wiki:M Krishnamurthy Thyagaraja Bhagavatar

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M. Krishnamurthy Thyagaraja Bhagavathar (1909-59)

One of the first major Tamil singing stars, introduced in K. Subramanyam’s mythological Pavalakkodi (as Arjuna). Born into a family of goldsmiths in Tiruchi; joined the theatre as a child in F.G. Natesa Iyer’s troupe and went on to become the biggest Tamil stage star, sporting shoulder-length hair, diamond ear-rings and kohl around his eyes. After a successful film début, became briefly the highest-paid actor in South India, despite appearing in only 11 films, with classic performances in Duncan’s Ambikapathy, Y.V. Rao’s Chintamani and Raja Chandrasekhar’s Ashok Kumar, and the folk legend of the reformed saint Haridas, a major commercial hit. Helped launch the mainstream Newtone Studio (1937). As a musician, he adhered to the Tamizhisai movement, emphasising Tamil traditions as opposed to the Carnatic idiom dominated by Telugu, Kannada and Sanskrit. Arrested with N.S. Krishnan? and jailed in 1945 for two years for the infamous Lakshmikantan murder (in which the two stars allegedly had a film gossip columnist, C.N. Lakshmikantan, killed). Made a high-profile comeback with two of his own productions: Chandrasekhar’s Raja Mukthi failed but is remembered as the debut of playback singer M.L. Vasanthakumari. Turned to direction with his last film Pudhu Vazhvu. Biography by Vindhan (1983).

FILMOGRAPHY (* also d): 1934: Pavalakkodi; 1935: Sarangadhara; 1936: Satya Seelan; 1937: Ambikapathy; Chintamani; 1939: Thiruneelakantar; 1941: Ashok Kumar; 1943: Sivakavi; 1944: Haridas; 1948: Raja Mukthi; 1952: Amarakavi; 1957: Pudhu Vazhvu*; 1960:Sivagami.