J. Mahendran

  • Actor, Director, Writer, Screenplay, Dialogue Writer

Jul 25, 1939  in Ilaiyangudi North, Tamil Nadu, India

No ads

Regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers in the Tamil film industry, J. Mahendran is a filmmaker, screenwriter, and actor who primarily works in Tamil cinema. The veteran who has inspired doyens of Tamil cinema like Rajinikanth and Mani Ratnam, started his career in the film industry as a screenwriter, in his illustrious career has written for more than 25 films and directed more than 15 films.

J. Mahendran who was very active in stage plays during his college days, after completing his degree, he went to Madras to study law. However, seven months later, he discontinued due to lack of finance and started worked as a journalist with Inamuzhakkam, a periodical. It was during his stint as a journalist that Mahendran met the then acclaimed superstar M.G. Ramachandran who asked him to write a story for his drama troupe and also later recommended him to director A. Kasilingam to take him as an assistant in his film Kanchi Thalaivan (1963).

The veteran writer and director got his major breakthrough in 1966 when he made his debut as a writer for a feature film with Naam Moovar, he subsequently wrote for films like Panakkara Pillai (1968), and Nirai Kudam (1969), Thangapathakkam (1974), Aadu Puli Attam (1977), before eventually making his directorial debut with Mullum Malarum (1978). Two years later directed the highly critically acclaimed Nenjathai Killathe (1980), which won three National Awards as well as three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards. His other notable directorial ventures include Kai Kodukkum Kai (1984), and Sansanam (2006).

The writer-turned-actor, Mahendran made his debut on the silver screen with Kamaraj (2004). His other notable film credits as an actor include Theri (2016), Katamarayudu (2017), Nimir (2018), Rustum (2019) and Pon Manickavel (2020).