Kamal Haasan (Tamil: கமல் ஹாசன்; born 7 November 1954) is an Indian film actor,screenwriter, and director, considered to be one of the leading method actors of Indian cinema. He is widely acclaimed as an actor and is well known for his versatility in acting. Kamal Haasan has won several Indian film awards, including four National Film Awards and numerous Filmfare Awards, and is known for having starred in the largest number of films submitted by India in contest for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. In addition to acting, screenwriting and directing, he has also featured in films as a songwriter, playback singer and choreographer. His film production company,Rajkamal International, has produced several of his films. In 2009, he became one of very few Indian actors to have completed 50 years in cinema. Kamal Haasan is also a recipient of an Honorary doctorate by Sathyabama University.
After several projects as a child artist, Kamal Haasan's breakthrough into lead acting came with his role in the 1975 drama Apoorva Raagangal, in which he played a rebellious youth in love with an older woman. He secured his second Indian National Film Award for his portrayal of a guileless school teacher who tends a child-like amnesiac in 1982'sMoondram Pirai. He was particularly noted for his performance in Mani Ratnam'sGodfatheresque Tamil film Nayagan (1987), which was ranked by Time magazine as one of the best films of all time. Since then he has gone on to appear in other notable films such as his own productions, Hey Ram and Virumaandi, as well as the Dasavathaaram, in which he appeared in ten distinct roles.
child artiste: 1959–1963
After shifting from Paramakudi with his family for his mother's medical treatment, Kamal Haasan was enrolled at Holy Angels school inT. Nagar. As a child, he became interested in dance. There are two versions regarding his entry into films. One version has it that, as a little boy, he accompanied a doctor who went to treat an ill woman at the home of movie mogul A V Meyyappa Chettiar (father ofAVM Saravanan). On hearing loud shouting from a first-floor tenant of the bungalow, the doctor became uneasy. Young Kamal Haasan strode up the stairway to ask the noisemaker not to shout over the phone as someone was ill, leaving the person astonished. An impressed Meyyappa Chettiar later provided him an entry into films. The other version is that when young boy Kamal Haasan accompanied a family doctor of Meyyappa Chettiar to his house, producer AVM Saravanan noticed Kamal as a hyperactive child. She took him over and introduced to AV Meyyappa Chettiar who was looking for a young boy to play a role in the movie Kalathur Kannamma.
Kamal Haasan made his film debut as a four-year-old child artist in Kalathur Kannamma, which was directed by A. Bhimsingh and released on 12 August 1959. He was cast along with the veteran Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan, winning the National Film Award for Best Child Artist. He acted as a child actor in five other Tamil films in the subsequent few years co-starring with Sivaji Ganesan andM. G. Ramachandran. On seeing Kamal's interests in arts, his parents supported and helped him join the TKS Nataka Sabha, an old-style theatre. T. K. Shanmugam was Kamal's guru in the theatre. During this period, he continued with his school education at Hindu High School in Triplicane while still being a prominent part of the theatre troupe. He learned acting by watching his guru Shanmugam perform on stage and acquired his interest in make-up from Shanmugam.