'Sivaji and I were considered lucky'

Gemini Ganesan

Gemini Ganesan and Sivaji Ganesan were contemporaries.

The grapevine is that they never were good friends.

Sivaji Ganesan might have received all the applause while the other Ganesan had not been that lucky as far as awards and titles were concerned.

But Gemini Ganesan was one of the first persons to reach Sivajiís residence to pay respects to his colleague:

I think it was 1950. I was working as the casting director at Gemini Studios.

Sivaji came to the studio one day with a recommendation letter from the late director A S A Swamy. That was when I met him for the first time. I had remarked in my book that Sivaji had a very expressive face and that he could become a good actor. He did.

In 1952, I quit Gemini Studios and joined the Narayana Company. That was when I got to see Parasakthi, Sivajiís first film. I thought he acted very well in the film.

Our first film together was Pennin Perumai by P Pullaih. It ran so well that many filmmakers wanted to cast Savitri (the heroine), Sivaji and myself together in films. They felt our combination would work wonders at the box office.

It was director Bhim Singh who made the maximum number of films with the three of us, like Pathi Bhakti, Paasa Malar, Parthal Pasi Theerum, etc. I think Sivaji and I must have acted together in at least nine dozen films. Quite remarkable, I feel.

After a gap of about 15 years, in 1975, we worked together again in Unakkaha Mann. It was produced by our good friend Balaji. After that we never acted together in a film again.

I feel he has lived a full life. Still, it is unfortunate that Tamil film world lost a legendary actor.

As told to Shobha Warrier

Also Read:
A Tribute to the Legend Sivaji Ganesan

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