is just that there is a feeling that they could have
done far more for Tamil cinema, given the right kind
many of you can recall Senthamarai by his name? Not
many, I would think. But talk about the role that he
played in Thooral Ninnu Pochu, Enga Ooru Pattukaran
or Veedu and his face comes to mind in a flash. He was
one of those actors who was able to make an impression
even with those small characters. In fact, in Veedu
he appears in just one scene in the climax but is still
remembered for it. He undoubtedly had the caliber to
be among the top character artistes of his time but
never got that defining role. Most of his career went
in doing regular villain and supporting roles of not
Then there is Jaishankar. Now, most of you might know
Jaishankar. For a person who was climbing the ladder
of stardom with amazing speed his decline was sudden
and drastic. After acting as hero in many successful
films he had a bit of a lull after which he did the
role of villain opposite Rajinikanth in Murattu Kaalai.
Afterwards, his opportunities started to decrease surprisingly.
Given his undoubted talent and popularity, he should
never have faded out in the manner that he did. His
role as the bereaved husband and sorrowing father in
Poove Poochoodava has a stamp of acting finesse. Then
there was Rajesh, hero of many films like Kanni Paruvathile
and Aalaya Deepam. His decline too was fast and unworthy
of the talent that he possessed.
Kitti, in the small roles in Basha and Bombay left his
mark. One feels that better roles could have brought
out lot more from this actor of subtle expressions.
Then there are many more actors who have been used regularly
for stock roles and characters that are fillers in a
script. The father of the heroine or hero, the uncle
in the city, the village Nattamai, the sub inspector
of police etc. The variety that they have been offered
in their career is sparing. Yet they have managed to
stick on, not letting the monotony of repetitive characters
to give way to complacency. They have always performed
with the same energy and honesty, hoping that some day
they will get something special.
Vinoo Chakravarthy, Karate Mani, Sangili Murugan, Rajiv,
Raveendran etc, are some of the actors in this list.
Delhi Ganesh has often said in interviews that he has
always played characters of one particular age group,
that of the heroine’s father. Do you think there
are other similar actors who couldn’t make it
big because the chance never came to them? If you think
of some, add them to this list that I have already made,
and mail them to Behindwoods.
(By Sudhakar, with inputs from Arun Gopinath.)
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