Happy 58th birthday Kamal Haasan: Master of disguise, greatest actor of our age

Movies | | November 6, 2012, 5:49 pm
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A moment from 'Anbe Sivam', which is the story of a handicapped communist and an arrogant advertisement and capitalist filmmaker. Haasan won an South Filmfare award for this role.

A moment from 'Anbe Sivam', which is the story of a handicapped communist and an arrogant advertisement and capitalist filmmaker. Haasan won an South Filmfare award for this role.

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Another one of Haasan's make-up win from 'Dasavathaaram'. He's probably one of Indian cinema's rarest actors who likes to experiment with the roles he accepts.

Another one of Haasan's make-up win from 'Dasavathaaram'. He's probably one of Indian cinema's rarest actors who likes to experiment with the roles he accepts.

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In over 50 years in the industry Haasan has starred with female stars from Srividya to Asin. He is seen in this still from Pushpaka Vimana, a 1987 silent black comedy.

In over 50 years in the industry Haasan has starred with female stars from Srividya to Asin. He is seen in this still from Pushpaka Vimana, a 1987 silent black comedy.

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Haasan's Tamil film Nayagan (1987) was ranked by the Time magazine as one of the best films of all time.

Haasan's Tamil film Nayagan (1987) was ranked by the Time magazine as one of the best films of all time.

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Haasan recently quotes a Deloitte report that said the South Indian film industry is worth Rs 21,190 crore. South Indian films also account for 65-70 per cent of total films produced in India. Haasan's contribution to that over the years is unquestionable.

Haasan recently quotes a Deloitte report that said the South Indian film industry is worth Rs 21,190 crore. South Indian films also account for 65-70 per cent of total films produced in India. Haasan's contribution to that over the years is unquestionable.

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Haasan is also the only actor who has starred in the largest number of films submitted by India in contest for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. This is one of Haasan's roles in Dasavathaaram.

Haasan is also the only actor who has starred in the largest number of films submitted by India in contest for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. This is one of Haasan's roles in Dasavathaaram.

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Haasan is seen in a still from 'Dasavathaaram'. Despite 50 years as an actor, Haasan's capacity to imbibe, grow and adapt is stunning. He never tires of a challenge.

Haasan is seen in a still from 'Dasavathaaram'. Despite 50 years as an actor, Haasan's capacity to imbibe, grow and adapt is stunning. He never tires of a challenge.

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A still shows Haasan in the 1981 Hindi film 'Ek Duuje Ke Liye' directed by K Balachander. It was a remake of the director's own Telugu movie Maro Charithra.

A still shows Haasan in the 1981 Hindi film 'Ek Duuje Ke Liye' directed by K Balachander. It was a remake of the director's own Telugu movie Maro Charithra.

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Haasan as George Bush in 'Dasavathaaram'. Haasan recently said at a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) conclave that national cinema resides in the south because filmmakers there are not restricted to one language. They have taken the effort to go beyond the borders. He is the living proof of that.

Haasan as George Bush in 'Dasavathaaram'. Haasan recently said at a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) conclave that national cinema resides in the south because filmmakers there are not restricted to one language. They have taken the effort to go beyond the borders. He is the living proof of that.

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Actor Kamal Haasan celebrates his birthday on November 7. As he turns 58 this year, the veteran actor is once again reinventing himself through a challenging role in his upcoming film 'Viswaroopam'. The actor, who debuted as a child artist in 1959, is considered one of Indian cinema's greatest contemporary actors.

Actor Kamal Haasan celebrates his birthday on November 7. As he turns 58 this year, the veteran actor is once again reinventing himself through a challenging role in his upcoming film 'Viswaroopam'. The actor, who debuted as a child artist in 1959, is considered one of Indian cinema's greatest contemporary actors.

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Haasan's range is so wide that he has played an astounding number of roles in his career spanning five decades in cinema. His filmography is complete without a mention of his film Dasavathaaram, in which he played 10 roles, including the one shown in this picture.

Haasan's range is so wide that he has played an astounding number of roles in his career spanning five decades in cinema. His filmography is complete without a mention of his film Dasavathaaram, in which he played 10 roles, including the one shown in this picture.

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The actor, who has won four National Film Awards and 19 Filmfare Awards, put together 10 separate avatars for Dasavathaaram (one in photo above), a 2008 Tamil disaster film, co-written and directed by KS Ravikumar.

