Jaishankar life and biography

Jaishankar picture, image, poster

Jaishankar biography

Date of birth : 1938-07-12
Date of death : 2000-06-03
Birthplace : Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Nationality : Indian
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-07-24
Credited as : Bollywood actor, yester-year,

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Jaishankar is a yester-year star of Kollywood. He is fondly referred to as Thennagathu James Bond or South Indian James Bond. His penchant for dashing roles earned him the sobriquet of James Bond of South India, thanks to his roles in films like Vallavan Oruvan, CID Shankar and such.

He was considered as one of the most leading actors of Tamil cinema in the 1970s.

Subramaniam Shankar, to give his original name, was born on 12 July 1938. His father being a judicial magistrate, he was a typical Brahmin of the bygone decades going to the famous PS High School and then The New College Chennai, where he did his Honours degree. Following the footsteps of his father he studied Law but gave it up after a year because of his interests in fine arts like theater.

Bitten by the drama bug, he joined Cho's Viveka Fine Arts, which consisted mostly of Brahmins where he did insignificantly small roles. Obviously not happy he moved out and the break came with Koothabiran's Kalki Fine Arts where he made a mark playing a lead role in Kalki's 'Amara Thaara'.

Jaishankar is an unforgettable hero of the yesteryears. In the era dominated by Sivaji Ganesan, M. G. Ramachandran and Gemini Ganesan, he created his own niche by excellent portrayals of interesting characters. Popularly known as South Indian James Bond because of his roles as the investigative detective in Vallavan Oruvan and CID Shankar and Friday star because he invariably had a release every week, Jai as he was popularly called in the industry was a Bankable star. He was also adept at comedy and contemporary portrayals as seen in Pattanathil Bhootham, Noottrukku Nooru and Kuzhandaiyum Deivamum. With emergence of Rajinikanth as the hero, he continued to play villain and father roles in many films, notable being Murattu Kaalai and Thalapathi. Years ago, Rajini was the villain in Gaayathri which had Jaishankar as the hero.

In an era dominated by Sivaji Ganesan and M. G. Ramachandran, Jaishankar had his own loyal following. He had too much of competition from his peers. Very prolific during his heyday, he was at one point known as the Friday Hero, because a new film of his would debut almost every Friday. He is also remembered as a good Samaritan as he helped the needy without any publicity.

He stormed the celluloid citadel with action thrillers like CID Shankar (that gave him a James Bond image), Karunthel Kannairam, Nilgiri Express, Nil Gavani Kathali and melodramatic family films like Teacheramma, Kulama Gunama, Uyira Manama and Soodhattam; suspense thrillers like Mannipu, Akka Thangai, Yaar Nee; family dramas like Jeevanamsam, Sondhangal Vazhka, Bhavani and Paalaabhishekam; and comedy films like Aayiram Poi, Ponn Vandu, Bommalattum and Aathaiya Mamiya.

Among his more memorable roles was the teacher's role in the K Balachander film, Noothukku Nooru. He was last seen on screen in Iravum Pagalum -- which was the title of his debut film as well.

Jaishankar died of heart attack on 3 June 2000, at the age of 62 in Chennai. He is survived by his wife and sons.

Selected filmography:

Iravum pagalum
Vallavan Oruvan
C.I.D. Shankar
Vallavanuku Vallavan
Yaar Nee
Thunivey Thunai
Kizakkum Merkkum Santhikkindrana
Unakkum Enakkum
Neelagiri Express
Vandikkaran Magan
Veettukku Veedu
Paayum Puli

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