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In this Indian name, the name Madras Rajagopal is a patronymic, not a family name, and the person should be referred to by the given name, MR Radha.
Madras Rajagopala Radhakrishnan Naidu
Born (1907-04-14)April 14, 1907
Madras, Madras State, British India
Died September 17, 1979(1979-09-17) (aged 72)
Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Other names Nadigavel
Occupation Actor

Madras Rajagopala Radhakrishnan Naidu (b. 14 April 1907 - 17 September 1979), popularly known by his stage name, M. R. Radha was an Indian film actor and politician. He was given the title of "Nadigavel" for his acting prowess. After a successful career on stage in his early years, he acted in films from the 1930s to the 1970s, and then, giving up films, he went back to his first love - Stage.


Radha left his home at an early age due to a quarrel with his mother that she refused to give an extra piece of fish to eat. Radha was a popular theater artist who made more than 5000 stage shows. Starting at the age of 10, he appeared in small roles, grew to a level that stories for dramas were custom made for him.

Radha gained popularity with the success of his stage play Ratha Kanneer. When he acted in the film version of the play,which also showed the versatility of the famous directors Krishnan-Panju, he quickly gained his star status. Rattha Kanneer gave Radha an international recognition and an award.

With his versatile acting, Radha played both villain and comedian roles. After the 1950s, film-makers created roles specially for him, and he often overshadowed even main actors like MGR and Sivaji Ganesan. He was an active member of the self-respect movement, and was known for his atheistic views. Towards the end of his career, however, he started acting in Hindu devotional movies like Velum Mayilum Thunai. He often used to ridicule atheism in these movies and was a follower of Thanthai Periyar, the rationalist.

Shooting incident[edit]

Portrait of M. R. Radha.

Source: The Hindu

The shooting case was not as simple as it seemed. The investigation and lengthy trail that followed unfolded a complicated story.

K.K. Vasu, who was with Radha in MGR’s house when the shooting took place, was the key witness. He was a film producer, and in 1966, had borrowed money from Radha to produce a movie titled Petralthan Pillaya with MGR in the lead.

The movie did well and Vasu repaid the loan with interest. In January 1967, Radha approached Vasu to produce another film with MGR in the lead again. On the morning of January 12, both met to discuss the project.

The meeting took place @ 5pm at the Ramavaram Thottam where MGR conducted his official matters. The shooting took place within seconds when M.R.Radha suddenly got up and shot in MGR's left ear twice before even MGR acted in response. M.R.Radha had the gun in his right trouser pocket since he was right handed. At the ER MGR still with his original voice told the attending emergency doctor right away when he got to the hospital by himself: MGR drove himself to the ER. Later an emergency ambulance brought M.R.Radha to the same ward where MGR was at the time.

By 4.30 that evening, both reached MGR’s house in Nandambakkam. They were seated in the reception hall. Radha placed the leather bag he was carrying on the table and waited for MGR to show.

The story is clear up to this point and all the parties broadly agreed with the narration. But the accounts began to vary here on.

As Vasu and MGR recalled in court, when they were discussing the details of the proposed movie, Radha stood up. MGR asked Radha to be seated, but he did not heed the words. MGR and Vasu continued talking when all of a sudden, they heard a loud noise.

MGR felt a shooting pain and covered his left ear with his palm to feel blood ooze out. He looked up and saw Radha standing with a revolver in his hand. Radha stepped back, shot himself in the right temple, and then in the neck. MGR managed to walk to the portico and asked his driver to take him to the hospital.

Radha, however, had a different story. According to him, when MGR met them in the reception hall, the matinee idol scolded Radha for writing negative articles about him.

“Brother, you are writing articles saying that I am conspiring to kill Mr. Kamaraj (then Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu). Thereafter you are threatening to shoot. It does not prevent me from talking on the same lines,” MGR allegedly said.

But Radha denied it. Even as they were engaged in a heated argument, Radha heard a loud noise and felt giddy. He realized he had been shot in the temple and saw MGR pointing a gun at him.

