A matinee idol turned chief minister, a Sri Lankan-born Malayalee who made the hearts of millions of Tamils his home...
MGR was a phenomenon.
Born in 1917, Marudhur Gopalan Ramachandran, better known as MGR, was an iconic Indian film actor, director, producer and politician. A member of the Congress Party and then the DMK, and the founder of the ADMK, he served as chief minister of Tamil Nadu for three successive terms. Apart from his illustrious political career, he starred in numerous blockbuster films, including the box office hits Malaikallan and Ulagam Sutrum Valibhan, and also turned director and producer.
In his lifetime, MGR rose to overwhelming popularity among the masses as both politician and matinee star. Reputed also for his philanthropy, he was idolized as Puratchi Thalaivar ('revolutionary leader') and served as chief minister until his death in 1987. He was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, in 1988.
Often referred to as a god, MGR's achievements are spoken of even today. This concise and informative biography seeks to examine the various facets of this fabled superstar and leader, and presents to readers the man behind the legend.