M. G. Ramachandran
Maruthur Gopalan Ramachandran was an Indian politician and film actor. He served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for ten years between 1977 and 1987. In 1988, M. G. R. was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.
About M. G. Ramachandran in brief
Maruthur Gopalan Ramachandran was an Indian politician and film actor. He served as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for ten years between 1977 and 1987. In 1988, M. G. R. was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, posthumously. He is regarded as one of the most influential actors of Tamil cinema. His autobiography Naan Yaen Piranthaen was published in 2003. MGR was born in Kandy, Sri Lanka, in a Malayalam speaking Nair family. His father died when he was just two and a half years old. His sister too died due to ill health. He was a devout Hindu and a devotee of Lord Sri Murugan, his favourite god. His mother’s first marriage was to Chulam Bargam, also known as Thangamani, who died early due to illness. He later married for the second time, to Satavati, who also died soon after marriage due to tuberculosis. He died on 24 December 1987 in his Ramavaram Gardens residence in Manapakkam after his prolonged illness. The challenges faced by him during his early life and childhood played an important role in shaping his character and political career. He started his acting career in school and joined the Boys Company drama troupe taking part in the rigorous training programmes conducted by the troupe in the areas of singing, dancing, sword fighting, dicti,on and memory with active interest and involvement. In his early days, MGR joined the Indian National Congress. After a few years of acting in plays, he made his film debut in the 1936 film Sathi Leelavathi in a supporting role.
By the late 1940s, he graduated to the lead roles and for the next three decades dominated the Tamil film industry. He became the first film actor to become a chief minister in India. Except for a six-month interregnum in 1980, when his government was overthrown by the Union government, he remained as chief minister till his death in 1987, leading the AIADMK to two more electoral triumphs in 1980 and 1984. In October 1984, he was diagnosed with kidney failure as a result of diabetes and died in his home in Chennai. He left behind a wife and three children, including actress Janaki Janaki, a former Tamil Nadu chief minister who was once an leading lady and a future film actress. He also had a son and a daughter, V. Janaki Ganapathy, who later became an actress and a former chief minister of Tamil Tamil Nadu. He had two sons with his second wife, Vannaki, and a son with his third wife, Janaki. M GR was a member of the C. N. Annadurai-led Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and rapidly rose through its ranks, using his enormous popularity as a film star to build a large political base. In 1972, he left the DMK, then led by M. Karunanidhi, to form his own party. Five years later, M G R. steered anAIADMK-led alliance to victory in the 1977 election, routing theDMK in the process.