Born: 9 July 1930
Died: 23 December 2014
- He was an Indian filmmaker and playwright who worked mainly in the Tamil film industry.
- He was well known for his distinct film-making style, and the Indian film industry knew him as a master of unconventional themes and hard-hitting contemporary subject matter.
- His films are well known for their portrayal of women as bold personalities and central characters.
- Popularly referred to as Iyakkunar Sigaram (lit. “the director who scaled the peak”), his films are usually centred on unusual or complicated interpersonal relationships and social themes.
- He started his film career in 1964 as a screenwriter and graduated to a director with Neerkumizhi (1965).
- In a career that spanned 50 years, he had contributed to nearly 100 feature films either as a screenwriter or director, thus becoming one of the most prolific filmmakers in the country.
- Known among his colleagues as a tough taskmaster, he was credited with having nurtured numerous actors, notably Nagesh, Sujatha, Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, Jayaprada, Sridevi, Jayasudha, Saritha, Renuka, Nassar, Prakash Raj, Ramesh Aravind and Vivek.
- In his film career, he had won nine National Film Awards and 13 Filmfare Awards.
- He was honored with the Padma Shri(1987), India’s fourth highest civilian award, and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, India’s highest award in cinema.
- He also made films under his production house, Kavithalaya Productions.
- Apart from Tamil, he made films in other languages such as Telugu, Kannada and Hindi.
- Towards the tail end of his career, he directed a few TV serials and made a few film appearances as well.
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July 9, 2019