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Ajith Kumar
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Also known as:Kaadhal Mannan, Aasai Nayagan, Ajith, Thala, Ultimate Star
Occupation:Actor
Born:May 1, 1971
Birthplace:Hyderabad, Telangana, India
Spouse:Shalini Kumar
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About
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 other releases include Viswasam (2019), Nerkonda Paarvai (2019), Valimai (2022) and Thunivu (2023).
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Did You Know? (15)

  • Not many people know that Ajith Kumar has also made a Bollywood appearance. He starred in the 2001 Shah Rukh Khan - Kareena Kapoor Khan starrer film Asoka, where he played the role of Susima.
  • Ajith Kumar participated in the 54th British Formula Three Championship, ranking the third best motor car driver in India.
  • Ajith Kumar took up the responsibility to fund the education of his employees' children. Not only this, he has also built homes at a hill station in Tamil Nadu for his loyal employees who have been working with him for very long.
  • Ajith Kumar dropped out of school to fulfil his passion of becoming a racing car driver.
  • Before entering the entertainment industry, Ajith Kumar worked as a salesman at a garment export business.
  • One of the biggest stars of Tamil cinema, Ajith Kumar initially found it hard to speak in Tamil. Hence the then struggling actor Vikram dubbed for his initial movies like Amaravathi and Paasamalargal.
  • Ajith Kumar was given the title of 'Kalaimamani' by The State of Tamil Nadu for his excellent performance in arts!
  • Ajith Kumar had to undergo 15 major operations when he met with an accident at the initial stage of his career.
  • Ajith Kumar's popular screen name is Shiva, which was used in 7 films including Kadhal Mannan, Villain, Aalwar, Paramasivan, Aegan, Vaali, and Aasal.
  • The first movie Ajith Kumar worked on never released since the director of the movie passed away while filming it.
  • A credible pilot, Ajith Kumar has the capability to fly a fighter jet.
  • Ajith Kumar was initially cast to play the lead role in Nerrukku Ner, and he also shot for the film for 11 days, but due to date issues the director replaced him with Suriya.
  • Ajith's title Thala, which he is popularly addressed to as, was first heard in the movie Dheena.
  • Ajith Kumar has rejected several blockbuster movies in his acting career, including Nandha, Ghajini, Kaakha Kaakha, Naan Kadaval and Saamy.
  • Suriya's career breakthrough came with the movie Nandha, but actor Ajith Kumar was the first choice of the film as director Bala had written the story of the film with Ajith in mind.
  • Personal Quotes (16)

  • "Keep aside 10% of your earnings out of which keep 3% for god if you have faith. Spend 4% for the poor and the needy and spend the other 3% who depend only upon you. Most importantly pay tax for every single rupee you earn."
  • "I understood clearly that an actor’s job is much more than his appearance on screen. Considering the prevalent competition, an actor’s responsibility is manifold. "
  • "I take both success and failures alike. They have made me mature and strong as an individual. You only get better and wiser by the experience. "
  • "Yes, I have made good decisions, bad decisions; done good films and bad films. I have met some wonderful people and been through some very traumatic experiences but I guess that’s what’s made me the person that I am today. "
  • "Work hard, pay your taxes, respect your elders and devote enough time for your family! Donate a part of your income to the needy! Neither impose your thoughts on others nor let them impose not let them impose theirs on you! Don’t let money alone decide who you work with! Live and let live! These are not words of advice but an experience of a journey called life."
  • "Failure is a big part of life, but it’s how we react to failing that will determine our destiny. If we learn from it and move on, it can help to make us all we can be. If you fear it to the extent that you never take risks, you will never grow. "
  • "Acting is a learning process, and what you are doing in your early films is essentially picking up the nuances, the tricks of your trade. And somewhere along the line, you become analytical and learn to enjoy what you are doing. Essentially, though, I see myself as a director’s medium – he needs something from me, I deliver it. "
  • "I have always had a need for speed. Ever since I sat in a car I wanted to be a professional racer. Lots of people have told me how difficult it is. But I am not going to fail and I have never given anything less than my best shot in all my endeavors"
  • "Never lose your self-respect for anyone. Give your 100 per cent towards your work. Please study well. I studied only till 10th standard. I have struggled a lot and that route is really difficult. I needn't have struggled so much if I studied well. Live and let live."
  • "Aren't we all dreamers? It's only because man dreamt of flying that we are travelling in planes. Behind all inventions, we see the dreams of people. I am glad that mankind on the whole are dreamers. "
  • "I am never afraid of failure."
  • "I know! And believe me, remaining unprovoked through all the back-stabbing and canard isn't easy. But I don't wish to give importance to people who indulge in it, by reacting to them. None can gain mileage from slinging mud at me. All celebrities go through it. You either stay back or walk away. I opted for the former."
  • "I never wanted to use my fans as mere pawns for my personal benefits. At times, I might not have guided them. But I am very careful that I must not mislead them."
  • "It hurts me to see fans posting very lewd comments about each other. I hope it stops. It's appalling for a common person to see such comments on social networking sites. Professional competition will always be there between different genres of actors. But to make personal, lewd comments, it doesn't go down well. That should stop. Whoever does it first, will be looked upon."
  • "I didn't let the child in me die, it's still alive!"
  • "The brash young Ajith is gone. Now I'm probably turning philosophical and even spiritual. I read a lot and it has made me realise the transience of fame and fortune. Agreed, it's a rat race everywhere, but let's move on... live and let live!"
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