Parents:Gopala Menon and Maruthur Satyabhama
Born:January 17, 1917(1917-01-17),Nawalapitiya, British Ceylon
Died:December 24, 1987 (aged 70),Chennai, India
Other name(s):M. G. R., Puratchi Thalaivar
Occupation :Actor, politician
Spouse(s) :V. N. Janaki
MGR family was originally from Vadavannur, Palakkad, Kerala, but his father had migrated with his family to Sri Lanka.
After his father's death, he joined a drama troupe called Original Boys. Later, he entered the world of cinema, becoming an actor, and later a director, producer, and editor. M. G. R. married V. N. Janaki a former Tamil film actress as his second wife after the death of his first wife.
Making his film debut in 1935, in the film Sati Leelavati, directed by Ellis Dungan, an American born film director, M. G. R. dominated Tamil cinema during the Fifties and Sixties with multiple blockbusters. Generally starring in romance or action films, M.G.R. got his big breakthrough in the 1947 film Rajakumaari, written by M. Karunanidhi. He rose to superstardom in 1954 after Malai Kallan. Later, this film was used as a template for other films by playing roles that portrayed him as the saviour of the poor and the oppressd. His movies were the medium of communication for the Dravidian movement.
He had the maximum number of all-time blockbusters to his credit at that time viz. Nadodi Mannan, Enga Veetu Pillai and Adimai Pen. He was shot by fellow actor Mohan R. Radha, affecting his ability to speak clearly. He won the National Film Award for Best Actor for the film Rickshakaran. His film Nadodi Mannan, which was produced and directed by himself and released in 1956, was re-released in 2006 and ran housefull .
MGR was a member of the Congress Party till 1953 and he used to wear kathar. In 1953 MGR joined the DMK with the help of M. Karunanidhi.
He became a vocal Tamil and Dravidian nationalist and prominent member of the DMK ("Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam" aka Dravidian Progressive Federation). He added glamour to the Dravidian movement which was sweeping Tamil Nadu. He became a member of the state Legislative Council in 1962. He was first elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly in 1967. After the death of his mentor, Annadurai,
MGR became the treasurer of DMK in 1969 after Karunanidhi became the chief minister.
He wanted the financial details of the party to be publicised which enraged the leadership of DMK and in 1972, MGR was expelled from the party, and floated a new party named Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (ADMK), later renamed All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), the only powerful opponent of the DMK.
* National Film Award for Best Actor for the film Rickshakaran in 1972
* Honorary doctorate received from University of Madras and The World University (Arizona)
* Bharat Ratna was conferred by the Government of India (posthumous)
One famous incident was that M. G. R. was nominated for the Padmashree award from the Government of India but he refused to accept as the wording was in Hindi and not in Tamil in 1960.