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K. S. Gopalakrishnan was an Indian screenwriter, director, producer, and lyricist, who worked in Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi films.[1] Since the early 1960s, he directed 70 films. He spent most of his career directing and producing movies with social and devotional themes. Most of his movies are melodramas. His son K. S. G. Venkatesh is an actor who has acted in television serials and in films like Sathuranga Vettai.[2]

K.S. Gopala Krishnan
Mr. KS. Gopala Krishnan.JPG
Died14 November 2015(2015-11-14) (aged 85–86)
OccupationFilm Writer, Director, Producer, Lyricist , Studio Owner, Devotional Orator on Thiruppugazh
Years active1954-92
ChildrenK. S. G. Venkatesh, K.S.G. Ravi and 4 other sons


Birth and early lifeEdit

Iyakkunar Thilagam K.S.Gopalakrishnan was born at Sakkotai near Kumbakonam, Tanjore District in the year 1929 as the eighth son of Shri K. Srinivasan Naidu. When he was about five years old an epidemic orphaned him and his brothers and sisters, when he lost most of the family including his parents. K.S. Gopalakrishnan and his younger brother K.S. Sabarinathan were recommended as juvenile artists to the Shri Nawab Rajamanickam Pillai who was then running a successful professional drama company.

At that time the Nawab was teaching not only acting to the children of his troupe but also taught them languages, literature, and music. As the Nawab was an ardent nationalist many of his plays propagated the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and his freedom movement, as well as the ideals of Pandit Nehru, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Rajaji. The Nawab's troupe performed a play in the presence of Gandhi, who commended the troupe's contribution to the freedom fight.


After serving the Nawab's troupe for about nineteen years in various capacities, K.S.G. joined Sri Devi Nataka Sabha where[clarification needed] he wrote two successful plays entitled “POST-MAN” ,“THAMBI”(younger brother) and “EZHUTHALAN”(writer).[3]

Entry into film industryEdit

Circumstances pushed KSG to the city of Madras, where he was accepted as a lyric composer by the Tamil film industry. He was guided by members Kalaivanar N.S.Krishnan and Udumalai Narayana Kavirayar.

Later, he became an assistant to film director Shri Sridar and has worked for several successful pictures. His first film for which he also wrote the screenplay and dialogue was Deivapiravi, produced by M/S. Kamal Brothers, which acquired a special certificate of merit from Government of India.

Further success followed as a series of popular hits like Modern Theatre's Kumudham, AVM's Annai, Bala movies' “Padikkatha Medhai”, Unity Pictures' Ellam Unakkaha, and Vasu Films' Kai Rasi.[3]

A.L. Srinivasan requested KSG to direct a picture for him. The result was Sarada, the first and most successful directorial venture of KSG, which won the coveted State award of Government of India.

This inspired KSG to produce and direct more hits and gave him the distinction of a hat-trick performer who grabbed the state awards of Government of India continuously for three years for his Sarada, Karpagam, and Kai Kodutha Deivam. After this, as an established director and producer directed more than thirty five pictures in Tamil, Malayalam and a few in Hindi. Many of his films were bought and remade in Telugu and Hindi.

Every one of his creations was appreciated for the message they carried and the most progressive and impressive ideas they propagated.[citation needed] To mention some in particular, his Ennathan Mudivu was so well received that magazines like Kalki carried cover-page photographs of a film director for the first time. Even today, veteran Kamal Hasan made special mention of this film in a screenwriting work shop held at IIT Madras for its extraordinary theme and screenplay by K.S.Gopalakrishnan and how he got inspired by this theme that induced him to produce, write and direct Hey Ram. His Panama Pasama was a big hit, and Government of the U.S.S.R. invited KSG and his Panama Pasama to the international film festival held at Tashkent in the year 1968. The festival committee honoured KSG with three certificates of merit and three, special bronze medals. Thus KSG proved that he deserves[citation needed] the title “IYAKKUNAR THILAGAM” (Doyen among directors) conferred on him by the public at a function presided over by the A.L. Srinivasan, who was the then President of the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce.

Many of his films introduced new talents like K. R. Vijaya, Jayachitra, Prameela, Vijaya Nirmala, and several others and gave rebirth to artists like T.K. Bagavathy, S. Varalakshmy, B. Saroja Devi, and Padmini, while he presented the industry with child artists like Sridevi, Shakkeela, Baby Sudha and others.

Mythological filmsEdit

Some of his mythological films include Adhi parashakthi and Sri KanchiKamakshi. He has also produced puranic epics like Dasavatharam, Deviyin Thiruvilaiyadal and Mahasakthi Mariamman.


K. S. Gopalakrishnan shared exactly the same name with an earlier director and actor who worked in Tamil cinema in the 1940s and 1950s. This Gopalakrishnan, who directed films produced by S. S. Vasan, did not achieve much cinematic success, and was often confused for the later Gopalakrishnan.[4]

Iyyakunar Thilagam titleEdit

Veteran Nadgar Thilagam Shivaji Ganesan had a very excellent wavelength with Iyakkunar Thilagam K.S.Gopalakrishnan and all his films that he worked with him from the earlier days when KSG was a writer and then after he elevated to a successful Director and Producer were mega hits. As mentioned above DEIVAPIRAVI (Story and screenplay,Dialogues by KSG), PADIKKATHA METHAI (Dialogues), ELLAM UNAKKAGA(screenplay and dialogues) KAI KODUTHA DHEIVAM (written directed and produced by KSG) SELVAM (written and directed) PESUM DHEIVAM (written directed and produced) KULAMA GUNAMA (written and directed) PADIKKATHA PANNAIYAAR (written directed and produced). Of these KAI KODUTHA DHEIVAM was a sensational hit and bagged the National award. It was in this film where nadigar thilagam acted as Mahakavi Bharathiyaar for the evergreen super hit patriotic song “Sindhu Nadhiyin misai nilavinile” which he regarded as an honour to the great poet. All the other movies he worked with KSG were all mega hits. These movies with the two thilagams will be entirely different and true to life in KSG's writings and Shivaji's excellent performance.

Nadigayar thilagam Savithri worked for his film AAYIRAM ROOBAI in which the story revolved solely around her character before and after she spots a 1000 rupee note.

Ellam Unakkaga was another film on which he worked as a writer.


K. S. Gopalakrishnan died on 14 November 2015 at the age of 86.[5] He is survived by his wife Sulochana and six sons.[6]


As lyricistEdit

As writerEdit


National Film Awards
Titles and other honours
Tamil Nadu State Film Awards


  1. ^ Kumar, S.R. Ashok (6 July 2006). "Actor K.R. Vijaya's smile illuminated her acting career". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 September 2011.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ Guy, Randor (26 December 2008). "Panakkari 1953". The Hindu. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Film director K.S. Gopalakrishnan dead". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  6. ^ "KS GOPALAKRISHNAN DIES AT 86; DIRECTED OVER 50 FILMS IN A STORIED CAREER". Silverscreen. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  7. ^ "10th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Retrieved 9 September 2011.

External linksEdit