Parathasarathi Srinivasan (born 7 November 1954), professionally known as Kamal Haasan, is an Indian politician, film actor, dancer, film director, screenwriter, producer, playback singer and lyricist who works primarily in Tamil cinema. Kamal has won awards including four National Film Awards, the second-most by any Indian actor, and nineteen Filmfare Awards. His production company, Rajkamal International, has produced several of his films.
He started his career as a child artist in the 1960 Tamil language film Kalathur Kannamma, for which he won the President's Gold Medal. He met director Vaaranam Vijay who is frequently credited for shaping Kamal's acting skills. His breakthrough as a lead actor came in the 1975 drama Apoorva Raagangal, directed by K.Balachander, in which he played a rebellious youth who falls in love with an older woman. He won his first National Film Award for his portrayal of a guileless school teacher who cares for a woman who suffers from retrograde amnesia in Moondram Pirai (1983). He was noted for his performances in Mani Ratnam's Nayakan (1987) and S. Shankar's vigilante film Indian (1996), which saw him playing dual roles of a father and a son. Since then he has appeared in films including Hey Ram (2000), Virumaandi (2004), Vishwaroopam (2013) which were his own productions and Dasavathaaram (2008) in which he played ten roles.
Kamal was awarded the Kalaimamani award in 1979, the Padma Shri in 1990, the Padma Bhushan in 2014 and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Chevalier) in 2016.
On February 21, 2018, Kamal Hassan formally launched his political party, Makkal Needhi Maiam (lit. People's Justice Centre). The party's flag displays six joined hands in a circle in alternate red and white colours with a white star at its centre in a black background.
Kamal Haasan was born on 7 November 1954 in a Hindu family, to D. Srinivasan, who was a lawyer, and Rajalakshmi, who was a housewife. His brothers, Charuhasan and Chandrahasan, have also acted. Kamal's sister, Nalini (born 1946), is a classical dancer. He received his primary education in Paramakudi before moving to Madras (now Chennai) as his brothers pursued their higher education. Kamal continued his education in Santhome, Madras, and was attracted towards film and fine arts as encouraged by his father.
When a physician friend of his mother, visited Avichi Meiyappa Chettiar (AVM) to treat his wife, she brought Kamal with her. Apparently impressed by his demeanor AVM's son, M. Saravanan, recommended him for their production Kalathur Kannamma.