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Mihir Sen & Ramasamy Ganesan

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Mihir Sen & Ramasamy Ganesan

Mihir Sen

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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Ramasamy Ganesan

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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