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Born India Coimbatore, India
Occupation Actor,
Film Director
Years active 1983 - Present
Spouse(s) Sengamalam

Manivannan is a popular Tamil actor and director. With over 400 films to his name, Manivannan is one of the most experienced actors in the field. He normally plays the role of a dad or a senior comedian.



Character actor Manivannan hails from a small town called Sulur in Coimbatore district. While doing his P.U.C. in Kovai Govt. Arts College, he made friends with a lanky young man who happened to be his contemporary and the young man is none other than Sathyaraj. Their friendship stood the test of time and proved to be a mutually rewarding relationship. While still a collegian, Manivannan was bitten by the stage-bug and consequently he staged a few performances. Inspired by the impact the film Kizhakkae Pogum Rail" made on him he feverishly scribbled a fan mail to the filmmaker Bharathiraja and the letter ran to more than a hundred pages. Bharathiraja liked the earnest impressions made by the bearded and emaciated man from Coimbatore. He took him under his fold as an apprentice. Manivannan joined Bharathiraja's camp around 1979, when the revolutionary director was acting in and directing a real classic, "Kallukkul Eeram". He learnt the trade hard and fast and penned the story and dialogues for some of his mentor’s films like "Nizhalgal", "Tick Tick Tick", "Alaigal Oayvathillai" and "Kaathal Ovium". Manivannan assisted Bharathiraja in a handful of films like "Puthya Vaarppugal", "Koththa Jeevithaalu" (Telugu), "Kizhakkae Pogum Rail" (Telugu), "Red Rose" (Hindi), "Lovers" (Hindi) and "Kizhakkae Pogum Rail" (Tamil). He had also penned the story and dialogues for a bunch of other films like "Lottery Ticket" acted by Prabhu, "Aagaaya Gangai" acted by Karthik, "Naesam" acted by Ajithkumar. In "Kodi Parakkuthu", directed by Bharathiraja, Manivannan did the villain’s role. "Amaithip Padai", directed by Manivannan, is believed to have given him the headway as an actor. He started getting plush offers and was seen acting in as many as thirty films in a year. Manivannan joined the political party Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) a few years back and campaigned for them during the 2006 Assembly elections.

His all-time favourites are evergreen actors T.S. Balaiya and S.V. Ranga Rao. He is a great fan of the comic genius Charlie Chaplin. Actor Sathyaraj is his best-friend and his favorite actor in the present Tamil cinemadom. He also likes old MGR movies. Akira Kurosawa (world famous Japanese director), Satyajit Ray and Bharathiraja are his favorite directors. His father R. Subramaniam is a rice merchant as well as a textile trader. Manivannan's mother is Maragatham. He has one elder sister and two younger sisters. Manivannan's wife is Sengamalam. This couple has a daughter by name Jothi and a son called Raghu. Manivannan is a simple down to earth person and is known for his good deeds.

Film career

Manivannan has directed some films in Tamil. But is most known for his acting. He is likened to a 'cuddly teddybear' by the industry for his wiseness and his character roles. He has acted along many a star including Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan among others. He has starred in over 400 films.

Manivannan has so far directed a count of forty-five films including a few ventures in Telugu and Hindi. Manivannan has cast Sathyaraj in a good 25 films. His protégés have proved themselves as successful directors. Vikraman, R.K. Selvamani, Sunder C, Seemaan, K. Selvabharathi, Radhabharathi, C.V. Sasikumar, E. Ramadoss and Jeeva Balan once took orders for Manivannan. Withering irony, and a very cool way of delivering the dialogues is Manivannan’s motif and style in films.




Year Film Role Notes
2009 Mayandi Kudumbathar Mayandi
2008 Kuruvi Singamuthu
2007 Seena Thana
Sivaji Arumugam
2006 Aathi Mani
2005 Maaja Govindan
  • Kodampakkam
  • Vishwa Thulasi (2004)
  • Sullan (2004)
  • Engal Anna (2004)
  • Arasatchi (2004)
  • Ennaku 20 Unakku 18 (2004)
  • Alaudin (2003)
  • Parthiban Kanavu (2003)
  • Vaseegara (2003)
  • Priyamana Thozhi (2003) .... Julie's Father
  • Pammal K. Sambandam (2002)
  • Panchatanthiram (2002)
  • Red (2002) .... Narayanan
  • Ennavale (2001) .... Laxmi's father
  • Paarthale Paravasam (2001) .... Nellai Amaran
  • Kandukondain Kandukondain (2000)
  • Rhythm (2000)
  • Unnai Kodu Ennai Tharuven (2000)
  • Chinna Durai (1999)
  • Mudhalvan (1999) .... Chief Secretary
  • Mugam (1999)
  • Rajasthan (1999)
  • Padayappa (1997) .... Padayappa's uncle
  • Sangamam (1999)
  • Thodarum (1999)
  • Jeans (1998)
  • Deseeya Geetham (1998)
  • Kaadhalukku Mariyaadai (1997)
  • Kadavul (1997)
  • Porkkalam (1997)
  • Avvai Shanmugi (1996) .... Mudaliyar
  • Amaidhi Padai (1994) .... Manimaran
  • Kodiparakkudu (1989)


  • Amaidhi Padai (1994)
  • Gopala Rao Gaari Abbai (1989)
  • Hum Bhi Insaan Hain (1989)
  • Kaadhal Oyvathillai (1989)
  • Chinna Thambi Periya Thambi (1987)
  • Anbin Mugavari (1985)
  • Ambigai Neyril Vandhaal (1984)
  • Ingeyum Oru Gangai (1984)
  • Irupatthi Naalu Mani Neram (1984)

... aka 24 Hours (India: English title: literal title) (India: Telugu title)

  • Janavari Onnu (1984)

... aka January 1 (India: Telugu title) ... aka January One (India: English title)

  • Kuvaakuvaa Vaththukkal (1984)
  • Noorava Roju (1984)
  • Nooravathunaal (1984)

... aka The 100th Day (India: English title)

  • Ilamai Kaalangal (1983)
  • Jyothi (1983)

koperangal saaivadillai


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