Kamal Haasan is an iconic Indian actor and is regarded as Ulaganayagan (Universal Hero). He’s often regarded as one of the finest actors in global cinema. He’s a multitalented person and besides his brilliant acting abilities, he’s also a successful writer, director, producer, choreographer, lyricist, dancer, and playback singer. He made his debut as a child actor back in 1960 with the film titled ‘Kalathur Kannamma’ and ever since he has acted in more than 200 films across Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and Malayalam languages; in a career span of over six decades. He has many awards to his name and the list includes 4 National Film Awards, 19 Filmfare Awards. He has the maximum number of films under his name that have been India`s nomination at the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Film.
Kamal Haasan’s Early Life:
Kamal Haasan was born on November 7, 1954, in a typical Tamil-Brahmin Iyengar family in Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu. His father, D Srinivasan worked as a criminal lawyer and his mother Rajalakshmi was a housewife. Kamal Haasan is the youngest member of the family and he has two elder brothers, Charuhasan and Chandrahasan who are both lawyers, and his sister Nalini is a classical dancer. He finished his primary education from Paramakudi, Ramanathapuram district, and then he moved to Madras for higher education. During his college days, he was more into films and fine arts and it was during this time that his father encouraged him to pursue a career in the field where he has an interest.
Kamal Haasan’s Early Years of Acting Career:
Kamal Haasan made his debut in acting at the tender age of three with the 1960’s film ‘Kalathur Kannamma’. The film won him President`s Gold Medal for Best Actor. He worked in as many as five films as a child artist. After his college, he joined as an assistant to choreographer Thankappan.
He made his first debut as a full-fledged actor by working in K. Balachander`s film titled ‘Arangetram’ which was released in 1973. The film was a huge success at the box office. Kamal Haasan worked in more than 40 films under the direction of K. Balachander. All the films were successful both critically and commercially and were instrumental in shaping Kamal`s career. The success of films like Apoorva Raagangal (1975 – Tamil), Maro Charitra (Telugu – 1978), and Ek Duuje Ke Liye (Hindi – 1981) have established Kamal Haasan as a PAN India star.
Kamal Haasan’s First Lead Role ‘Kanyakumari’ (Malayalam):
He got his first lead role in the 1974 film titled Kanyakumari (Malayalam) and his performance in the film was critically acclaimed. The film got him his first Filmfare Award. After working in a number of films in supporting roles, he gave back-to-back hits by playing the lead role in films like Manmadha Leelai, Oru Oodhappu Kan Simittugiradhu, Avargal, 16 Vayathinile, and Sigappu Rojakkal.
In 1977, Kamal Haasan made his debut in the Kannada film industry with the film titled ‘Kokila’. The film was a blockbuster at the box office. By the end of the 1970s, Kamal had six Best Actor Filmfare Awards.
First National Award for ‘Moondram Pirai’ (1982):
Kamal got his first national award for the super hit film directed by Balu Mahendra`s ‘Moondram Pirai’. The film was remade into Hindi as Sadam (1983) with Kamal, Sridevi, and Silk Smitha reprising their roles from the original version.
In the year 1985, Kamal worked in a Hindi film titled ‘Saagar’ co-starring Rishi Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia. The film was also India`s official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Second National Award for ‘Nayakan’ (1987):
In 1987, Kamal Haasan appeared in Mani Ratnam`s ‘Nayakan’. It was a brilliant film and became a critical and commercial success and he won his second National Film Award. It was included in TIME’s “All-Time 100 Best Films”, and CNN-News18’s “100 greatest Indian films of all time.
Some of his best films that were released in the 1980s include the silent dark comedy films Pushpaka Vimana and Apoorva Sagodharargal.
Kamal Haasan’ Films in 1990s’:
Kamal Haasan was a part of many successful films like Michael Madana Kama Rajan (1990), Gunaa (1991), Singaravelan (1992), and Thevar Magan (1992).
Third National Award for ‘Indian’ (1996):
In 1996, Kamal Haasan collaborated with director Shankar for the film titled ‘Indian’. The bilingual film became a trendsetter and swashbuckling hit. The film won his third National Film Award. The film was also India’s official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Kamal Haasan films in 2000:
Some of Kamal Haasan’s major hits in the 2000s were Anbe Sivam (2003), Vasool Raja MBBS (2004), and Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu (2006). In 2008 Kamal Haasan played 10 different roles in ‘Dasavathaaram’. His next was Unnaipol Oruvan, which was simultaneously made in Telugu as Eeenadu.
Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam (2013):
In 2013, Kamal Haasan directed Vishwaroopam which was released amid a lot of controversies. He again directed the sequel for the film titled Vishwaroopam 2 in 2018. Both the films were critically and commercially successful at the box office.
He’s currently working for the sequel to Indian, titled Indian 2.
Kamal Haasan’s Family:
Kamal married dancer Vani Ganapathy and after staying in relation for 10 years the couple divorced each other in 1988. He was then in a live-in relationship with actress Sarika and the duo married after the birth of their first child, Shruti Haasan. Their younger daughter is Akshara Haasan. The couple also divorced in 2002. Then Kamal moved in with actress Gautami and the couple separated after 13 years of their relationship.
Kamal Haasan’s Net Worth:
Kamal Haasan’s net worth is estimated to be over $100 million as of 2021.