Chiyaan Vikram

Profession: Actor , Film Producer, Playback Singer, Supporting Actor
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Personal Details

  • Also Know as :- Chiyaan Vikram
  • Profession:- Actor , Film Producer, Playback Singer, Supporting Actor
  • Gender :- male
  • Birthdate:- 17 Apr 1966

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Kennedy John Victor (born 17 April 1966), better known by his stage name Vikram or Chiyaan Vikram, is an Indian actor and singer who predominantly appears in Tamil language films. He has won seven Filmfare Awards as well as one National Film Award and Tamil Nadu State Film Award amongst other recognitions and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the People's University of Milan in May 2011.

Vikram was born as Kennedy to a Christian father and a Hindu mother in Madras, Tamil Nadu. His father, John Victor (alias Vinod Raj) was a native of Paramakudi and ran away from home to start a career in films. His father, however, did not fare successfully, and only managed to act in supporting roles in Tamil films and television serials and this inspired Vikram to take part in theatre lessons and become professionally trained in classical and cinema dance forms to ensure he became a leading actor. Rajeshwari, Vikram's mother, was a sub-collector and her brother, Thiagarajan is an established director-actor in the Tamil film industry; with his son, actor Prashanth, being Vikram's first cousin.

Vikram has a younger brother, Arvind who lives in Dubai, U.A.E. He was previously set to make his film debut as a villain in the 2008 film Saroja but eventually did not feature. Vikram also has a younger sister Anitha who is a teacher. Vikram is used as a screen name as he disliked his original name, Kennedy; the name Vikram was composed by taking "Vi" from his father's name, "K" from Kennedy, "Ra" from his mother's name and "ram" from his sun sign, Aries.

Vikram was educated at Montfort School, Yercaud, a boarding school in a hill station near Salem and graduated in 1983. He has mentioned that he used his opportunities at school well by taking part in karate, horseback riding and swimming and noted that such early exposure to activities gave him confidence as a youngster. Vikram lurked in the fringes of the school's theatre club for a long period and often took part in backstage work before being handed the lead role in a school adaptation of Molière's The Doctor in Spite of Himself after the original lead had contracted chicken pox. Despite expressing his interest to join films after school, his father forced him to go through education with Vikram subsequently graduated from Loyola College, Chennai with a degree in English Literature and worked halfway towards an MBA programme. Through the prolific dramatics club, Vikram appeared in stage productions including college adaptations of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial and Peter Shaffer's Black Comedy, receiving best actor awards for his performances. After winning a Best Actor Award at a function held at IIT Madras, Vikram was hit by a truck during a ride on his motorbike on the way home and suffered a serious leg injury. He remained hospital-ridden for three years during college and subsequently went through twenty-three surgeries to prevent his leg from being amputated. Vikram then returned to finish the final year of his degree after his accident and secured permission to finish his dissertation at home, as he was only able to walk on crutches for a short period.

Vikram met Shailaja Balakrishnan in the late 1980s and married her in 1992 at Guruvayoor in a mass wedding alongside dozens of couples. The pair then had a low-key wedding ceremony conducted at the church at Loyola College, Chennai. She hails from Thalassery, Kerala and now works as a psychology teacher at a leading Chennai school. Shailaja also worked with the team of Deiva Thirumagal by giving professional advice on how people with special needs are treated and helping develop the character played by Vikram.

The couple has a daughter Akshita and a son Dhruv.His daughter married Manu Ranjith, the great-grandson of M. Karunanidhi, on 30 October 2017. He lives near the beach in Besant Nagar, Chennai and has stated that he would remain based in Chennai regardless of any offers in other regional films.

Dhruv is making his acting debut with Adithya Varma, the Tamil remake of the Telugu film Arjun Reddy.

Vikram (often credited Chiyaan Vikram) is an Indian actor, producer, playback singer and former dubbing artiste known for his work in Tamil language films. He has featured in over 53 motion pictures, three television programs, and several music videos and commercials. An aspiring actor since childhood, Vikram modelled for television commercials and appeared in a short film, hoping to get noticed by casting directors. He made his television debut with the Doordarshan series Galatta Kudumbam (1988), following which his first feature film role came with the experimental film En Kadhal Kanmani (1990). His early career in Tamil cinema saw consecutive box-office failures, after which he attempted a transition to Telugu and Malayalam cinema. Vikram mostly played the lead roles in Telugu films, many of which were financial failures. In Malayalam films, he usually appeared in ensemble films, playing "second fiddle" to established actors like Mammootty and Suresh Gopi, which failed to help his career. Meanwhile, the few sporadic appearances he made in Tamil cinema also proved unsuccessful.

Vikram landed his breakthrough role of a college student who suffers a brain injury in filmmaker Bala's directorial debut, the tragedy film Sethu (1999). It was a sleeper hit and earned Vikram a Special Jury award at the Filmfare and Tamil Nadu State Film Award ceremonies. In 2001, he played an aspiring policeman in the action film Dhill, the directorial debut of Dharani. In 2002, Vikram was awarded his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor for portraying a blind village singer in the Vinayan-directed tragedy Kasi (2001), a remake of the director's Malayalam film Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum (1999). Vikram went on to play the quintessential Tamil action hero in a series of successful masala films beginning with Gemini (2002) which grossed ₹100 million at the box office. The next year, with consecutive hits in Dhool (2003) and Saamy (2003), he attained stardom. He then played an undertaker with autism in Bala's tragedy drama Pithamagan (2003) co-starring Suriya. His portrayal attracted positive reviews and garnered him his third Filmfare award, and Best Actor trophies at the Tamil Nadu State Film Award and National Film Award ceremonies.

Vikram underwent a professional setback between 2004 and 2008 when a series of films—Arul (2004), Majaa (2005) and Bheemaa (2008)—received mixed reviews and were commercial failures. Vikram's sole box-office success during this period was S. Shankar's psychological thriller Anniyan (2005), in which he played a utopian lawyer suffering from multiple personality disorder. The film earned him critical acclaim and his fourth Filmfare award. Meanwhile, Vikram ventured into film production by joining a production company, Reel Life Entertainment, as one of its directors. In Susi Ganesan's Kanthaswamy (2009), he played a CBI officer who moonlights as a costumed vigilante. In 2010, Vikram was introduced in Bollywood by Mani Ratnam through his Hindi-Tamil bilingual Raavan and Raavanan, a contemporary retelling of the Ramayana, in which Vikram played the antagonist and protagonist in the respective versions. Vikram earned mixed reviews for his characterisation in the former; but his performance in the latter earned him rave reviews and his fifth Filmfare award. In 2011, Vikram played a man with developmental disability fighting over his daughter's custody in A. L. Vijay's courtroom drama Deiva Thirumagal, an adaptation of the American film I Am Sam (2001). Vikram's performance was praised and won him the Critics Award for Best Actor at Filmfare. However, his next role of an aspiring screen villain in Rajapattai (2011) was poorly received.

In 2012, Vikram appeared in A. L. Vijay's revenge-thriller Thaandavam, playing a blind RAW agent who uses human echolocation to track down his betrayer. In Bejoy Nambiar's three-story-arc anthology film David (2013), he played one of the three eponymous lead characters, an alcoholic fisherman in love with his friend's fiancée; the film and its Tamil version won him praise. Shankar's romantic-thriller I (2015) featured Vikram as a supermodel-turned-hunchback who exacts revenge on his conspirators. The film grossed over ₹ 2.4 billion at the box office and Vikram's performance was critically acclaimed.

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