Sreekanth in Anbu Thangai in 1974
Sreekanth is a veteran Indian actor who has performed in around 200 Tamil films since his debut in 1965. He is considered among the versatile actors of Tamil Cinema.He is also referred as Venniradai Sreekanth. He has played the lead hero in around 50 films between 1965 and 1979 and has also played supporting roles in films with actors Sivaji Ganesan, Muthuraman, Ravichandran, Jaishankar in the lead roles. In the late seventies to early ninnties, he appeared as a villain opposite actors including Sivakumar, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan. He has also been acted in Television series like Mangai and others since 1996.
Film career (1965-present)
Sreekanth was employed in the American Consulate before his career in the film industry.Sreekanth was given his break as the lead hero by C. V. Sridhar with the film Vennira Aadai in 1965. He used to act in various dramas staged by troupes between 1960-65. His actual name was Venkatraman. However, he performed the character of Sreekanth in Major Chandrakant, a drama directed in 1962, due to which he gained popularity in drama circles. Later this same name was adopted while he entered into films. Sreekanth along-with Vietnam Veedu Sundaram, Nagesh, Vaali, Venniradai Moorthy used to stay at the area near T. Nagar Club House near the Shiva Vishnu Temple. N.C.Chakravrthy, who was an assistant director to C. V. Sridhar, was a regular Table Tennis player at the T.Nagar Club House and approached Sreekanth to give auditions at Chitralaya studios for the new Tamil film Venniradai. The film Vennira Aadai introduced 4 new faces to Tamil Cinema including that of Sreekanth, which were Jayalalithaa, Vennira Aadai Nirmala, Venniradai Moorthy. He was the first male actor in Tamil films to act as lead hero opposite Jayalalithaa.
Later in 1965, Sreekanth acted in Naanal directed by K. Balachandar.He received his first negative role in the film Selva Magal in 1967. The image of romantic hero which he acquired in his debut film, was rarely used by him in only few films in his career. Aiming for versatility, he accepted supporting roles in various films. He was in directorial ventures of K. Balachandar like Bama Vijayam, Poova Thalaya, Ethir Neechal, Navagraham, Noortuku Noor. He played the role of mental patient in Raja Veetu Pillai cast opposite Pushpalata. He played the hen-pecked husband who is son of the character played by Shivaji Ganesan in the film Vietnam Veedu. After success of the film Selva Magal in 1967, Sreekanth started approaching him for even villain roles and some of his film with him in villainous roles since 1968 include Thanga Gopuram, Gnana Oli, Gomatha Engal Kulamatha, Vairam (1974 film), Vasantha Maligai, Anbu Thangai, Vani Rani. Despite the success in films, he and Sowcar Janaki were part of drama troupes giving live performances in the evening or on weekends. He was part of many comedy films throughout his career like Ethir Neechal, Bama Vijayam, Yaarukku Mappilai Yaro, Kasethan Kadavulada, Kasi Yathirai, Kai Naraya Kaasu, Athaiya Mamiya, Ilaya Thalaimurai. He played the false son of P.Bhanumathi in the film Edupa Kai Pillai in 1975.
In 1972, Sreekanth played a villain in Aval, directed by A. C. Trilogchandar in which Sasi Kumar played as the protagonist and this altered his career by him choosing to play negative roles in the future. In Thanga Pathakkam, Sreekanth was cast as Jagan, the rebellious son of S.P. Choudhry, played by Sivaji Ganesan. The movie was adapted from a stage-play in which Sivaji Ganesan had previously starred as S.P. Choudhry. In the original stage-play, Jagan kills his father. In Thanga Pathakkam S. P. Choudhry instead kills his son Jagan. His role in Thanga Pathakkam was a turning point for Sreekanth in the film industry, boosting his popularity as a villain, after acclaimed acting alongside Sivaji Ganesan. But, at the peak of his career as the villain, Sreekanth surprised critics and audience alike by returning to romantic image in the 1974 film Raja Nagam with the song Devam Vedhamum gaining immense popularity.
In the 1974 Tamil film Dikkatra Parvathi, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil in 1975, Sreekanth starred in the lead role.Jaishankar and Srrekanth did many films together in the seventies as the producer-directors liked their combination. Together they did films including Ponuvandu, Idhayam Parakiradhu, Unnaithan Thambi, Pinju Manam, Palabishekam. Sreekanth received Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor for his performance in the film Karunai Ullam (1978 film).
