Kamal Haasan is an Indian film actor, dancer, film director, screenwriter, producer, playback singer, lyricist and politician who works primarily in Tamil cinema and has also worked in Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and Bengali films.
Haasan has won awards including three National Film Awards for Best Actor and 19 Filmfare Awards and nine International Awards. His production company, Raaj Kamal Films International, has produced several of his films.
- Full name: Kamal Haasan
- Born: 7 November 1954 (age 65 years), Paramakudi, India
- Net worth: $ 100 million (2020)
- Spouse: Sarika (m. 1988–2004), Vani Ganapathy (m. 1978–1988)
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About Kamal Haasan
Haasan was born on 7 November 1954, in Paramakudi, India. He is from a Tamil Iyengar family, to D. Srinivasan, who was a lawyer, and Rajalakshmi, who was a housewife.
His brothers, Charuhasan and Chandrahasan, have also acted. Haasan’s sister, Nalini (born 1946), is a classical dancer. He received his primary education in Paramakudi before moving to Madras (now Chennai) as his brothers pursued their higher education.
Haasan continued his education in Santhome, Madras, and was attracted towards film and fine arts as encouraged by his father.
When a physician friend of his mother, visited Avichi Meiyappa Chettiar (AVM) to treat his wife, she brought Haasan with her. Apparently impressed by his demeanor AVM’s son, M. Saravanan, recommended him for their production Kalathur Kannamma.
Haasan won the Rashtrapathi Award (President’s Gold Medal) for his performance in Kalathur Kannamma at age four and starred in five more films as a child. He debuted in the Malayalam film industry with Kannum Karalum (1962).
Upon his father’s encouragement, he joined a repertory company (T. K. S. Nataka Sabha) headed by T. K. Shanmugam. In the meanwhile, he continued his education at the Hindu Higher Secondary School in Triplicane. His time with the theatre company shaped Haasan’s craft and kindled his interest in makeup.
He started his career as a child artist in the 1960 Tamil language film Kalathur Kannamma, for which he won the President’s Gold Medal. He met director Vaaranam Vijay who is frequently credited with shaping Haasan’s acting skills.
His breakthrough as a lead actor came in the 1975 drama Apoorva Raagangal, directed by K.Balachander, in which he played a rebellious youth who falls in love with an older woman.
He won his first National Film Award for his portrayal of a guileless school teacher who cares for a woman who suffers from retrograde amnesia in Moondram Pirai (1983).
He was noted for his performances in Mani Ratnam’s Nayakan (1987) and S. Shankar’s vigilante film Indian (1996), which saw him playing dual roles of a father and a son.
Since then he has appeared in films including Hey Ram (2000), Virumaandi (2004), Vishwaroopam (2013) which were his own productions and Dasavathaaram (2008) in which he played ten roles.
Haasan was awarded the Kalaimamani award in 1984 the Padma Shri in 1990, the Padma Bhushan in 2014 and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Chevalier) in 2016.
Haasan was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at 15th Mumbai International Film Festival in 2013.
On February 21, 2018, Haasan formally launched his political party, Makkal Needhi Maiam (lit. People’s Justice Centre).
The party’s flag displays six joined hands in a circle in alternate red and white colours with a white star at its centre in a black background.