If you think of an actor in India who has a perfect balance between commercial potboilers and critically-acclaimed films, Kamal Hassan stands tall, as he has tasted success in all forms of films. Having started acting at the age of six, he has done wide variety of roles and has acted in over 200 films in different languages.
Language has never been a barrier to Kamal Hassan. The actor, who started acting in Tamil films, has delivered hit movies in Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Hindi films and now, he is game to make his debut in Hollywood. Interestingly, he got success in all the South Indian film industries and Bollywood.
Kamal has won three National awards, 17 Filmfare Awards and a couple of international awards. Recipient of Padmashree Award, the actor requested the Filmfare Awards not to consider him in future after winning the 17th Award in the year 2000 so as to pave way for youngsters to win the honours. One of the leading method actors of the our times, the Ulaganayagan is turning 58 today (7 November). On this special day, we would like to remember some of his most memorable movies of all times.
Kalathur Kannamma (1959)
Kamal Hassan made his debut as a child artiste in Kalathur Kannamma. No child artist could ever expect more than getting honoured for his first film and the young Kamal won the President's Gold Medal at the age of seven. His innocent and natural acting won the hearts of the audience.
Apoorva Raagangal (1975)
Having won the Best Actor Award for his debut movie as a hero in Malayalam film Kanyakumari, Kamal Hassan's first film as a hero in Tamil was Apoorva Raagangal. For this film too, he won the Filmfare Best Actor Award and announced his arrival with a bang.
16 Vayathinile (1977)
The movie, 16 Vayathinile was a trend setting film of 70s. Kamal played the role named Chappani, a village bumpkin, and the film also starred Sridevi, and Rajinikanth, who played the negative role. It was directed by Bharathiraja. Kamal won state and Filmfare awards for his stellar performance.
Moondram Pirai (1982)
Balu Mahendra's Moondram Pirai bagged several awards. The amazing chemistry between Kamal and Sridevi, brilliant story, cinematography and direction, and Ilaiyaraja's music were the highlights of the movie.
Sagara Sangamam (1983)
K Vishwanath's Sagara Sangamam drew the attention of all South language audience. Kamal's role of a drunkard classical dancer won a lot of accolades. Ilaiyaraaja, Vishwanath, SP Balasubramaniam and Jayaprada were also honoured with various awards.
One film that changed the style of making gangster films in India was Nayagan. The performances of lead stars, amazing screenplay and realistic story backed by brilliant direction by Mani Ratnam brought a realistic appeal to the film.
Nayagan was based on the real-life Bombay underworld don Varada aka Varadarajan Mudaliar. Kamal Hassan, Saranya Ponvannan, Karthika, Nasser and others featured in the film, which has been listed in 'All-Time 100 Best Films' by Times Magazine.
Pushpaka Vimana (1987)
Pushpaka Vimana is a silent black-comedy film. It was directed by Singeetham Srinivasa Rao and reinvented the silent film form.
Apoorva Sagodharargal (1989)
The combination of Kamal and Singeetham Srinivasa Rao worked wonders at the Box office, as the film was one of the biggest commercial hit of the decade. Kamal Hassan did triple roles - a mechanic, a circus clown (who is a dwarf) and a police officer.
Thevar Magan (1992)
Thevar Magan was the official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the 65th Academy Awards from India. The film won several awards even though it was accused of disturbing communal harmony in Southern part of Tamil Nadu.
Kamal Hassan, Sukanya and Cochin Haneefa's film Mahanadi tells the sympathetic story of an ordinary man's grief when all his property and family got ruined. It was directed by Santhana Bharathi.
Shankar's Indian starred Kamal Hassan, Manisha Koirala and Urmila Matondkar in the leads. The movie is about an old-aged man named Senapathy, who uproots the corruption. He kills the people, who are all involved in it, including his son. It is one of the biggest commercial hits on Kamal Hassan.