Panchaksharam Rangasamy Pillai, known professionally as Vijayakumar, is an Indian actor and politician. He started his film career in the Tamil film Sri Valli (1961) as a child actor and started playing a lead role from the movie Aval Oru Thodar Kathai (1974) then he worked in Madhurageetham (1977) and Azhage Unnai Aarathikkiren (1979). He has also acted in a few Telugu and Malayalam movies. He also worked in television serials like Thangam, Vamsam, Talambralu and Nandini. Popular films of Vijayakumar are Agni Natchathiram (1988), Kizhakku Cheemayile (1993) and Anthimanthaarai (1996).
Vijayakumar at the Book Launch of Palani G Periyasamy's 'Idhaya oli'
Panchaksharam Rangasamy Pillai
29 August 1943
Dr Anitha Vijayakumar
Vijayakumar was born in Nattuchalai, Pattukkottai Taluk, Thanjavur dist, Tamil Nadu, India. His birth name Panchaksharam was changed to Vijayakumar for films. He debuted in the 1961 Tamil movie Sri Valli. Again in 1964, with the help of his uncle, he came to Chennai and tried for roles, but only got a small role in the movie Kandhan Karunai as one of the devargal, arrested by the Asura king, Surapadma. Later in 1973, he got an offer to act in films. His first major role was in Kailasam Balachander's Aval Oru Thodar Kathai in 1974.
His journey in filmdom began as a child actor in the film Sri Valli in 1961. Vijaykumar was the little Lord Murugan in Sri Valli, starring Sivaji Ganesan and Padmini. Though not many offers were forthcoming for the little actor, he was supposed to play Lord Murugan in Kandhan Karunai, but instead Sivakumar played that role. Vijayakumar acted in a small role as one of the Lords that was arrested by Surapadman. In 1973, Vijayakumar got his first break in Ponnukku Thanga Manasu, directed by Devaraj-Mohan. The other hero in the film was Sivakumar. The success of Ponnuku Thanga Manasu got him a permanent place in Tamil cinema. Vijayakumar was a popular actor the seventies, who acted alongside leading actors such as M. G. Ramachandran, in Indru Pol Endrum Vaazhga, with Sivaji Ganesan in Dheepam and Kamal Haasan in Neeya. While Vijayakumar was a popular supporting actor, he did play the lead role during the 1970s, in films such as Aval Oru Thodarkathai, Mathura Geetham and Azhage Unnai Arathikkiren.
Vijayakumar continued to act in supporting roles in the early 1980s. After a brief slump, Vijayakumar's second innings came in 1988 with Mani Ratnam's Agni Natchathiram, where he played Phrabu Ganesan and Karthik Muthuraman's father. The movie told the story of two half brothers who fight for their father's love and property. During the 1990s, Vijayakumar was frequently seen in father roles such as Nattamai and Baasha. During the same time, Vijayakumar also played lead roles in award-winning films such as Kizhakku Cheemayile and Anthimanthaarai, with Bharathiraaja. The latter took him close to winning the National Film Award for Best Actor, eventually missing it by one vote. Vijayakumar continued to play senior roles during the 2000s; eventually the actor was seen in more grandfather roles. In the last few years, the actor has reduced his film commitments and focused on television serials. Vijayakumar has acted in over 400 films, primarily in Tamil, but also had brief stints in Telugu cinema.
Vijayakumar's family consists of wives Muthukannu and Manjula, daughters Kavitha, Anitha & son Arun Vijay from his first wife and daughters Vanitha, Preetha & Sridevi from his second wife. So far, Arun and his father have appeared together on screen four times – in Pandavar Bhoomi, Malai Malai, Maanja Velu and Kuttram 23.
He was the vice-president of South Indian Nadigar Sangam until 18 October 2015. He was also a member of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. On 16 March 2016, Vijayakumar joined the BJP in the presence of Union minister of state for road transport highways and shipping. Sri Pon Radhakrishnan said he would campaign for the party for this Assembly election.
On 23 July 2013, Vijayakumar's second wife Manjula died in Chennai. She was 59.
|2009–2013||Thangam||Rajaramchandra Raghunath alias Ayyaa||Sun TV||Tamil|
|2016–2017||Talambralu||Sandhya's Grand Father||Gemini TV||Telugu|
- "நடிகர் விஜயகுமாரின் குடும்பம்" [Actor Vijayakumar's family]. Archived from the original on 17 June 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- "For Vijayakumar, work is always worship". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 8 December 2005.
- "ஸ்ரீதர் படத்தில் நடிக்க விஜயகுமார் முயற்சி" [Vijayakumar tried an opportunity to act in Sridhar's film]. Maalai Malar. 8 November 2018. Archived from the original on 22 August 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
- "கந்தன் கருணை படத்தில் முருகனாக நடிப்பது யார்? - சிவகுமாருடன் விஜயகுமார் போட்டி" [Who would be acting as lord Murugan in Kandhan Karunai ? - Competition between Sivakumar and Vijayakumar]. Maalai Malar. 9 November 2018. Archived from the original on 22 August 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
- "பொண்ணுக்கு தங்க மனசு - விஜயகுமார் கதாநாயகன் ஆனார்" [Vijayakumar became lead actor through Ponnukku Thanga Manasu]. Maalai Malar. 10 November 2018. Archived from the original on 22 August 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
- "விஜயகுமார் கதாநாயகனாக நடித்த முதல் படம் வெற்றி" [Vijayakumar's debut film as hero became successful]. Maalai Malar. 11 November 2018. Archived from the original on 22 August 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
- "விஜயகுமார் - மஞ்சுளா காதல் திருமணம்" [Vijayakumar-Manjula love marriage]. Maalai Malar. 14 November 2018. Archived from the original on 22 August 2019. Retrieved 22 August 2019.
- "Party time for Vijayakumar". IndiaGlitz. 6 February 2006. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
- Dorairaj, S (8 February 2006). "Actor Vijayakumar returns to AIADMK". Online edition. Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 24 June 2009.
- Siva (23 July 2013). "கட்டிலில் இருந்து விழுந்து படுகாயமடைந்த நடிகை மஞ்சுளா மரணம்- Actress Manjula no more" (in Tamil). Filmibeat. Retrieved 4 March 2019.