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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
Portrait of M. R. Radha
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 Nadiga vel
Occupation Actor
Religion Atheist

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. Recently, Rattha Kanneer has been remade by Upendra from Karnataka. Rattha Kaneer is his most famous work that was acclaimed by veteran actors Dev Anand, Amitabh Bachchan and others who termed it as one of the brilliant performances in Indian film history, and no other actor could ever duplicate that role.

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 Dravidian 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. He is strong follower of Thanthai Periyar, the great Rationalist Leader of India. Thanthai Periyar has also had great respect and regards to M.R.Radha, as a Mark of Respect he named a Community Hall in name of M.R.Radha as "M.R.RADHA MANDRUM" at Periyar Square, Chennai.

Personal life[edit]

His children are actor Late. M. R. R. Vasu, Radha Ravi, Raju, Rashia, Sampathrani, Ganavalli, Selvarani, Rathe, Kasturi, Rajeswari, Raadhika Sarathkumar & Nirosha.After shooting-MGR incident he had to send his daughter Raadhika Sarathkumar to Ceylon because of her life would have been in danger of MGR supporters. She had to grow up in Ceylon and later in London since she was a baby.

Major Incident[edit]

On 12 January 1967, M.R.Radha visited M.G. Ramachandran with a producer Mr. Vasu of Muthukumaran Pictures,at his home to talk about a future project. But during the conversation Radha suddenly got up from his chair and shot twice in M.G. Ramachandran's left ear. Since the angle of the gun pointed toward MGR's neck both bullets got lodged in his neck by seriously affecting MGR's left eardrum. After shooting MGR Radha turned the gun on himself but it just scratched his right temple. M R Radha was admitted in same hospital immediately after MGR was admitted. He also said "Naan thaan sutteen. Policeukku statement koduthacchu.". In the hospital before the surgery MGR spoke with own voice for the last time.


When M. R. Radha was in prison for shooting MGR, MGR's fans purposely committed crimes so that they could go to prison to meet M. R. Radha and show their anger in a violent way by assaulting him and sending him to the prison hospital a number of times. Even M. R. Radha's son M. R. R. Vaasu avoided visiting him in the fear of losing movie chances.

M. R. Radha died of jaundice on 17 September 1979 aged 72 at his residence in Thiruchirappalli. His popularity soared upon release from jail. His funeral procession was one of the largest in South India, as nearly two to three hundred thousand mourners paid respect to an iconic legend of the Tamil film industry, as well as being a key figure in the Dravidian movement and social reform throughout India. During his death, he was survived by his wives Late M. R. Saraswathi and Late M. R. Dhanalakshmi.


  • Ratha Kanneer
  • Aayiram Roobai
  • Kaikodutha Deivam
  • Paava Mannippu
  • En Kadamai
  • Chithi
  • Pudhiya Paravai
  • Bale Pandiya
  • Petraldhan Pillaya
  • Thaikku Pin Thaaram
  • Kavalai Illaadha Manithan
  • Kumudam
  • Karpagam
  • Thayai kaatha thanayan
  • Paasam
  • Paalum Pazhamum
  • Pattinathar
  • Padithal Mattum Podhuma
  • Naanum Oru Penn
  • Koduthu Vaithaval
  • Aalayamani
  • Santhanathevan
  • Velum Mayilum Thunai
  • Rathinapuri Ilavarasi
  • Thai solli Thathathe
  • Petralthan Pillaya
  • Periya Idhathu Penn
  • Anandha Jodhi
  • Ulagam Sirikkirathu

External links[edit]

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

The Hindu

The Hindu
Thu, 31 Jul 2014 14:11:15 -0700

While it is a common practise to prefix the place of birth before one's given name, very rarely would one find someone having 'Madras' in their name. One of those men was 'Madras' Rajagopala Radhakrishnan, otherwise called 'Nadigavel' M.R. Radha, ...


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 07:26:15 -0700

It is a dream for every producer to step into Hollywood to take their banner to international arena. But Prabhakaran Hariharan made it big in his first attempt itself. He hails from legendary family of Tamil cinema, M.R. Radha & M.R.R. Vasu are his ...
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 04:26:15 -0700

Haricane Studios, VFX and Animation company is India has signed a co-production deal with a leading production studio in Hollywood. We hear that the project they would be working will be an animated adaptation from the novel Bremen Town Musicians.

The Hindu

The Hindu
Sat, 26 Jul 2014 08:00:00 -0700

In 1961, a Tamil movie was released by MAV Pictures titled Panam Panthiyiley, featuring some top stars of Tamil cinema — S.S. Rajendran, C.R. Vijayakumari and M.R. Radha. In its review of the film, popular Tamil weekly Kumudham wrote in its usual ...
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:56:29 -0700

Bhandari, Mr Hiren Ved, and officials from OM Freight (stevedore and CHA), including Director Mr Harmesh Joshi and Mr Radha also marked their presence at the event. The cargo was expeditiously discharged using shore cranes, without any damage, with ...

The Hindu

The Hindu
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 07:15:00 -0700

He cast his wife E.V. Saroja and singing star T.R. Mahalingam in the lead, with a spectacular cast consisting of all the big names of the sixties, including cult villain M.R. Radha. The screen story and dialogues were by Thuraiyur K. Murthi, a close ...
The Hindu
Fri, 18 Jul 2014 12:52:30 -0700

Mr. Sasikumar also directed a lone Tamil film, 'Panjamrutham', starring Jaishankar, M.R. Radha and Sangeetha, in 1978. He was the prime moving force for the creation of Rajaram Film Director's Colony in Kodambakkam and wanted to live there till the end ...
Vancouver Desi
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 05:22:30 -0700

This will be one such tale, which can connect with people all across,” Prabhakaran Hari Haran, managing director, Haricane Studios, said in a statement. However, Hari, the great grandson of late popular Tamil actor M.R. Radha, didn't reveal the name of ...

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