The ever charming R. Madhavan (Ranganathan Madhavan), popularly known as Maddy, is one of the very few actors who have a pan-Indian appeal and has appeared in films of seven different languages. We have seen him portraying different characters in all his films, from being a vegetarian cook in Ramji Londonwale to a tough boxing coach in Saala Khadoos. But he is far from those characteristics in his real life. Unlike the Farhan looking for his long lost buddy in 3 Idiots, he likes to stay alone and can be quite adamant about it at times. He likes to live in his world of imaginations and if hooked onto something he likes to complete it.
There are a lot of thing we don’t know about our beloved actor – like before starting his acting career he was selected among the 22 best cadets of NCC to give the guard of honour to the President. He came to Bombay to do his Post Graduation in Public Speaking and PR from KC College with an intent to teach the same afterwards. It was during his Post graduation that someone advised him to give his photographs to an agency and try modelling. He didn’t work as a model but got a chance to act in a few TV serials. Let’s have a look at the TV series he was a part of:
1. Yule Love Story – A drama series that aired on Zee TV (from 1993 to 1995). In every episode a new story was explored, which revolved around relationships between teens. Mr. Madhavan played a crook in one of the episodes.
2. Rishtey – Rishtey was a TV series that succeeded Yule Love Stories and was aired on Zee TV. The series explored the relationships of humans in the form of small stories. Madhavan was a part of three stories in the series – Halki Si Dhoop (Episode 3), Rang Di Chunariya (Ep. 50) and Kashish (Ep. 112).
3. Banegi Apni Baat – Another hit series on Zee TV, this show gave the acting industry many actors such as Irrfan Khan, Shefali Shah, Rakhee Tandon and our very own R. Madhavan. This can be considered the first leading character played by him that made him popular. The show started airing in 1993 till 1997.
4. Saaya – He played the role of Shekhar in the romantic-drama that aired on Sony TV in the year 1998-99.
5. Ghar Jamaai – In the comic series he played the main character, the son-in-law, while Farida Jalal played the mother-in-law. The show aired on Zee TV between 1997-98 and also starred Mandira Bedi and Satish Shah.
6. Yeh Kahan Aa Gaye Hum – Madhavan played the character of the convict in the dramatic series that aired in 1996.
7. Sea Hawks – He played a ship’s captain in the thriller that aired from 1997-98. The series also starred actors like Om Puri and Milind Soman.
8. Tol Mol Ke Bol – He also anchored for the show Tol Mol Ke Bol. This was a show that started some time after the launch of the Channel Zee TV, in which people got to keep the product if they guess the price right.
Meanwhile, when he was exploring his career in the TV industry, he also got a few offers from the film industry:
In 1996, Madhavan debuted in Bollywood in an uncredited role of a singer in a club for the film Is Raat Ki Subah Nahi.
In 1997, he appeared in a supporting role as an Indian Police officer in the film Inferno.
His first chance in the Indian film industry came in 1998 the form of a Kannada film Shanti Shanti Shanti, where he played Abbas, a carefree youngster.
Director Vinod Pandey launched Madhavan as a Bollywood hero with a project called Akeli in 1999, sadly the film got shelved due to many reasons. The film was then released directly on YouTube in 2014.
In early 1996, the director of a television commercial recommended Madhavan to Mani Ratnam. He couldn’t clear the screen test then because the director found his eyes "too young" for a senior role. But in the year 2000 he debuted in the Tamil film industry through the romantic film Alaipayuthey directed by Mani Ratnam himself.
He then won many hearts and awards simultaneously with his performance in the film Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein against Dia Mirza and Saif Ali Khan. After that, the films, work and fame followed him. The few performances that can never go off our mind are his roles in films like Rang De Basanti, Guru, 3 Idiots, Tanu Weds Manu and Saala Khadoos.
He is not only a versatile actor but he also has credits as writer and the technical crew in many of his films. He is a vegetarian and endorses PETA and was recently announced as the goodwill ambassador of LEPRA India, an organisation that fights against leprosy and tuberculosis.
One can go on and on about him but we simply cannot get enough of him. So let’s take a break from bragging about him and wish the actor a very Happy 46th Birthday.
Keep up the good work, Maddy!