Mihir Sen & Ramasamy Ganesan
Born: 16 November 1930
Died: 11 June 1997
- He was an Indian long-distance swimmer and businessman.
- He was best known for being the first Indian to swim the English Channel from Dover to Calais in 1958 in the fourth-fastest time (14 hrs & 45 mins) and the only man to swim the oceans of the five continents in one calendar year (1966).
- These included the Palk Strait, Dardanelles, Bosphorus, Gibraltar, and the entire length of the Panama Canal.
- This unique achievement earned him a place in The Guinness Book of Records as the “world’s greatest long-distance swimmer”.
- In England, he initially worked at a railway station as a night porter.
- Subsequently, he was hired at India House at the Indian High Commission.
- He enrolled at Lincoln’s Inn to study law on 21 November 1951.
- He worked all day at India House and studied at home at night.
- He couldn’t afford to attend lectures at Lincoln’s Inn and self-studied from the books he borrowed from their library.
- He was called to the Bar at Lincoln’s Inn on 9 February 1954.
- During this time, he also met his future British wife, Bella Weingarten, at a dance at the International Youth Hostel in London.
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Born: 16 November 1919
Died: 21 March 2005
- He better known by his stage name Gemini Ganesan was an Indian film actor who worked mainly in Tamil cinema.
- He was nicknamed “Kadhal Mannan” (King of Romance) for the romantic roles he played in films.
- He was one of the “three biggest names of Tamil cinema”, the other two being M. G. Ramachandran (known by his initials as MGR) and Sivaji Ganesan.
- While Sivaji Ganesan excelled in films with drama, and MGR dominated films with fight sequences, he held his own with sensitive portrayals of the yearning lover.
- A recipient of the Padma Shri in 1971, he had also won several other awards including the “Kalaimamani”, the “MGR Gold Medal” and the “Screen Lifetime Achievement Award”.
- He came from an intercaste family and was one of the few graduates to enter the film industry at that time.
- He made his debut with Miss Malini in 1947 but was noticed only after playing the villain in Thai Ullam in 1953.
- After playing the lead role in Manam Pola Mangalyam (1954), he finally acquired star status.
- However, unlike Sivaji Ganesan or MGR, he was not originally a stage performer and was never involved in politics.
- In his long film career spanning over five decades, he acted in more than 200 films, mainly in Tamil cinema, Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, and Kannada.
- His performances on the screen were enhanced by successful playback singers such as A. M. Rajah and P. B. Sreenivas.
- In spite of his celebrated film career, his personal life, particularly his marriages to multiple women over the years, has often been a subject of criticism.
- He married the famous South Indian actress Savitri with whom he had a daughter and a son.
- He won two Filmfare Awards.
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November 16, 2019