R. S. Manohar

Rasipuram Subramaniyan Iyer Manohar was an Indian actor who performed roles ranging from hero to villain to comedic characters. He was born at Namakkal in 1925. He acted in over 200 films.[1] He is known for his versatility and dominating personality. He is also known as Nadaga Kavalar for his love of stage plays and his undeterred passion in continuing to stage mythological plays almost his entire life.[2]

R. S. Manohar
R. S. Manohar (1951)
Lakshminarasimman [1]

29 June 1925
Died10 January 2006
(aged 80)
Years active1951-1992
Parent(s)Father : Subramaniyan Iyer
Mother : Rajalakshmi Ammal


Rasipuram Subramaniyan Iyer Manohar was born on 29 June 1925 at old Salem District, British Indian as real name R. S. Lakshminarasimman to Subramaniyan Iyer and Rajalakshmi Ammal.[3] He got the name Manohar after playing the lead role in the school play Manohara. He graduated from Pachaiyappa's College, Chennai.

According to film historian Randor Guy, Manohar got a break in films with Rajambal (1951) when, as a graduate, he was employed in the Postal Department. Producer R. M. Krishnaswamy booked him for the lead role in the film. As his name was not "filmi", it was changed to R. S. Manohar.[4]

While in college, Manohar frequently performed in stage plays. After graduation, he joined films. His first effort was Rajamabal, produced by Aruna Films. His early memorable roles were in films such as Vannakkili, Kaidhi Kannayiram, Vallavanukku Vallavan, Vallavan Oruvan and Iru Vallavargal.

But Manohar is best remembered for the negative roles he played, especially while facing off with M. G. Ramachandran in films such as Ayirathil Oruvan, Ulagam Suttrum Valliban, Pallandu Vazhga, Adimai Penn, Kaavalkaaran and Idayakkani.

Manohar is also remembered for his immense contributions to Tamil theatre. After Nawab Rajamanikkam, it was Manohar who took theatre to a higher plane. Most of the 31 plays in which he acted - altogether totaling 7,950 performances - were adaptations or interpretations of historical incidents or mythological stories.

Famous among Manohar's plays are Ilangeswaran, Chanakkiya Sabadam, Soorapadman, Sisupalan, Indrajith, Sukrachariyar, Naragasooran and Thirunavukkarasar.

He was a pioneer in introducing 'dramascope' with stereophonic sound system, split second transformation of sets and pyrotechniques to represent battle scenes.

He received many awards for his contributions to drama and cinema, including a 'Nadaka Kavalar' award from MGR in 1970.

Selected filmographyEdit


Manohar acted in a number of plays. Some of the famous ones are Ilangeswaran, Chanakkiya Sabadam, Soorapadman, Sisupalan, Indrajith, Sukrachariyar, Naragasooran and Thirunavukkarasar. He was also involved in the production of an English play, Last Tango in Heaven. It was later made as a Movie God Only Knows! [5]


  1. ^ a b "Tamil Nadu / Chennai News : Actor R.S. Manohar dead". The Hindu. 11 January 2006. Archived from the original on 3 September 2012. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  2. ^ Majordasan (1 February 2015). "Potpourri of titbits about Tamil cinema - Actor Manohar". Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  3. ^ cinesouth. "Dailynews - The once great villain R.S.Manohar passes away". Cinesouth.com. Retrieved 17 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Rajambal 1951". thehindu.com. 3 January 2009. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Dramatic moments".

External linksEdit