An actor and a gentleman (Article copyed from "The Hindu)
Sivaji Ganesan was well known as one of India's best actors but what was the man like?
SABITA RADHAKRISHNA profiles the thespian.
SEVEN-year-old boy watched the "Veerapandya Kattabomman" nadagam in fascinated silence. He was hoisted on stage to make an appearance as a British soldier. He enjoyed the stage and savoured the applause. Once home, his father, a freedom fighter, thrashed him mercilessly. How could he play the role of an "enemy"? How dared he preen himself on stage! Something broke in the little boy's psyche. What was wrong in being an actor and fending for himself? It would mean one mouth less to feed.
Ganesa joined the Madurai Shri Bala Gana Sabha on the pretext that he was an orphan, aware that his parents would never permit him to leave home, much less join theatre. This young boy became the legendary Sivaji Ganesan, who played the role of "Veerapandiya Kattabomman" in the film of the same name.
Sivaji's growth as an actor was meteoric and phenomenal thanks to single minded pursuit of his goal despite the most adverse of circumstances. His dedication to the theatre, passion, hard work and a grim determination to reach the heights of excellence made him one of the greatest actors in his lifetime with a career span of 65 years and nearly 300 films and innumerable plays to his credit.