T. N. Balu (died 1981) was an Indian writer, director and producer who worked in Tamil cinema. He was active in the second half of the 1900s, and shared a close association with the former chief ministers of Tamil Nadu Karunanidhi.[1]

T. N. Balu
Occupation(s)Writer, director, producer

Film careerEdit

Balu worked as a writer on several notable Tamil films in the 1960s including Deiva Thai (1964), Athey Kangal (1967) and Moondrezhuthu (1968).[2][3][4] His work as the storywriter of Naan (1967), saw him also credited for the films Telugu and Hindi remakes, Nenante Nene (1968) and Waris (1969). He regularly collaborated as a story, screenplay and dialogue writer for productions by Modern Theatres.[5]

In the late 1970s, he regularly worked on the scripts for Jaishankar's films and directed both Nallathukku Kalamillai (1977) and Odi Vilayadu Thatha (1977). Balu's Sattam En Kaiyil (1978) featuring Kamal Haasan and Sripriya was a commercially successful venture.[6][7] Balu was jailed soon after the film's release, and Kamal Haasan helped bail him out, after seeking permission from chief minister M. G. Ramachandran, to attend the 100th day celebration ceremony of the film. However, soon after the ceremony was over, with the help of his acquaintances from the opposition party - Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Balu managed to escape to Bangalore. The incident created a strain between M. G. Ramachandran and Kamal Haasan.[8][9] He died during the making of his production venture, Sankarlal (1981), which he was also directing and writing. The film was later completed by cinematographer N. K. Viswanathan with the assistance of Kamal Haasan.[10][11]

Personal lifeEdit

Balu's son, T. N. B. Kathiravan, also known as Kathir, is a dubbing artiste who works on Tamil language films. He has provided voiceovers for actors including Vidyut Jammwal, Ashish Vidyarthi and Sharath Lohithaswa in Tamil cinema.[12]


Balu died during the making of his production venture, Sankarlal (1981).

Partial filmographyEdit

Year Film Credited as Notes
Director Writer Producer
1964 Deiva Thai  N  Y  N
1965 Aasai Mugam  N  Y  N
1965 Iravum Pagalum  N  Y  N
1967 Naan  N  Y  N
1967 Athey Kangal  N  Y  N
1967 Uyir Mel Aasai  N  Y  N
1968 Kadhal Vaaganam  N  Y  N
1968 Moondrezhuthu  N  Y  N
1969 Manasaatchi  Y  Y  N
1969 Anjal Petti 520  Y  Y  N
1971 Meendum Vazhven  Y  Y  N
1972 Bullet Bullodu  Y  Y  N Telugu film
1973 Pookkari  N  Y  N
1973 Maru Piravi  N  Y  N
1974 Vairam  N  Y  N
1977 Andru Sindhiya Raththam  N  Y  N
1977 Nallathukku Kalamillai  Y  Y  N
1977 Odi Vilayadu Thatha  Y  Y  N
1977 Uyarndhavargal  Y  Y  N
1978 Sattam En Kaiyil  Y  Y  Y
1981 Sankarlal  Y  Y  Y


  1. ^ "T N Balu". Spicyonion.com.
  2. ^ Guy, Randor (27 June 2015). "Athey Kangal 1967". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  3. ^ Guy, Randor (21 January 2017). "Moondrezhuthu (1968) TAMIL". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  4. ^ Guy, Randor (2 April 2016). "Dheiva Thaai (1964)". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  5. ^ Parthasarathy, Anusha (8 November 2011). "Memories of Madras – Verse in the woods". The Hindu – via www.thehindu.com.
  6. ^ "Karuna taught me Tamil, says Kamal Haasan". Deccan Chronicle. 29 May 2017. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
  7. ^ Bengaluru, Rajaparvai Ramu [@RajaparvaiB] (14 July 2020). "#கமல்ஹாசன் அவர்௧ளின் #சட்டம்என்கையில் இன்று 42ம் ஆண்டு நிறைவுநாள் (14/07/1978) 100 ஓடிய சூப்பர் ஹிட் திரைப்படம் இந்த படம் தெலுங்கு மொழியில் #தொங்௧தோரா என்று வெளிவந்து #ஆந்திராவில் 100 நாட்௧ளுக்கு மேல் ஓடியது." (Tweet) (in Tamil). Retrieved 6 October 2020 – via Twitter.
  8. ^ "When Kamal Haasan caused bitter feelings to MGR and Karunanidhi - Tamil News". IndiaGlitz.com. 27 July 2017.
  9. ^ "karunanidhi birthday 2017: Lesser-known tales of south India's grand old man Karunanidhi | Chennai News - Times of India". The Times of India.
  10. ^ "T.N.Balu [Director | Story,Dialogue Writer | Producer]". 29 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Lakshmansruthi.com". profiles.lakshmansruthi.com. Archived from the original on 11 October 2020.
  12. ^ "Dubbing is big business today in Kollywood - Times of India". The Times of India.

External linksEdit