leyland entered films and had to struggle before finding his moorings. He had set music for 19 movies before his first hit, Kadhal Mannan in 1997. His music for Cheran’s

    Autograph was one of the highlights of the movie and he won several awards. He also proved his versatility with Vasoolraja MBBS. His combination with Charan has been successful and he is now working on Idhayathirudan.

    4. Vidyasagar

    Vidhyasagar has a strong background in music and he struggled hard in late 1980s and early 1990s. The struggle also brought out the best in his personality by making him a relentless worker always seeking out better tunes. A person with a keen musical brain like his

    predecessor Ilayaraja, he has received a red carpet welcome among the spectators. All the songs of Chandramukhi, for which he scored the music, have become hits. His recent release Ponniyin Selvan had some good numbers. His forthcoming release is Maja with Vikram.

    3. Yuvan Shankar Raja

    Son of the legendary Ilayaraja, Yuvan carries a strong musical legacy on his shoulders. His genius has been reflected in the contemplative and sensitive musical scores he has done for several films. He is expected to

    rule the industry like his father. He is already a youth icon with several of his songs appealing to the youngsters. His latest release Kanda Naal Muthal is doing a good business in cassette sales.

    A.R. Rahman
    The noted director has come down a notch because he has not done any Tamil film in recent time. He is concentrating on Hindi and some international projects. He will soon conduct a symphony for which he is working

    hard right now. His songs in Anbe Aaruyire have been appreciated well. His music matches the mood of the song and this has been his greatest success recipe. Much is expected of Jillendru oru kadhal which has Surya and Jo in the lead. He will surely rock the Tamil audience once again.

    Harris Jayaraj

    Our topper this time is Harris Jeyaraj. The soft-spoken music director belies the image conveyed through his scintillating, party-hopping numbers. Ghajini and Thotti Jaya are the biggest hits now. He has also improved

    vastly in rerecording. His orchestration is also slightly Westernized like Rahman’s. He has also proved his versatility by experimenting with different elements in film songs.

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