Radha claimed that, as a reflex, he rushed towards MGR, snatched the gun and fired a shot in return. Radha was in the hospital until January 30. After that he was in the A-class prison of Madras Central jail.

The election campaign was in full swing by then and the iconic picture of MGR sitting on a hospital bed with a heavily bandaged neck was widely circulated.

Election results were announced on February 23 and DMK trounced Congress to form a new government. MGR defeated his Congress rival by an impressive margin.

On February 27, the police filed a chargesheet accusing Radha of a murder attempt on MGR, and a suicide bid. The police also said Radha owned the revolver used in the shooting. Its licence had expired in 1964. The trial was to follow.


Radha was imprisoned for the shooting of Ramachandran. His son, M. R. R. Vaasu, avoided visiting him in the fear of losing movie chances.

Released from jail, Radha died of jaundice on 17 September 1979 aged 72 at his residence in Thiruchirappalli. His popularity had improved and his funeral procession was one of the largest in South India, as over 200,000 mourners paid respect. He was survived by his wives late prema has the privilege of having the tallest samadhi in the whole Coimbatore district which still maintained and worshipped by the whole family.

Personal life[edit]

He was survived by his wife M.R.R.Saraswathi M . R . DANALAKSHMI M .R. JAYAMAMAL and his son M.R.R. Vasu who was also a leading character artist till mid 80's. His another son Radha Ravi is also an actor while his daughter Raadhika Sarathkumar is an actress and producer.


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._R._Radha — Please support Wikipedia.
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251 news items

The Indian Express
Sun, 04 Oct 2015 13:15:00 -0700

While Sarathkumar is contesting for president, Radha Ravi — the son of veteran Tamil actor M R Radha — will fight for the post of general secretary. The rival camp rose to challenge Sarathkumar after a property deal during his tenure involving the ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Sat, 03 Oct 2015 11:58:04 -0700

In 1952, just as Tamil cinema was beginning to strengthen its grip on the psyche of the Tamil people, stalwarts like M.G. Ramachandran, N.T. Rama Rao, Sivaji Ganesan and M.R. Radha formed the South Indian Film Artistes' Association, which would come to ...

Times of India

Times of India
Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:45:25 -0700

Actor Aari will be playing the modern-day version of legendary actor MR Radha in a play written by Nedunchaalai director Krishna. This play will be part of a tribute show being organized tomorrow in the city by actress Radikaa to mark her father's ...


Sat, 03 Oct 2015 04:15:00 -0700

Sathyaraj is one of the rare actors who added the flavor of satire and sarcasm to Tamil cinema. He is also on of those rare heroes who was equally good in comedy, romance, action and sentiments as an actor. He started his journey as a villain actor ...
The Asian Age
Thu, 17 Sep 2015 11:00:00 -0700

Speculation is also rife that if Mr Radha Mohan Singh is nominated as the chief minister, one of the BJP chief ministers could succeed him in Mr Modi's Cabinet. The names of Union ministers Ravishankar Prasad and Rajiv Pratap Rudy, along with senior ...


Thu, 30 Jul 2015 01:38:40 -0700

Veteran film and drama actor M.R.Radha was fondly addressed as 'Radha Anna' by MGR and Sivaji Ganesan the stalwarts of the black and white era. Radha was known for his satirical approach on social issues and politics and most of his dramas were ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Sat, 19 Sep 2015 05:11:15 -0700

Nadigar Sangam was formed in 1952 by actors MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, and M. R. Radha, with the support of a few others. MGR and company contributed funds and purchased 99 cents of land in Habibullah Road, T. Nagar, a prime locality in the city. It was the ...
Wed, 09 Sep 2015 13:37:45 -0700

The next to go to the polls is Bihar, home state of Mr Radha Mohan Singh, the minister responsible for agriculture and farmers' welfare. Mr Singh has been out campaigning in the state. A senior official at his ministry said the government was ready to ...

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