M. R. Radha | Srivideo
Biography | Posted: Thursday, 26th March
M. R. Radha
Born name: Madras Rajagopalan Radhakrishna Naidu
Date of Birth: 14 April 1907
Place of Birth: Madras, Madras Presidency, British India. (Now Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)
Died: 17 September 1979 (aged 72), Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Other names: Nadigavel
Spouse(s): Saraswathi Radha,
Children: M. R. R. Vasu, Rashya, Rani, Radha Ravi, Rathi Kala, Raadhika, Raju, Mohan, Nirosha
Parent(s): Rajagopalan, Rajammal
Grandchildren: Vasu Vikram, Rayanne Hardy, Rahul Sarathkumar, M R Hari
Madras Rajagopalan Radhakrishnan better Known by his stage name M.R Radha (14 April 1907 – 17 September 1979) was an Indian film actor and politician who served as the opposition leader of the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly. He was given the title of "Nadigavel" (Spearhead of acting / frontrunner /torchbearer) by E.V.R. Periyar in theatre, for his acting prowess. After a successful career on stage in his early years, he acted in films from the 1930s to the 1970s, and then, giving up films, he went back to his first love, the stage.
Radha left his home at an early age due to a quarrel with his mother in which she declined to give an extra piece of fish to eat.
Radha was a popular theatre artiste who performed in more than 5000 stage shows. Starting at the age of 10, he appeared at first in small roles and eventually grew to a level that stories for dramas were custom made for him.
Radha gained popularity with the success of his stage play Ratha Kanneer. His performance in the 1954 film version of the play, directed by Krishnan-Panju, brought wider recognition of his talents and made him a household name in Tamil Nadu.
Radha played both villain roles and comedic roles. In 1960s, roles were specially written for him, and he often overshadowed actors like MGR and Sivaji Ganesan. He was an active member of the Self-Respect Movement, and was known for his atheistic views.
MGR Shooting incident
On 12 January 1967, Radha and a producer K.N. Vasu of Muthukumaran Pictures visited the actor and politician M. G. Ramachandran at his home to talk about a future project. During the conversation, Radha suddenly got up from his chair and shot twice at Ramachandran's left ear. Both bullets got lodged in MGR's neck. Radha then turned the gun on himself and tried to shoot himself, but the bullet just scratched his right temple. Radha and MGR were admitted to the Government General Hospital, Chennai, where they survived after proper treatment. The only eye witness for the shooting was producer Vasu.
In the assassination trial, held at Saithapet First Division Magistrate Court under Magistrate S. Kuppusami in May 1967, and later at the Chingleput Sessions Court held under Justice P. Lakshmanan, Radha was represented by eminent criminal attorney N.T. Vanamamalai. The verdict was delivered on 4 November 1967. As majority of the evidences were against Radha, he was sentenced to a seven-year term. At the High Court hearing, considering his age, the sentence was reduced to four years and three months.
Radha died of jaundice on 17 September 1979 aged 72 at his residence in Thiruchirappalli. His popularity had improved and his funeral procession was one of the largest in South India, as over 200,000 mourners paid their respects.
M. R. Radhakrishnan married four times, and his marriages were concurrent. The names of his wives were Saraswathi, Dhanalakshmi, Jaya and Geetha.
Radhakrishnan was the father of several children by his four wives. His three sons were M. R. R. Vasu and Radha Ravi (both with Dhanalakshmi) and M.R. Radharajoo. Radhakrishnan also had seven daughters, including Rashya, Rani, Ganavalli, Kasturi, Rajeswari and two daughters (actresses Radhika and Nirosha) born to Geetha.
Vasu was a leading character artist until the mid-1980s. His other son Radha Ravi is also an actor. Radhika is an actress and producer and is married to actor R. Sarathkumar (her third husband). Nirosha (also known as Niroja) is an actress working mostly in supporting roles; she is married to actor Ramki.