Raghuvaran was an Indian actor who predominantly acted in movies made in South India. He became famous for his portrayal of villain and character roles in Tamil films. He has acted in more than 150 Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi films. According to the Hindustan Times, "the actor had carved a niche for himself with his special style and voice modulation."
He was noted for his role as the protagonist of a Tamil soap opera, Oru Manidhanin Kadhai, about a well-to-do man who becomes an alcoholic. He received critical acclaim for his role as Father Alphonse in the Malayalam movie Daivathinte Vikruthikal, directed by Lenin Rajendran and based on M. Mukundans novel of the same name.
He was born in 1954 near Kollengode in Palakkad district, Kerala. He was the grandson of Mr. N. Radha Krishna Menon and Late. Smt. Satyavathy Amma and son of Mr Velayudhan and Mrs. Kasturi.
He dropped out of his Bachelor of Arts in Coimbatore (Govt Arts College) to pursue a career in acting. He initially tried to make a foray into the Malayalam industry but was informed that it was not very profitable and one needed money to get there. He landed a minor role in the Kannada film Swapna Thingalgal, starring Kannada veteran Ambrareesh. He began acting in small minor roles in Telegu and Kannada films including a two-minute scene as a rapist in Udaya, starring Kannada actor Vishnuvardhan.
From 1979 to 1983, he was part of an acting drama troupe in Chennai, Chennai Kings, which also included another popular Kannada/Tamil supporting actor: Nassar. He was spotted and cast in a small role in Ezhavathu Manithan which was his biggest role to date from then he moved from success to success.He was married to Malayalam actress Rohini (of the Magalir Mattum fame) and has a son with her, Sai Rishivaran. The couple separated and divorced later.Raghuvaran’s substance addictions hampered his career and left him repeatedly visiting rehabilitation clinics.
Following his beginnings on the stage, Raghuvaran turned to film with 1982s Tamil film Elavathu Manithan (Seventh Man). He bagged several state and Filmfare Awards for his outstanding performances in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films. He began his career as a supporting actor in a number of films in Tamil including Mani Rathnams Anjali as the father of a mentally retarded autistic child which was rated as one of his best performances as a supporting actor. However he later perfected in roles as a subtle and sophisticated villain in extremely memorable roles- like in Baasha as Mark Anthony, Mudhalvan as The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shiva and Muthu as Rajnikanths Nephew Ilaimaran. In recent times,he went back to supporting roles- sometimes as a father or as a mentor in films such as Alai (Simbus Father), Yaaradi Nee Mohini (Dhanushs Father), Tirumalai (Vijays Friend and Mentor) and Bala (Shyams Mentor).
He has also acted in a number of Hindi movies, such as Lal Badshah.Raghuvarans voice is a unique one and is subject to numerous mimicries. He has won a number of State Awards.Rajinikanth, who acted alongside Raghuvaran in many successful films, considered the actor something of a lucky charm. Rajnikanth claimed that the film Baba did not succeed because Raghuvaran was not in it. Later, for the movie Sivaji, Rajnikanth asked director S. Shankar to cast Raghuvaran in any role that movie went on to become a huge success.
Raghuvaran died on 19 March 2008 in Chennai during a solar eclipse at 6:15 AM as a result of a cardiac arrest. It is said that he had a history of liver disease due to excessive consumption of liquor over a long period of time. He died in his sleep.His death occurred during the filming stages of several films, notably the high-budget Tamil film, Kanthaswamy. Raghuvarans roles were later left unused and were replaced with Ashish Vidyarthi, which resulted in the films delayed release.
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