Thiagarajan Sivanandam
Born Thiagarajan
(1945-06-21) 21 June 1945[1]
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Occupation Film actor
Art Director
Years active 1980–1999
Spouse(s) Shanthi (m.1972-present)
Children Prashanth, Preethi
Relatives Peketi Sivaram

Thiagarajan is an Indian actor, director and producer of Tamil films. He is the father of Tamil actor Prashanth.[2]


Thiagarajan made his acting debut with Alaigal Oivathillai appearing as the elder brother of film's lead actress Radha.[3] The film became successful and offers poured in for him. His portrayal of jungle bandit in Malaiyoor Mambattiyan provided him major breakthrough in his career. He was also a part of successful films like Neengal Kettavai, Payum Puli. He acted in Malayalam film New Delhi which became successful and his portrayal of a goon received acclaim. The success of the film prompted Thiagarajan to make his directorial debut titled Salem Vishnu based on the character which he had played in that film. He then directed Aanazhagan with his son Prashanth in the leading role. Prashanth appeared in a drag role and revealed that the most daunting aspects of the role were the "waxing, the threading, the works" as well as "wearing a sari in summer, doing a bharatanatya sequence in a woman's costume, and getting the nuances and variations right were the other challenges", revealing his mum had assisted him.[4] According to Prashanth, the film was an average grosser.[5] Thiagarajan then stayed away from limelight paving way for his son. Thiagarajan then returned back to acting appearing in a small role as a father to his son in Jai.[6] Thiagarajan then directed Shock, remake of Hindi film Bhoot in 2004. Apart from directing and producing the film, Thiagarjan handled art and costumes department and also appeared in the film as police inspector. The film's shoot was completed within twenty six days, with meticulous pre-planning arranged by Thiagarajan.[7] The film received positive reviews citing that makers "deserve an appreciation for his honest and sincere attempt on the screen".[8] In September 2004, Thiagarajan launched Police, a remake of the Hindi film Khakee and the film received coverage from the media after producers had approached Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai for key roles. In interviews during the period, Thiagarajan mentioned the grand scale of the project citing that schedules would also be shot abroad; however the film failed to progress.[9] He then returned back to acting with films Bodyguard, Drohi and Vaaimai.[10] In early 2007, Thiagarajan approached M. Karunanidhi with the intention of making a film on his adaptation of the Ponnar Shankar epic that he had written in the late 1970s. The latter accepted Thiagarajan's offer and approved of his decision to cast his son, Prashanth, in the dual lead roles.[11] The film was released in 2011 to mixed reviews and did average business.[12] In the following year, Thiagarajan directed Mambattiyan, remake of his successful 1983 film which he had acted. His son played the titular role. The film received mixed reviews by critics, it took a good opening at the box office, but petered out to do average business commercially and due to its big budget, failed to recover costs.[13] In 2014, he revealed that he would direct the remakes of Hindi films Special 26 and Queen in four south indian languages.[14]


As actor

Year Movie Role Language
1981 Alaigal Oivathillai Tamil
Andhi Mayakkam Tamil
Rama Dhandu Telugu
Tik Tik Tik Tamil
1982 Deviyin Thiruvilaiyadal Tamil
Kalyana Kalam Tamil
Avanukku nigar avane Tamil
Billa Ranga Hindi
Ekalavya Telugu
Garuda Saukiyama Tamil
Mullillatha Roja Tamil
Nadodi Raja Tamil
Nenjangal Tamil
Nenjil Oru Ragam Tamil
Neram Vandhachu Tamil
1983 Malaiyoor Mambattiyan Tamil
Bhagavathipuram Railway Gate Tamil
Ethanai Konam Ethanai Parvai Tamil
Ennai Paar En Azhagai Paar Tamil
Paayum Puli Tamil
1984 John Jani Janardhan Hindi
Nalla Naal Tamil
Neengal Kettavai Tamil
Neruppukkul Eeram Tamil
Komberi Mookan Tamil
Sankari Tamil
1985 Erimalai Tamil
Kaval Tamil
Karuppu Chattaikaran Tamil
Raja Yuvaraja Tamil
Chillu Malayalam
1986 Machakaran Tamil
Murattuk Karangal Veeran Tamil
1987 New Delhi Nataraj Vishnu aka Salem Vishnu Malayalam
1988 Adholokam Nandakumar Malayalam
Manu Uncle Gomas Malayalam
Oohakachavadom Malayalam
Oru Muthassi Katha Chemparundu Machan Malayalam
Oomai Dhurai Tamil
Poovukkul Boogambam Tamil
Abkari Chidambaram Malayalam
Anthima Theerpu Nataraj Vishnu aka Salem Vishnu Telugu
New Delhi Nataraj Vishnu aka Salem Vishnu Hindi
New Delhi Nataraj Vishnu aka Salem Vishnu Kannada
Arjun Dennis Malayalam
1989 State Rowdy Telugu
Miss Pameela Victor Malayalam
Jeevitham Oru Raagam Raghavan Malayalam
Magadu Telugu
1990 No.20 Madras Mail Cameo Appearance Malayalam
Salem Vishnu Vishnu Tamil
1991 Theechatti Govindhan Tamil
CBI Siva Kannada
Theechatti Govindan Tamil
1992 Ashoka chakra Tamil
Marana Mrudanga Kannada
Police Lockup Kannada
1997 Police Bete Kannada
1999 Ravimama Kannada
Vishwa Kannada
2003 Thilakkam Maheswaran Thampi Malayalam
2004 Jai Veerapandi Tamil
Shock Police Inspector Tamil
2006 Adaikalam Sathyamurthy Tamil
2010 Bodyguard Ashokettan Malayalam
Drohi Narayanan Tamil
2016 Vaaimai Dheenadayalan Tamil
Pachakkallam Malayalam

As director, producer, writer and art director

Year Film Credited as Language cast Notes
Director Producer Writer art director
1990 Salem Vishnu Yes Yes Yes No Tamil Thiagarajan, Rupini Protagonist character based on New Delhi
1995 Aanazhagan Yes No Yes No Tamil Prashanth, Suneha Remake of Chitram Bhalare Vichitram
1997 Mannava No Yes No No Tamil Prashanth, Sanghavi, Urvashi, Goundamani Remake of Chitram Bhalare Vichitram
2004 Shock Yes Yes Yes Yes Tamil Prashanth, Meena Remake of Bhoot
2004 Jai No Yes No No Tamil Prashanth, Anshu Ambani, Rajkiran Remake of Aadi
2011 Ponnar Shankar Yes Yes No No Tamil Prashanth, Pooja Chopra, Divya Parameshwaran, Rajkiran Based on Ponnar Shankar
2011 Mambattiyan Yes Yes Yes Yes Tamil Prashanth, Meera Jasmine, Prakash Raj, Mumaith Khan, Vadivelu Remake of Malaiyoor Mambattiyan
2016 Saagasam No Yes
Yes No Tamil Prashanth, Amanda Rosario Remake of Julai


  2. "Director Thiagarajan on his latest film". The Times of India. March 31, 2011. Retrieved February 16, 2013.
  3. "The Hindu : It's all about choices".
  4. "How to train your drag". 22 May 2010 via The Hindu.
  5. "The Hindu : Young and mature at once".
  6. "Reel Talk for 4th October 2002". 25 February 2003.
  7. "The Hindu : Prashanth in `Shock'".
  8. "Shock review. Shock Tamil movie review, story, rating -".
  9. "Tamil movies : Will Amitabh star in Prashanth's film?".
  11. "Prashanth, on 'Ponnar-Shankar'".
  14. "Thiagarajan to direct four remakes of 'Special 26'".
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