Goundamani was born in Kannampalayam,a village in Coimbatore,Tamil Nadu,India. His father is Karuppaiya and mother is Annam (Kaliamma).He is married to Shanthi and has 2 children. He gained entry into the Tamil film industry Kollywood due to his strong Theatrical background. His actual name is Mani but he famously portrayed the role of a Oor-Gounder in one of his Stage plays and from then on he came to be known as Goundamani. He started acting in films at his age of 26 and until then he was doing stage shows.
Goundamani was initially a solo act and then paired up with Senthil to form a comedy duo. Stated as Kollywood's Laurel and Hardy, Senthil and Goundamani have entertained people with their rib-tickling slapstick humour for more than two decades now.
Goundamani has entertained two generations of Tamil audience with his unique style of comedy. His dialogues are woven with sarcasm and contempt and is often accompanied with impeccable timing and body language.
His most famous piece of comedy is the "Vazhaipazham" (Banana) joke with Senthil in the film Karagattakaran. His famous dialogue Arasiyalla ithellam satharnamappa (meaning this is common in politics), from the movie Suriyan later became one of his trademarks. He has also played the role of the protagonist in films Raja Enga Raja and Pirandhaen Valarndhaen. He has acted as Hero in 10 films.
Some of his memorable movies are with lead actors such as Sathyaraj, Karthik, Rajinikanth, Arjun, Parthiban, Jayaram, Kamal Hassan, Vijay, Ajith Kumar, Sarath Kumar and Prabhu.
In several Tamil films, he has even accompanied the lead actor in almost all of the scenes and in a few songs.
Early days in his career he had a memorable role in 16 Vayathinile as a sidekick to Rajinikanth. Later in early 80's he had several hits like Unnai nan santhithen, Vaidhegi kathirundal, etc. and his career revival in Karagatakkaran after a long slump, which can be attributed to comedians like Janakaraj.
In the 90's his career peaked in such a way that it was hard to make a hit Tamil film without him. He also has acted in several films with a double-hero role subjects including films like Ullathai Allitha along with Karthik and Unakaaga ellam unakaaga.