Sreekanth has performed alongside other acclaimed actors including Gemini Ganesan, Jaishankar and R. Muthuraman during his career. He also worked with his juniors Kamal Haasan, Sivakumar and Rajinikanth with himself as the main villain like Pennai Solli Kutrram Illai, Sadhurangam, Bairavi,Sattam En Kayil, Neeya, Uyaranthvangal etc. He never got a chance to act with M. G. Ramachandran. Sreekanth has worked under the directions of A. C. Thirulogachander, K. Balachander, Muktha Srinivasan, C. V. Sridhar and A. Bhimsingh.
Sreekanth was part of Jayalalithaa's film career right from her first Tamil Vennira Adai in 1965 to her last Tamil film Nadhiya Thedi Vandha Kaadhal in 1980. He played her brother in the 100th film of Jayalalithaa - Thriumangalyam.He played her step-son in Thanga Gopuram.He also played supporting roles in films with Jayalalitha in lead roles including Jesus (1973 film), Vairam (1974 film), Anbu Thangai, Anbai Thedi, Kanavan Manaivi.
Sreekanth is married. He and his partner have one daughter.
|Year||Movie Name||character Name|
|1965||Vennira Aadai||Dr. Chandru (debut movie)|
|1967||Selva Magal||Mohan (Major Sundararajan step son)|
|1969||Bama Vijayam||Suresh (Bama secretary)|
|Poova Thalaiya||Guest Appearance|
|Vietnam Veedu||Sivaji Ganesan Son|
|1971||Nootrukku Nooru||Inspector Raja(Police investigator)|
|Veettukku Oru Pillai|
|1972||Kadhalikka Vanga||Rajesh (Delhi CID Officer)|
|Kasethan Kadavulada||Mali (R. Muthuraman Cousin)|
|Gnana Oli||Baskar (Saratha's lover & Guest)|
|Vasantha Maligai||Vanisri Elder Brother|
|1973||Kattila Thottila||Advocate.Raja (Gemini Ganesan Junior)|
|Ponvandu||Picchandi (Guest Appearance)|
|Komatha En Kulamatha||Arun|
|Rajapart Rangadurai||Baskar (Sivaji Ganesan brother)|
|1974||Vani Rani||Kumar (Vanisri Uncle)|
|Dikkatra Parvathi||Karuppan (Movie won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil|
|Devi Sri Karumariyamman|
|Anbai Thedi||Suresh (supervisor)|
|Paruva Kaalam||Kamal Hasan Elder Brother|
|Vellikizhamai Viratham||Manager Ashok|
|Anbu Thangai||Sriram (R. Muthuraman Friend)|
|Kai Niraya Kaasu||Baskar (Nagesh friend)|
|Vairam||Victor (Robbery Group)|
|Thanga Pathakkam||Jagan (Main villain)|
|Thirumangalyam||Chandru & James with Jayalalitha|
|1975||Vaazhnthu Kaattugiren||Baskar (Sujatha Brother)|
|Aayirathil Oruthi||Sathish (Kamal Hasan Elder Brother)|
|Eduppar Kai Pillai||Madhan|
|Yarukku Mappillai Yaaro|
|1976||Vazhvu En Pakkam||Kannan|
|Avan Oru Sarithiram||Muthu (Sivaji Ganesan Brother)|
|Oru Kodiyil Iru Malargal||Unknown|
|Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal||Prabu (this movie based on by Jayakanthan novel the same name)|
|1977||Palabishegam||Muthiyah (Jaishankar Half-brother)|
|Odi Vilayadu Thatha||Unknown|
|Pennai Solli Kutramillai||Unknown|
|1978||Vatathukkul Chadhuram||Karthik (Sumithra Elder Brother)|
|Oru Veedu Oru Ulagam||Unknown|
|Per Solla Oru Pillai||Unknown|
|Bairavi||Rajalingam (Main Villain)|
|Sri Kanchi Kamakshi|
|Oru Nadigal Nadagam Parkiral||Ranga (this movie based on Jayakanthan novel & movie name also same)|
|Sattam En Kaiyil||Advocate|
|Neeya||Stephan (Kamal Hasan Friend)|
|Mariya My Darling||Unknown|
|Nathiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal||Doctor|
|1981||Enga Ooru Kannagi||unknown|
|Thambikku Entha Ooru|
|1985||Navagraha Nayagi||The King|
|Annai Bhoomi 3D|
|1988||Solla Thudikuthu Manasu||Unknown|
|1989||Kai Veesamma Kai Veesu|
|2000||Barathi||Brahmin(this movie won National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil|
|2003||Kaadhal Kondein||Sonia Agarwal Father|
- Malathi Rangarajan (2010-11-18). "Arts : Vignettes from a veteran". The Hindu. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- "Life & Style / Metroplus : All the world's a stage". The Hindu. 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2011-06-04.
- "21st National awards for films" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 4 June 2011.