"I cannot tolerate insult in any form, whether in social, personal or professional life"
Radha Ravi, son of well-known actor M.R. Radha, has worked in all the four South Indian languages and is still going strong. Having started his career as a theatre artiste, he still associates himself with plays.
He has put in 14 years of service as president of the South Indian Artists Association, 12 years as president of the Dubbing Union, 7 years of vice-presidency at the Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI), 4 years of service as Member of Legislative Assembly, 26 years with the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, 7 years with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and 6 years as a Lions Club of Madras United City member.
A man with diverse interests, Radha Ravi talks about his performances and social work.
It was my father who taught me some of the good principles in life. One thing I cannot tolerate is insult in any form, whether in social , personal or professional life.
I played the role of Julius Caesar in a Tamil drama when I was in the ninth standard. Actor S.S. Rajendran's son, Devika's brother and MGR's brother's son were also in the play.
The big moment was when we got certificates from Pope John Paul.
In my New College days, Jailani and Rafee helped me pursue my passion for theatre. I performed for the V.K. Ramasamy troupe, MRR. Vasu troupe, the T.K. Chandran troupe and later the UAA troupe. In 1980, I started my own troupe `Nadikavel Theatres'.
My first time before the camera was for a Kannada film, "Ragasiya Rathiri", produced by actor Bharathi's father for BNK Pictures in 1975. The first shot was captured on December 1 at Bangalore University, Kengeri. My first Tamil film was "Manmathalelai", after Kamal Haasan recommended my name to K. Balachandar.
Director Ramanarayanan gave my career a boost while T. Rajender was instrumental in casting me as a villain in "Uyurullavarai Usha." But it was actor S.S. Chandran who made me speak like my father in that film and made the world sit up and take notice.
I cannot forget the help provided by director Amir John and producer N.R.
I have acted in about 260 films in all the South Indian languages four in Telugu, three in Kannada, three in Malayalam and the others in Tamil. My favourites include my first Kannada film "Ragasiya Rathiri", "Vaidegi Kathirunthal", "Thaneer Thaneer", "Uyirullavari Usha", "Sabash" and "Annamalai". My favourite comedy movies are "Chinnmapillai" and "Guru Sishyan." I also like "Thirumagan" and "Kalakura Chandru".
I have kept the photographs of stalwarts such as M.R.R. Vasu, Rangarao, T.S. Balaiah, Sarangapani, Gemini Ganesan, Sivaji Ganesan, MGR, Nagesh, Chandra Babu and S.V. Subbaiah in my make-up room. Among my favourite actresses are Savithri, Padmini, Vijayakumari and K.R. Vijaya.
For me, the highest honour came when my mother, who was hospitalised, sought permission from the doctor and came to see me performing in "Rathakanneer" on February 21.
I want to be remembered as a humane person.