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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, M. R. Radha.
M. R. Radha
MRRadhaactor.png
Born (1907-04-14)14 April 1907
Madras, Madras Presidency, British India
Died 17 September 1979(1979-09-17) (aged 72)
Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Other names Nadigavel
Occupation Actor

Madras Rajagopala Radhakrishnan Naidu (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" (Spearhead of acting in the meaning being frontrunner/torchbearer) by E.V.R. Periyar in a stage, 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, the stage. He is a strong person went through so many issues during the growth of his career.

Career[edit]

Radha left his home at an early age due to a quarrel with his mother in which she declined to give an extra piece of fish to eat. Radha was a popular theatre artist who performed in more than 5000 stage shows. Starting at the age of 10, he appeared at first in small roles and eventually 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. His performance in the 1954 film version of the play, directed by Krishnan-Panju, brought wider recognition of his talents and made him a household name in Tamil Nadu.[1]

Radha played both villain roles and comedic roles. After the 1950s, filmmakers 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 films like Velum Mayilum Thunai but he often used to ridicule theism in these films.

Shooting incident[edit]

Portrait of M. R. Radha

On 12 January 1967, Radha and a producer from Muthukumaran Pictures visited M. G. Ramachandran at his home to talk about a future project. During the conversation, Radha suddenly got up from his chair and shot twice at Ramachandran's left ear.[2] Both bullets lodged in Ramachandran's neck. Radha then turned the gun on himself but it just scratched his right temple.

Radha and Ramachandran were admitted to the same hospital, where Ramachandran spoke with his own voice for the last time prior to surgery. Luckily M.G.Ramachandran survived and so did Radha. However Ramachandran lost his original voice and had a different voice due to surgery.

Death[edit]

Radha was imprisoned for the shooting of Ramachandran.

After being 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.

Personal life[edit]

He was survived by his wives M. R. Saraswathi, M. R. Danalakshmi, and M. R. Jayamamal, and his son M. R. R. Vasu, who was also a leading character artist until the mid-1980s. His other son Radha Ravi is also an actor and his daughter Raadhika Sarathkumar is an actress and producer.

Filmography[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ T. Ramakrishnan (22 July 2005). "On Sivaji death anniversary, M. R. Radha, Kannamba remembered". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 December 2015. 
  2. ^ "The day M. R. Radha shot MGR". The Hindu. 23 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2015. 

External links[edit]


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