Judo. K. K. Rathnam Age, Death, Family, Biography & More
Age: 92 Years
Hometown: Gudiyatham, District Vellore, Tamil Nadu
Death Date: 26/01/2023
Some Lesser Known Facts About Judo. K. K. Rathnam
- Judo. K. K. Rathnam (1930-2023) was an Indian stunt master who worked as a stunt director and stunt artist in Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil, and Hindi films. In a career span of more than five decades, he has worked in more than 1200 films and set a world record for working as a stunt choreographer in a maximum number of films in India.
- Earlier, he was not interested in martial arts. Once he went to work in the mill where he was asked to work in the night shift because of his frail physique. He felt ashamed of his physique and decided to work out to improve it.
- He learnt various types of martial arts to improve his physique. At first, he learnt Taekwondo from ‘Mahabharat’ Masilamani, the popular Taekwondo trainer, and then, boxing from the South Indian Boxing Champion Paramashivan, Judo from G. Ramu, and Yoga from Thangavelu. He also got training from the Soviet-trained Ranganathan.
- He got a chance to act in films after he was spotted by Mugavai Rajamanickam, a screenwriter, while he was performing exercises in a district collectorate program.
- In 1966, he got immense popularity after he directed a fight scene for Jaishankar and R. S. Manohar in the Tamil language film ‘Vallavan Oruvan’ following which he was given the status of ‘My Master’ by R. R. Sundaram, the president of Modern Theatres. He earned the title ‘Judo’ from Tamil Arts and Literature Forum.
- Rathnam had worked with various superstars such as Rajinikanth in 49 films, Kamal Haasan in 16 films, Puneeth Rajkumar in 69 films, Amitabh Bachchan in 4 films, and with N. T. Rama Rao in 16 films.
- He directed a fighting scene in Rajinikanth’s film ‘Muratkugu’ which is considered iconic in his career.
- He worked as a stunt master in films in more than nine languages including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, and English languages.
- After making his acting debut with the Tamil film ‘Thamarai Kulam’ in 1959, he appeared in various Tamil films including ‘Konjum Kumari’ (1963), ‘Gayathri’ (1977), ‘Pokkiri Raja’ (1982), ‘Naanayamillatha Naanayam’ (1984), and ‘Ponnukketha Purushan’ (1992).
- Some of his most notable filmography in the Tamil film industry include ‘Muthu Chippi’ (1968), ‘Gayathri’ (1977), ‘Thiruppam’ (1984), ‘Dravidan’ (1989), and ‘Pandian’ (1992).
- Rathnam was assisted by various stunt masters and actors such as Vikram Dharma, Super Subbarayan, Thalapathy Dinesh, Jaguar Thangam, Rambo Rajkumar, Indian Baskar, and Judo. K. K. Ramu.
- In 2013, he set a Guinness World Record for working on more than 1200 films as a stunt coordinator in India and for working as a stuntman for 63 protagonists.
- Reportedly, Rathnam once wrote a letter to Chief Ministre J. Jayalalithaa in which he mentioned that he deserved the Kalaimamani Award, which was later awarded to him in 2019.
- In 2013, he wrote an autobiography titled ‘Thamaraikulam Two Capitals.’
- In an interview, he revealed that once he mistakenly injured Rajinikanth’s neck while practising Silambam, an ancient form of martial arts that originated in South India.
- In August 2021, the incident of theft took place at his house at Periyappa Mudali Street, Kudiatham, Dharanapet. The thieves stole a half kg of silver items, two Rolex watches, fifteen silk sarees, and Rs. 20 thousand from his house.