Ajith Kumar

  • Actor

May 01, 1971  in Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Also Known as: Kaadhal Mannan, Aasai Nayagan, Ajith, Thala, Ultimate Star

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Known as `Thala`, Ajith Kumar, better known by his screen name Ajith is one of the biggest superstars of Kollywood film industry. The man who has enthralled the Tamil cine lovers for over three decades started his journey in the film industry in 1990 and over the years has been part of several blockbusters. Ajith who ventured into the film industry with literally no support from the film fraternity over the years has come to known as the actor who epitomizes elegance, humility, and blockbuster films. Apart from his successful career in the film industry, Ajith Kumar has also been a popular car racer; in 2004, he took a sabbatical from acting to participate in the British Formula 3 season as a Formula Two racing driver and was ranked the third best driver in India.

Early Life
Born in Hyderabad, Ajith is the son of Mohini Kumar who comes from Kolkata and P. Subramaniam. The actor has two brothers, Anoop Kumar who works as a stockbroker in New York and Anil Kumar, an IIT Madras graduation working in Seattle. Ajith also had two younger twin sisters both of whom died at a young age.

Personal Life
Ajith Kumar started dating actress Shalini Kumar when the two met on the sets of Amarkalam in 1999. The actor proposed Shalini in June 1999 and after getting her parents` approval, the duo tied the knot in April 2000 in Chennai. The couple has two children, a daughter named Anoushka who was born in January 2008, and a son named Aadvik who was born in March 2015.

Movie Career
Ajith Kumar started his career in the film industry with an uncredited role as a school student in En Veedu En Kanavar (1990). Three years later he appeared in the Telugu-language film Prema Pusthakam (1993), which marked his official debut. The film directed by Gollapudi Maruthi Rao also features another debutant Kanchan in the lead role. The same year, the actor made his debut in Tamil film industry with Amaravathi directed by Selva. It was the actor`s first hit and it opened to positive critical response.

After his first major hit, over the next couple of years, Ajit starred in films like Paasamalargal (1994), Pavithra (1994) and Aasai (1995). Whilst the first film did not fare well at the box-office, the latter two not only won critical praises but also won raked in good numbers at the box office. Continuing his successful run in 1995, with yet another massive hit in 1996 with Vaanmathi directed by Agathiyan. The Tamil romantic-drama co-starring Swathi was based on the life of the erstwhile Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Jayalalitha and her relationship with her niece, Deepa Jayakumar; it ran for over 175 days across several theaters in Tamil Nadu.The actor got his next major hit in 1999 as he starred in the S.J. Surya directed thriller film Vaali co-starring Simran, Jyothika and Vivek. The movie, where Ajith plays the role of a deaf and dumb for the first time in his career received wide critical acclaim and emerged to be a massive box office hit and Ajith for his stellar performance in the film won his maiden Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Tamil. He got his second Filmfare Award nomination for his role in Poovellam Un Vasam (2001) directed by Ezhil and co-starring Jyothika. The same year, the actor made his debut in a Bollywood film alongside Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena Kapoor Khan and Hrishita Bhatt in the Indian epic historical drama Asoka, which was based on the life of the former emperor Asoka of the Maurya dynasty. Although the film garnered highly positive critical reviews, it did not fare well at the box office.

In 2002, Ajith won his second Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his brilliant role in the Tamil heist film Villain directed by K.S. Ravikumar and co-starring Meena and Kiran Rathod. The film, which is noted for Ajith`s dual role as a bus conductor and a handicapped man garnered wide positive reviews and emerged to be a box office success. Following, the success of Villain, the actor had a dull period in his career, before getting his next major hit in 2006 with Varalaru. The film, which was Ajith`s second collaboration with director K.S. Ravikumar also features Asin and Kanika in the lead roles. His brilliant performance in the film won him his third Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Tamil.

After the huge success of Varalaru, Ajith collaborated with director Vishnuvardhan for the gangster thriller film Billa (2007) co-starring Prabhu Ganesan, Nayantara, Namita, and Rahman. The film, which was screened at the 61st Cannes Film Festival, upon its theatrical release garnered wide positive reviews and was a huge box office hit. In 2011, the actor had a massive image makeover as he sported the salt and pepper look in the Tamil black comedy action-heist film Mankatha. The film co-starring Arjun Sarja, Trisha Krishnan, Premji Amaren, Lakshmi Rai and Andrea Jeremiah revolves around a heist of cricket betting money by a gang of four thieves. The film had one of the highest opening that year and it was declared a blockbuster hit.

In 2012, the actor reprised his titular role in Billa II directed by Chakri Toleti. The film, which was the second installment in the Billa series, just like its first movie fared pretty well at the box office as well as got positive critical reviews. The same year, the actor made a cameo appearance in the Tamil dubbed version of the critically acclaimed Hindi movie English Vinglish directed by Gauri Shinde and starring Sridevi Kapoor. Over the next three years, the actor had three releases Arrambam (2013), Veeram (2014), and Yennai Arindhal (2015), all of which fared well at the box office and earned him a Filmfare Award Nomination for Best Actor - Tamil. His 2017 release includes Blind Date with Ajith Kumar and Vivegam, an action thriller film directed by Siva. His 2019 release includes Nerkonda Paarvai.