Raghuvaran (December 11, 1948 – March 19, 2008) was an Indian actor who predominantly acted in movies made in South India. He became famous for his portrayal of villain and character roles in Tamil movies. He has acted in more than 200 Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi films. The actor had carved a niche for himself with his special style and voice modulation and was considered a natural actor. He played the protagonist of a Tamil soap opera, Oru Manidhanin Kadhai, about a well-to-do man who becomes an alcoholic. He received critical acclaim for his role as Father Alphonso in the Malayalam movie Daivathinte Vikruthikal, directed by Lenin Rajendran and based on M. Mukundan's novel of the same name.
He was Born in Kollengode in Palakkad district, Kerala. He was the grandson of Mr. N. Radha Krishna Menon and Late. Smt. Satyavathy Amma and son of Mr Velayudhan and Mrs. Kasturi. He was married to Malayalam actress Rohini and has a son with her, Sai Rishivaran. The couple divorced later. Raghuvaran’s success as an actor was setback by his addiction to alcohol and drugs. He was in and out of rehabilitation clinics.
His beginnings on the stage, and a Diploma in acting from Adyar Film Institute in Chennai, he approached many Kollywood studios aiming for performance oriented roles and finally got selected one as hero. The offbeat film named Ezhavathu Manithan (Seventh Man) directed by Hariharan won many awards, but not many offers for him. A few more films followed as hero like Oru Odai Nadhiyagirathu and Nee Thodumbothu released, but didn't became a huge success. But the villain role in Silk was noticed and the film's success opened the gate of offers for him. The villain act continued in films like Kutravaaligal, Mr. Bharath, Mandhira Punnagai and Oorkavalan. He appeared as hero as well as supporting actor in between releases as well. The major ones are Mudivalla Arambam and Samsaram Adhu Minsaram.
Raghuvaran began as a stage actor and debuted in the 1982 Tamil film Elavathu Manithan (Seventh Man). He bagged several state and Filmfare Awards for his outstanding performances in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films. His role as a father of an Autistic child in Mani Ratnam's Anjali brought him critical acclaim. Another one of his most admired roles came in the movie Basha, in which he played the role of a don, Mark Antony who opposes Rajnikanth. In mid 80's Raghuvaran did many films as hero and most of them did good business as well. The films Michael Raj, Megam Karuththirukku, Kootu Puzhukkal and Kavithai Paada Neramillai helped to stabilize his career.
The lawyer in Kaliyugam, the police officer in Thaimel Aanai, the rowdy with a golden heart in Kai Naattu, the honest Medical student turned Goonda in Kuttravali, the common man in En Vazhi Thani Vazhi helped Raghuvaran's market value as hero to reach greater heights. He played hero roles in Vyooham, Kavacham and Anjali later. His supporting roles in Annanagar Mudhal Theru and Siva was well received too. Other Bollywood films include like Rakshak opposite Sunil Shetty (1996), Lal Baadshah opposite Amitabh Bachchan (1999), Hitler opposite Mithun Chakraborty (1998) and Grahan along with Jackie Shroff, where he replaced a busy Nana Patekar in 2001. He has received several state and Filmfare Awards for his performances in Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu films.
He later played villains in Baasha as Mark Anthony, Mudhalvan as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Shiva and Muthu as Ilaimaran. He later returned to supporting roles – sometimes as a father or as a mentor in films such as Alai, Yaaradi Nee Mohini, Thirumalai and Bala. Raghuvaran died on 19 March 2008. cause of the death has been disclosed as organ failure caused by excessive alcohol consumption. His death occurred during the filming stages of several films, including the Tamil film, Kanthaswamy wherein Raghuvaran's performances were left unused and were replaced with Ashish Vidyarthi, which resulted in the film's delayed release.
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