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Gemini Ganesan

Gemini Ganesan
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Kadhal Mannan, Gemini Ganesh, Saambaar
Marital Status

About Gemini Ganesan

Gemini Ganesan was born on November 17, 1920 to Ramaswami and his wife Gangamma in the princely state of Pudukkottai. His grandfather S. Narayanaswami was a prominent figure in the princely state of Pudukkottai while his aunt Muthulakshmi Reddi was the first woman doctor in the Madras presidency.

Ganesan graduated from the prestigious Madras Christian College and was one of the few graduates to enter the film world in those days. He did not take the traditional route of the theatre to the tinsel world. His first job was as a lecturer in the Department of Chemistry at Madras Christian College. His first cinema-related work (production executive in 1947) with the Gemini Studios added the title Gemini to his name.

From the casting department, Ganesan got his first break in films with Miss Malini. This was followed by Chakravarthi, in which he played Lord Krishna. However, not until 1953, when he played the villain in the film Thai Ullam, did people take notice of him as an actor. The next year, he was upgraded as a hero with Manampol Mangalyam. The film paired him with Savitri, who became the mother of two of his children ā€” a daughter and a son. From then on, he carved out a niche for himself in Tamil cinema with films that required a lot of romance but little action.

Ganesan was one of the Big Three of Tamil cinema, the other two being M. G. Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan. Sivaji excelled in films with drama, and MGR dominated movies with fight sequences and, Gemini Ganesh held his own with sensitive portrayals of the yearning lover.

Fondly known as "Kadhal Mannan" (King of Romance) among his fans, Ganesan had acted in several box-office hits during his heyday (1950sā€“1970s). He was awarded the Padma Shri in 1971. Gemini Ganesan's performances on the screen were enhanced by some talented playback singers like A.M. Rajah and P.B. Srinivos. P.B. Srinivos's mellifluous voice in particular complemented Gemini Ganesan. Many memorable duets of P.B. Srinivos with female playback singer S.Janaki are popular even today. The song "Kalangalil aval vasantham" will always be remembered and associated with Gemini Ganesan.

He paired with many top heroines such as Vyjayanthimala, Meena Kumari, Anjali Devi, Banumathi, Padmini, B. Saroja Devi, Sowcar Janaki, K. R. Vijaya, Devika, Jayalalitha and Savitri whom he later married.

Later in his career, he switched to little different character roles. Notable among these was Rudraveena (remade in Tamil as Unnal Mudiyum Thambi), considered one of the best movies ever made in Telugu. Another notable movie was Avvai Shanmughi (1996), in which characteristically, he entered into the skin of an old man longing for an old maid. Towards the end of his acting career he kept himself busy with elegant roles in television serials. In his long film career spanning over five decades he acted in more than 200 films, including a few in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada.
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