M. G. Chakrapani

M. G. Chakrapani
Born Marudur Gopala Chakrapani
(1911-01-13)13 January 1911
Vadavannur, Kingdom of Cochin, British Raj (now Kerala, India)
Died 17 August 1986(1986-08-17) (aged 75)
Chennai, India
Other names Yettan
Occupation Actor, Producer
Years active 1936–1986
Religion Hindu
Spouse(s) Meenakshi Chakrapani[1]
Children 10

Marudur Gopala Chakrapani (13 January 1911 – 17 August 1986), commonly known as M. G. Chakrapani or Yettan ("elder brother" in Malayalam), was an Indian actor based in the Tamil film industry. He was the elder brother of actor-politician M. G. Ramachandran.[2]

Early life

Chakrapani was born in Vadavannur, Kingdom of Cochin (now Kerala), on 13 January 1911. His parents, Gopala Menon and Sathyabhama, named him Neelakantan, but was soon changed to Chakrapani because of his father's religious beliefs. Soon after his birth, the family migrated to Ceylon where Chakrapani's two younger siblings (brother M. G. Ramachandran and a sister) were born. His father, Gopala Menon, worked as a magistrate in Kandy, until he suffered an early death. Chakrapani's sister also died while they were in Ceylon.[2]

Sathyabhama took her sons to Kumbakonam, India to be close to her brother. Chakrapani studied at Yanaiadi School, but left after the seventh grade. His mother then enrolled him and Ramachandran in the Madurai Original Boys Company (MOBC), a professional Tamil theatre company, where Ramachandran found success, but Chakrapani did not.[2]


Chakrapani made his Tamil cinema debut in Iru Sahodarargal in 1936. Maya Machindra and Tamizhariyum Perumal came next, where he began to be known as a character actor. His breakout role came in 1944 with Mahamaya. His character, Neelan, is believed to have been modelled after the Indian philosopher Kautilya.[2]

Though Mahamaya was a box office failure, Chakrapani's lines continue to be spoken. His next big success came some 15 years later with Thaai Magalukku Kattiya Thaali, where he again played a villain.[2]

Later in his career, Chakrapani transitioned from actor to director and producer and managing his brother's career. Chakrapani worked with his brother on several projects which failed to see the light of day. One such film, Bhavani had Ramachandran in the lead role. It was written by A. K. Velan, directed by Masthan, with Chakrapani producing. Years later, Chakrapani tried again, this time taking the director's seat in the renamed Arasa Kattalai. It was a success.[2]


Chakrapani died on 17 August 1986 at the age of 75. At the time of his death, he was survived by his second wife, Meenakshi Chakrapani, and their ten children: seven sons and three daughters.[2]


Year Film Role Language
1936 Iru Sahodarargal Police Tamil
1939 Maya Machindra Tamil
1942 Tamizhariyum Perumal Tamil
1944 Mahamaya Minister Tamil
1946 Sri Murugan Tamil
1947 Aayiram Thalaivangiya Apoorva Chintamani Tamil
1948 Abhimanyu Balaraman Tamil
1948 Raja Mukthi Minister Tamil
1950 Ponmudi Tribal Chief Tamil
1950 Digambara Samiyar Magistrate Pattabhirama Pillai Tamil
1950 Marudhanaattu Ilavarasi Minister Tamil
1950 Idhaya Geetham Tamil
1951 Vanasundari Tamil
1952 En Thangai MGR's uncle Tamil
1952 Kalyani Tamil
1953 Naam Tamil
1954 Malaikkallan Police Inspector Tamil
1954 En Magal Tamil
1956 Alibabavum 40 Thirudargalum Amir Kasim Khan Tamil
1959 Thaai Magalukku Kattiya Thaali MGR's father Tamil
1957 Raja Rajan Uthselan Kavirayar Tamil
1959 Thaai Magalukku Kattiya Thaali Sundharam Mudhaliyar Tamil
1959 Nalla Theerppu Tamil
1960 Raja Desingu Nawab of Arcot Tamil
1960 Mannadhi Mannan King Karikala Chozhan Tamil
1972 Idhaya Veenai MGR's father Tamil
1974 Netru Indru Naalai Tamil
1975 Naalai Namadhe Tamil


  1. Pradeep. "MGR Official Blogspot". Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Randor Guy (16 February 2012). "Fame eluded this sibling of an icon". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 October 2013.
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