Born on November 7, 1954, Kamal Haasan is an Indian actor, politician, playback singer, filmmaker, social activist, and television presenter who mostly works in Tamil cinema. In addition to Tamil, he has made appearances in a few Bengali, Malayalam, Hindi, Telugu, and Kannada films. He is regarded as one of the best actors in Indian movie history. Haasan is credited with bringing several innovative technology and makeup products to the Indian film business. Numerous honours have been bestowed upon him, including one Rashtrapati Award, two Filmfare Awards, nine Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, four Nandi Awards, four National Film Awards, and seventeen Filmfare Awards South. He received the Padma Bhushan in 2014, the Padma Shri in 1990, and the Kalaimamani Award in 1984.
Family & Early Life
Haasan was born as Parthasarathy into a Tamil Iyengar Brahmin family. His parents were Rajalakshmi, a homemaker, and D. Srinivasan, a lawyer and freedom fighter. At first, Haasan was known as Parthasarathy. Later on, his father gave him the new name Kamal Haasan. Actors Charuhasan, born in 1930, and Chandrahasan, born in 1936, are his brothers. Nalini, Haasan's sister, is a classical dancer who was born in 1946. After completing his elementary schooling in Paramakudi, he moved to Madras, which is now Chennai, to follow his brothers' academic goals. Encouraged by his father, Haasan pursued his schooling in Santhome, Madras, where he developed an interest in the arts and cinema.
Haasan received the President's Gold Medal for his work as a child artist in the 1960 Tamil film Kalathur Kannamma. His big break as a leading man came in the K. Balachander-directed drama Apoorva Raagangal (1975), where he portrayed a young rebel who falls in love with an elderly lady. In Moondram Pirai (1982), he played a guileless school teacher who takes care of a woman who has retrograde amnesia, and for that role he earned his first National Film Award. His roles in Sagara Sangamam (1983), Swathi Muthyam (1986), Nayakan (1987), Pushpaka Vimana (1987), Sathyaa (1988), Apoorva Sagodharargal (1989), Gunaa (1991), Thevar Magan (1992), Nammavar (1994), Mahanadhi (1994), Indian (1996), Hey Ram (2000), and Aalavandhan (2001) all brought him even more praise.
Haasan's parents, D. Srinivasan, a criminal defence attorney, and Rajalakshmi, a housewife, gave birth to him in the Tamil Nadu town of Paramakudi in the Ramanathapuram district. In 2013, his daughter Shruti Haasan made an appearance on an episode of Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi. During the episode, Shruti was given the option to "phone a friend." When she called her father Kamal, he revealed that his mother had always called him Parthasarathy, even before he was known as Kamal Haasan. Haasan stated that his father was literate in Sanskrit during an interview with Karan Thapar. Of the four children, Haasan was the youngest; his siblings are Charuhasan, Chandrahasan, and Nalini (Raghu). Following in their father's footsteps, his two elder brothers pursued legal studies.
Haasan pursued his studies at the Hindu Higher Secondary School and Sir M.Ct. Muthiah Chettiar Boys Higher Secondary School in Madras (now Chennai). Haasan has made references to his parents in a few of his compositions, most notably "Kallai Mattum" from Dasavathaaram and Unnaipol Oruvan. Like Haasan, his elder brother Charuhasan is an actor who has won national awards and starred in the Kannada movie Tabarana Kathe. Suhasini, Charuhasan's daughter, is a National Film Award winner as well. She is married to Mani Ratnam, a filmmaker and fellow honoree who worked with Haasan on 1987's Nayakan.
Chandrahasan, who was an executive with Raaj Kamal Films International and produced a number of Haasan's films, passed away in March 2017. Anu Hasan, the daughter of Chandrahasan, has acted in supporting parts in a number of films, including Suhasini's Indira. Nalini Raghu, Haasan's sister, teaches dance, and he dedicated an auditorium after her (Nalini Mahal). In "Hey Ram", her son Gautham played Haasan's grandson.