Happy Birthday Kamal Haasan: The many facets of the superstar
Kamal Haasan fondly known as 'Ulaganayagan' (Universal Hero) turns 65 today. Filmmaker, dancer, actor and singer - Haasan is an institution in himself. He started young and has ruled the hearts of cinema lovers for over 6 decades. He has given us memorable performances in some of the most iconic films in the past decades and as the actor gears up for a successful political career, here's a look at life and times of the supremely talented artist.
A star is born
Kamal Haasan started as a child artist in the 1960 Tamil language film 'Kalathur Kannamma' and the role got him the prestigious President's Gold Medal at age 4.
Iconic roles in iconic films
Haasan was appreciated for his performance in Mani Ratnam's Tamil film 'Nayagan' 1987, which was also rated by Time magazine as one of the best films in cinema history.
Kamal Haasan has played a variety of roles in his career. The actor has played with his looks in several movies and has undergone massive transformation to get into the skin of the character. From playing an old woman in 'Chachi 420' to playing 10 different characters in 'Dasavathaaram'- Haasan is known to go lenghths to look his part.
A complerte hero
Kamal Haasan's innovative acting skills have earned him the title of "the first, and perhaps the last, complete hero in Indian Cinema".
With the most Filmfare awards
He is the only actor who has received a Best Actor award and a Best Actor in a Supporting Role nomination for the same film 'Saagar' at The Filmfare Awards. Kamal is also the recepient of the highest number of Filmfare Awards, he has grossed 19 Filmfare in the history of Indian cinema.
Renowned director Quentin Tarantino was so inspired by the action sequences in Kamal Haasan's Tamil-Hindi film 'Aalavandhan' aka 'Abhay', that he decided to replicate a few sequences in his cult classic 'Kill Bill'.
Transforming himself for a role
Kamal Haasan always manages to surprise his fans with his unique looks in various films. In 'Appu Raja', he turned into a dwarf, and played a man almost half his original height. Haasan was the first actor in India to attempt such a character on screen. The film is one of the longest-running films in the history of Tollywood.
After giving his whole life to the film industry, the actor shocked his fans by deciding to join politics. The actor's last film is going to be Shankar's 'Indian 2'.
What's in a name
Once, Kamal Haasan was detained at the Toronto airport and was denied boarding his flight to Los Angeles because authorities felt he had an Arab name and was considered a potential terrorist.
A philanthropist, Haasan had pledged to donate all his organs(upon death) to Madras Medical College. He was one of the first few actors in India to do so.
Jackie Chan's die hard fan
Haasan was hugely inspired by action star Jackie Chan. The international star visited India for the first time for the audio launch of Haasan's 'Dasavatharam. The actor revealed that he had tried Jackie Chan's stunts for one of his films and while performing one the stunts he had suffered 32 fractures.