Madhavan : “Sharmaji” of Bollywood



Born on 1st June 1970, R. Madhavan has achieved critical and commercial recognition as an actor all across India. His work has been appreciated with many awards and accolades over the years. He has a fan base across the country as he has been actively involved with films of seven languages! Apart from being an actor, he is also a writer and a producer.

Background and Early Life

He was born in the city of Jamshedpur in Jharkhand in a Tamil family to Ranganathan and Saroja. His father was an executive at ‘Tata Steel” and his mother, a “Bank of India” manager. His sister, Devika is a software engineer and settled in the UK. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in electronics pursued a successful career in public speaking after completing his Master’s in the years to follow. He has also worked extensively with NCC cadets and received training under British Army and the Royal Navy and Air Force during his days in college. He got an opportunity to represent India in Tokyo in 1992 at the Young Businessmen Conference which is where he sent out resumes to a modelling agency.


Madhavan had a career as an actor in advertisements, subsequently doing a couple of television shows like “Banegi Apni Baat” and “Ghar Jamai”. After a few short roles here and there, he landed his first movie role in a feature film called “Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin” in 1996. He came into mainstream Indian cinema with the Kannada film “Shanti Shanti Shanti” in 1998.

His breakthrough role came in 1999 in the Mani Ratnam directed Tamil movie “Alaipayuthey”. The movie was a critical success and he received widespread praise in the film fraternity, He did other movies like “Relax” and “Ennavale”. The 2001 Tamil movie “Minalle” and “Dumm Dumm Dumm” established him as a good actor in the industry. His first major Bollywood stint came with “Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein” in 2001 which after suffering an unsuccessful run at the box office is now considered a cult favourite among romantic Hindi movies. His 2002 role in “Kannathil Muthamittal” gained him more accolades as a good actor. Around the same time, he starred in movies like “Anbe Sivam”, “Run”, “Nala Damayanthi”, “Priyamana Thozhi”, “Jay Jay”, “Lesa Lesa”, “Aethiree” and “Aaytha Ezhuthu”. He was also part of the projects “Nothing But Life” and “Priyasakhi”.

2005 was an important year for Madhavan as he slowly paved his way into Bollywood. After he starred in “Ramji Londonwaley”, he was cast in two consecutive success projects, “Rang De Basanti” and “Guru”. He maintained his career as a Tamil actor and acted in movies like “Thambi”, “Rendu”, “Evano Oruvan”. After many failed and average attempts, his next big break came through 3 Idiots.

In 2011, he starred in “Tanu Weds Manu” and its sequel “Tanu Weds Manu Returns” in 2015 alongside Kangana Ranaut, both of which received widespread praises.

In between these two films, he took a sabbatical from acting and worked in the production sector of movies, before returning again in the 2017 crime drama “Vikram Vedha”.

Apart from doing movies, he has been actively involved with television and has worked in TV serials and show hosts.


He has endorsed many brands, Snapdeal being the latest one.

Personal Life

He is an active member of PETA and takes part in many movements that led him to win awards for his roles. He also does innumerable charity work and takes part in fundraising events and is also the goodwill ambassador for Lepra India.

Madhavan married his girlfriend of over 7 years in 1999 and together they have a son Vedant born in 2005.