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Google Doodle tribute to Sivaji Ganesan on his 93rd birth anniversary

The Pebble

October 1, 2021

3 min


Sivaji Ganesan’s stellar performance in a Tamil play catapulted him to fame, and the thespian went on to act in nearly 300 films during a career spanning five decades

Today’s Google Doodle is a tribute to late Sivaji Ganesan, an icon of Indian cinema. Ganesan’s 93rd birth anniversary falls on October 1 and Google has honoured the thespian with a doodle by Bengaluru-based artist Noopur Rajesh Choksi.

Actor Vikram Prabhu, grandson of Ganesan, posted on social media. “Here is the #Googledoodle honouring the Legendary #SivajiGanesan on his 93rd birthday. Appreciate the people from Google India and their guest artist Noopur Rajesh Choksi for the doodle art. Another proud moment! Love him and miss him more every year.”

Stage name Sivaji

Sivaji Ganesan was born as V. Chinnaiya Manrayar Ganesamoorthy in Villupuram, Madras Presidency (known as Tamil Nadu at present) on October 1, 1928. He was 10-years-old when he joined a theatre group Sangiliyandapuram.

His performance as  Maharaja Chhatrapati Shivaji in the play titled Shivaji Kanda Hindu Rajyam, staged in 1945, catapulted him to instant recognition, earning him the moniker, “Sivaji”, given by Ev Ramasamy, a social reformer. Sivaji eventually became his stage name. Ganesan was also trained in Bharatnatyam, Kathakali, and Manipuri. He also came to be known as the “Marlon Brando of South Indian film industry”.

A career spanning five decades

He made his debut in Tamil cinema in 1952 in the film Parasakthi. Apart from Tamil cinema, he acted close to 300 films– during a career across five decades– including Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi.

Ganesan won several awards, most notably, he was the first Indian actor to get a ‘Best Actor’ award at an international film festival, which was at the 1960 Afro-Asian Film Festival held in Cairo, Egypt for his performance in the 1959 Tamil film Veerapandiya Kattabomman.
Ganesan was also politically active but his political career wasn’t a success. In 1988, he started his own political party Thamizhaga Munnetra Munnani, which contested 50 seats in the Tamil Nadu Assembly election, but it did not perform well. In 1989, Ganesan became the president of the Tamil Nadu wing of former VP Singh’s Janta Dal.
Ganesan’s last appearance in films was in a supporting role in the 1999 film Pooparika Varugirom. Ganesan passed away on July 21, 2001.


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