The actor, who has won four National Film Awards and 19 Filmfare Awards, put together 10 separate avatars for Dasavathaaram (one in photo above), a 2008 Tamil disaster film, co-written and directed by KS Ravikumar.

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Haasan in 'Hey Ram', a period drama told in flashback with a plot centering around India's Partition and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. For 'Hey Ram', Haasan took on the roles of writer, lyricist and choreographer as well as producer.

Haasan in 'Hey Ram', a period drama told in flashback with a plot centering around India's Partition and the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. For 'Hey Ram', Haasan took on the roles of writer, lyricist and choreographer as well as producer.

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This time Haasan is disguised as the common man - frustrated by the system's ineptitude and taking the law in his hands to correct it. Eeenadu is a remake of the 2008 Hindi film 'A Wednesday!'

This time Haasan is disguised as the common man - frustrated by the system's ineptitude and taking the law in his hands to correct it. Eeenadu is a remake of the 2008 Hindi film 'A Wednesday!'

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'Unnaipol Oruvan' was the 2009 Tamil thriller directed by Chakri Toleti. It starred Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal in the lead roles and was the remake of 'A Wednesday'.

'Unnaipol Oruvan' was the 2009 Tamil thriller directed by Chakri Toleti. It starred Kamal Haasan and Mohanlal in the lead roles and was the remake of 'A Wednesday'.

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His 'Chachi 420' was an Indian adaptation of Hollywood's Mrs Doubtfire and he had the same amazing transformation that Robbin Williams had in the original. 'Chachi 420' saw him paired with Tabu.

His 'Chachi 420' was an Indian adaptation of Hollywood's Mrs Doubtfire and he had the same amazing transformation that Robbin Williams had in the original. 'Chachi 420' saw him paired with Tabu.

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An adorable Kamal Haasan made his film debut as a four-year-old child artist in 'Kalathur Kannamma' after which he returned after a seven year hiatus for 'Maanavan' in 1970.

An adorable Kamal Haasan made his film debut as a four-year-old child artist in 'Kalathur Kannamma' after which he returned after a seven year hiatus for 'Maanavan' in 1970.

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Kamal Haasan is seen in this film still. His first major break as a lead actor came in 'Apoorva Raagangal' that also starred Rajinikanth. He won his first regional Filmfare Award in his Malayalam debut film 'Kanyakumari' in 1974.

Kamal Haasan is seen in this film still. His first major break as a lead actor came in 'Apoorva Raagangal' that also starred Rajinikanth. He won his first regional Filmfare Award in his Malayalam debut film 'Kanyakumari' in 1974.

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Kamal Haasan is probably one of the few actors who has found as much success in parallel cinema as he has in commercial films.

Kamal Haasan is probably one of the few actors who has found as much success in parallel cinema as he has in commercial films.

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All eyes now are on his latest incarnation of a dance teacher in Vishwaroopam, an upcoming Tamil-Hindi bilingual spy thriller written, directed and co-produced by Haasan.

All eyes now are on his latest incarnation of a dance teacher in Vishwaroopam, an upcoming Tamil-Hindi bilingual spy thriller written, directed and co-produced by Haasan.

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It's a mark of his immense talent that Haasan won the Vijay Awards for 'Dasavathaaram' for Most Popular Hero of the Year, Best Villain, Best Comedian and Best Story-Screenplay Writer.

It's a mark of his immense talent that Haasan won the Vijay Awards for 'Dasavathaaram' for Most Popular Hero of the Year, Best Villain, Best Comedian and Best Story-Screenplay Writer.

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Kamal Haasan is seen in a file photo. After the multi starrer 'Raaj Tilak' in 1984, he acted in 'Saagar', for which he was awarded both the Filmfare Best Actor Award and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Award.

Kamal Haasan is seen in a file photo. After the multi starrer 'Raaj Tilak' in 1984, he acted in 'Saagar', for which he was awarded both the Filmfare Best Actor Award and was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Award.

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Haasan has been married twice and has two daughters - Shruti and Akshara from his second wife Sarika. Shruti has already started acting in Tamil films. Shruti says that Haasan, though a proud dad, seen in this file image, never interferes in the roles she accepts and leaves her to make her own choices.

Haasan has been married twice and has two daughters - Shruti and Akshara from his second wife Sarika. Shruti has already started acting in Tamil films. Shruti says that Haasan, though a proud dad, seen in this file image, never interferes in the roles she accepts and leaves her to make her own choices.