Dec 02, 1985 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
A popular Indian actor, Daniel Balaji is known for mostly portraying negative roles in South Indian film industry across Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada films. Apart from acting on the big screen, the actor has also worked in TV serials, in fact, he made his acting debut with the popular TV series’ Chitthi (1999), which was aired on Sun TV. His role as Daniel was much appreciated by the audience and the success of the series eventually got him his screen name ‘Daniel Balaji.’
Born in Andhra Pradesh, Daniel Balaji comes from a family that has strong ties with the film industry. He is the brother of the popular erstwhile Tamil actor, Murali. His uncle Siddalingaiah is a renowned director in Kannada film industry and actor Atharvaa is his nephew.
Daniel Balaji started his acting career with the Tamil film April Madthathil (2002) directed by S.S. Stanely. The film received mostly positive critical reviews and following its success, it was later dubbed in Hindi as Mr. Rangeela and in Telugu as Vaalidharu. Whilst, the debut film did not garner Balaji any fame he rose to fame with a stellar performance in the Gautham Menon directed action film, Kaakha Kaakha. The actor’s role as ‘Srikanth’, the brother of lead actor Suriya Sivakumar was much appreciated by one and all. The film too was a blockbuster and is till date considered to be one of the biggest hits of Suriya’s career.
After being successful in Tamil cinema, the actor ventured to work in Malayalam and Telugu films; he made his Malayalam film debut with Black in 2004 and the following year he starred in his maiden Telugu film titled Samba. In 2006 he returned to Tamil cinema and starred in the super hit film Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu where he played the role of the psychopath killer, Amudhan Sukumaran. The film starring Kamal Haasan and Jyothika was critically acclaimed and Balaji for his stellar performance won a nomination for Best Villian at the 2003 Filmfare Awards South. He followed up the huge success Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu with yet another sizzling performance in Polladhavan (2007) where he played the role of an egoistic gangster who tries to gain control of his brother’s mafia gang. The film starring Dhanush, Divya Spandana aka Ramya, Karunas, N. Santhanam and Kishore Kumar G was a blockbuster; it grossed more than 23 crores INR at the box office.
The actor had quite a busy year in 2009 as he shuffled between working in Tamil and Malayalam films. In his first release of the year, Balaji starred in the Malayalam film, Bhagavan alongside Mohanlal, Lakshmi Gopala swamy, and Shivaji Guruvayoor. He subsequently starred as one of the lead actors in the Tamil-languagethriller film Muthirai directed by Srinath and produced by Vikram Bhatt. The film received mostly positive reviews. The actor rounded off the year with another Malayalam film titled Daddy Cool co-starring MammoottyRicha Pallod, and Biju Menon.
With no releases to his name in 2010, the actor made his debut in a Kannada film Kirataka in 2011. The film starring Naveen aka Yash and Oviya was the remake of the 2010 Tamil film, Kalavani and it was a moderate success at the box office. From 2012 to 2014, the actor kept juggling between Tamil and Malayalam film industries and he appeared in films like Mithivedi (2012), Paisa Paisa (2013), Marumugam (2014) and Gnana Kirukkan (2014).
Balaji started his year in 2015 with a guest appearance in the Tamil film, Yennai Arindhaal, a crime drama directed by Gautham Menon and starring Ajith Kumar, Arun Vijay, Trisha Krishnan and Anushka Shetty. Later in the year, he shared the screen with Gautham Karthik, Priya Anand, Taapsee Pannu, and Sathish in the Aishwarya Dhanush directed thriller film, Vai Raja Vai. The film based on the life of an engineer who possesses precognition abilities received wide positive reviews and emerged to be a box office hit.
In 2016, director Gautham Menon cast Balaji alongside Silambarasan T.R. and Manjima Mohan in the action romance film, Achcham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada. The film, which follows the life of a happy-go-lucky young man who gets embroiled in a high-risk situation opened to positive reviews and also got a warm reception at the box office; it grossed about 26 crores in the first week of its release. His 2017 releases include Tamil films Bairavaa starring Vijay, Keerthy Suresh and Jagapathi Babu and Mayavan directed by C.V. Kumar.