Tamil cinema is the innovator of indie-movie culture in India. Especially based in Chennai, Tamil Cinema is popular for its raw energy and vigor in its movies. The industry also produced many superstars like Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, and even some of the considerable directors like Mani Ratnam and K. Balachander. The themes depicted in Tamil cinema are also culturally meaningful and technically stunning. So, here is the list of top 10 best Tamil actors ever.
1: Kamal Hassan
Kamal Hassan is one of the great actors of Indian Cinema. However, steered by a great passion for movies, and also he carved out a place for himself in a career extending five decades. Moreover, known for his versatility in movie parts, and he left an unforgettable mark with his label way of emoting scenes. His debut film, Kalathur Kannamma, secured the President’s Gold Medal at an earlier age of 6. So, deemed to be a discovery of the ace director K. Balachander, Kamal Hassan’s first record-breaking film was Apoorva Raagangal. From then on, Kamal Hassan performed in several versatile roles, only to catapult him into the association of fine actors. There was also a time when he was the successor of Bachchan in the Hindi Cinema.
However, the remarkable success of Mani Ratnam’s Nayagan made him international popularity. After a colossal journey in films, Mr. Hassan is now foraying into politics.
2: Sivaji Ganesan
The Los Angeles times characterized Sivaji Ganesan as, “The Marlon Brando of Indian Cinema.” An iconic image in Tamil Cinema, he is also cited as “Nadigar Thilagam” (Pride of actors). However, in a career passing over five decades, he performed in 283 films across many languages. Also, Shivaji is famous for his iconic body language and a thumping baritone. He is also one of the most talented actors in India.
Moreover, Shivaji pleased everyone with his stunning performance in his debut film, Parasakthi. ‘Veerapandiya Kattabomon’ was the movie that moved him into a larger than life prestige and rendered him the ‘Nadigar Thilagam.’ Sivaji Ganesan is also the first Indian actor to achieve the Chevalier award.
3: MG Ramachandran
Perhaps, the most prosperous and the most famous actor among the Tamil film fellowship would be, MG Ramachandran, or popularly remembered as ‘MGR.’ He is the most potent cultural icon of Tamil Cinema. He also served the society as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu for ten years. However, MGR was very famous among the masses, thanks to his movies like Ambe Maa, Mahadevi. Also, his film Ulagam Sutrum Vaalibhan, broadcasted in 1973, smashed all the then prevailing box-office records of Tamil cinema. After a considerable career in cinema, he forayed into politics and was also prosperous like his film career. He is also regarded as ‘Makkal Thilagam’ (People’s King) in Tamil culture.
Ulagam Sutrum Vaalibhan
4: Gemini Ganeshan
One of the three great names of Tamil Cinema, Gemini Ganesan, and the other two names being SIvaj Ganesan and MGR is famous for his theater in romantic films. Regarded as ‘Kaadhal Mannan,’ Gemini Ganesan fled an unforgettable mark with his characters in romantic movies. Miss Malini was the film that gave rise to widespread acclaim to Gemini Ganesan. He has performed in over 200 films in a career spanning approximately five decades. Unlike the other two greats, Gemini Ganesan never joined politics.
Manam Pola Mangalyam
The favorite of the masses, Rajinikanth, is the greatest superstar of Tamil Cinema. Another finding of the ace director, K. Balachander, Rajinikanth, worked in 1975 film Apoorva Raagangal. A succession of films, and he was on the verge of the uprise to super-stardom. Rajinikanth was a bus-conductor before his career in the film industry. His devotion led him to Madras Film Institute and motivated him to pursue a career in acting. His greatest blockbuster was the 1995 gangster drama, Baasha. Rajinikanth is also competitive in philanthropic activities. He is lovingly known upon as ‘Thalaivar,’ by his millions of devotees. At the 45th International Indian Film Festival, he was acclaimed with the “Centenary Award for Indian Film Personality of the Year.”
6: Prakash Raj
Prakash Raj is one of the most well-known faces in the Tamil film Industry. A fantastic theatre artist, Prakash Raj, is an adaptable actor. He is rather popularly remembered for his portrayal of negative characters in almost many tongues. He has four national awards to his fame, which demonstrate the strength in his theater and directorial skills. Mani Ratnam’s Iruvar was a breakthrough character for Prakash Raj, for which he was granted the National Award for Best Supporting Actor. His raw portrait of the negative tone in Antahpuram secured him the Special Jury National Award. Be it any role, Prakash Raj characterizes it with his impressive acting. He has also performed in many Bollywood dramas.
7: Siva Kumar
Often pertained to as ‘Markandeyan’ of Tamil Cinema, Siva Kumar was one of the well-known actors of Tamil Cinema in the 1970s. Applauded for his portrait of a large variety of characters, Siva Kumar has performed in over 200 films in the career passing over three decades. Initiated his career as a supporting actor, he grew up to serve as one of the leading tops of Tamil Cinema. His performance, mainly in movies like Marupakkam, Sindhu Bhairavi, Annakili are used as considerations in the modern era. He later moved towards television serials, like Annamalai and Chithi.
Karthik is one of those rare actors who has worked together with all the prominent directors of Tamil cinema. Also remembered for his versatile theater, he fled his imprint in the Industry. Besides, introduced by the ace director, Bharathiraja, in his Alaigal Oivathillai, Karthick soon became the discussion of the town with his diversity of movies. His comedy with Goundamani in many films is still admired. In the list of ‘Top 50 Indian Actors’ broadcasted by IMDB, Karthik was indexed 24, and that substantiates his skill when it comes to acting.
‘The Jerry Lewis of India,’ Nagesh is a creative comedian and actor who controlled the screen with his comedy in the 1970s and 80s. Remembered only by his screen name (his real name being Krishna Rao Nageswaran), Nagesh has performed in over 1000 films, a rare undertaking by any actor. Found in many K. Balachander films, Nagesh’s style of comedy was promoted by the Hollywood comedian, Jerry Lewis, which attained him that title. Be it ‘Server Sundaram’, or Vaithy in Thillana Mohanambal, or the poor priest Dharumi in Thiruvilayadal, he delivered some of the most iconic comedy exhibitions for Tamil Cinema.
Chiyaan Vikram is the settler of this generation’s greatest actors. Recognized for his versatility in his movies, Vikram is very well-known in Tamil Cinema. Also, he debuted with En Kaadhal Kanamani, which unlocked to the indifferent response. The audience also rejected the series of his next films. But it was Bala’s Sethu, that lent him the breakthrough and carved his popularity. Then, after some series of films, he was in the prime association. Besides, it was the movie, Anniyan, that made Vikram, a national tribute.
Moreover, a giant blockbuster, it rewrote all the prevailing box-office records. However, Vikram is one actor who dares to pull out any kind of position with his trademark comfort. Also, he acknowledges in method acting.
So, these are the list of top 10 best Tamil actors ever.