Kalyanamalai, November 2009

Potpourri of titbits about Tamil cinema - Gemini Ganesan , part -1

Gemini Ganesh was popularly known as ‘Kaadal mannan’. I got his friendship through his secretary Gemini Mahalingam, who was also an actor. We got closer in course of time. During our friendship spanning two decades, Ganesh had shared many of his personal and other things with me. His incredible memory and his ability to maintain absolute health had surprised me quite often.

Once, he told me, "When I was a student, I stayed at Ramakrishna Home in Mylapore. My brother Subramanian taught me good conduct. Also, he taught me the Vedas, Bhagavat Gita and Yogasanas. I am doing yoga even today, I am keeping good health because of that. I don’t know why, even after my marriage, many women fell in love with me. I ‘escaped’ from 90% of them! But after I received the title ‘Kaadal mannan’, I was pushed to a situation in which I married three more women in course of time! I can never forget those days when I studied in Christian College, Tambaram. The students called me Aswathama because I used to sing the songs of Thyagaraja bhagavathar and Aswathama.

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Hit list, Date:22 March 2005

Gemini Ganesan 1920-2005

Popular South Indian film actor of yesteryear "Gemini" Ganesan, who died died in the wee hours of today, ushered in an era of subtle emotions on screen and was known for his wide range of talent. Known as the "Kadal Mannan" (king of romance), a title given by famous film magazine "Pesumpadam",Ganesan carved out a niche in Tamil cinema with his portrayal of largely soft characters sans exaggeration during the career spanning over five decades from 1950.

Born in an orthodox Brahmin family in Pudukottai near Thanjavur in 1920, Ganesan started his career as a lecturer in the Madras Christian College A meeting with camerman of Gemini Studios Ramnath led him to join the famous production house as an executive in 1947 and was thus given the tag "Gemini" when he started acting. It was the other popular production house - the AVM - that gave him the hero role in 1950 AVM's "Penn" and "Kanavane Kan Kanda Deivam" gave him the star status. From then on, he never looked back and acted in over 200 films in all the southern languages and some in Hindi, some of the more memorable ones being "Vanjikottai Valiban", "Konjum Salngai", "Missiamma", "Pasa Malar", "Kalyana Parisu", "Kalathur Kannamma", "Karpagam", "Then Nilavu" "Iru Kodugal", and "Punnagai".

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