Vijayakanth (Politician) Age, Death, Wife, Family, Biography & More

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Wife: Premalatha Vijayakant
Age: 71 Years
Death Cause: Pneumonia


Birth nameNarayanan Vijayaraj Alagarswami [1]The Economic Times
Stage name Vijayakanth [2]Hindustan Times
Nickname(s)• Puratchi Kalaignar
• Captain [3]The Hindu
• Karuppu MGR [4]The Federal
Profession(s)• Politician
• Actor
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 180 cm
in meters- 1.80 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 11”
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourBlack
DebutFilm (Tamil): Inikkum Ilamai (1979) as Arun
Vijayakanth starred on the poster of the film Inikkum Ihla
Awards• 1986: Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Tamil at Filmfare Awards South for the film 'Amman Kovil Kizhakale'
• 1986: Cinema Express Award for Best Actor - Tamil at Cinema Express Awards for the film 'Amman Kovil Kizhakal'
• 1988: Best Character Actor at Cinema Express Awards for the film 'Poonthotta Kaavalkaaran'
• 1988: Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor for the film 'Senthoora Poove'
• 1988: Best Character Actor at Cinema Express Awards for the film 'Senthoora Poove'
• 1994: Tamil Nadu State Film Honorary Award
• 1996: Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize for the film 'Thayagam'
• 2000: Best Actor Award at Cinema Express Awards for the film 'Vaanathaippola'
• 2001: Kalaimamani Award by the Government of Tamil Nadu
• 2001: Best Indian Citizen Award by Citizens of India Forum
• 2002: Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film of the year for the film 'Ramanaa'
• 2009: Top 10 Legends of Tamil Cinema Award at Filmfare of Tamil Cinema Awards
• 2011: Honorary doctorate by International Institute of Church Management, Florida, USA
• 2024: Padma Bhushan (posthumously)
Political PartyDesiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK)
Flag of the DMDK party
Political Journey• 14 September 2005 - 28 December 2023: President of the DMDK party
• 26 May 2006 - 14 May 2011: MLA of the Virudhachalam constituency
• 23 May 2011 - 21 May 2016: MLA of the Rishivandiyam constituency
• 27 May 2011 - 21 February 2016: Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly from the Rishivandiyam constituency
• 1 June 2014 - 14 December 2023: General Secretary of the DMDK party
Personal Life
Date of Birth25 August 1952 (Monday)
BirthplaceMadurai, Tamil Nadu
Date of Death28 December 2023
Place of DeathChennai, Tamil Nadu
Age (at the time of death) 71 Years
Death CausePneumonia after being tested Covid-19 positive [5]Variety
Zodiac signVirgo
SignatureVijayakanth's signature
School• M.C. High School (till class sixth)
• Devakottai School (till class eighth)
• Union Christian Higher Secondary School, Madurai, Tamil Nadu (class ninth)
• St. Mary's School (till class tenth)
Educational Qualification10th pass [6]My Neta
CasteKamma Naidu
Address10/12A, Kannammal Street, Saligramam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
ControversiesDispute between Vijayakanth and Vadivelu
In September 2008, the popular actor Vadivelu filed a case against Vijayakanth, accusing him of attempted murder, after Vadivelu's house in Chennai faced a stone attack on 21 September. Vadivelu alleged Vijayakanth's involvement, citing an ongoing legal dispute over an assault. He said that the attack happened right before the final court hearing, preventing his attendance. He also expressed his intention to compete against Vijayakanth in the next assembly elections. However, Vijayakanth refuted the allegations during a press meet, dismissing them as hearsay. [7]The Times of India During the 2011 Tamil Nadu legislative assembly elections, Vadivelu strongly campaigned for the DMK alliance and openly condemned Vijayakanth. Vadivelu's bias towards DMK was criticized, especially for not acknowledging the AIADMK or its leader, J. Jayalalitha. Despite Vadivelu's efforts, the AIADMK alliance emerged victorious, with Vijayakanth securing a significant win in his own constituency.

Accused for using the title 'Captain'
In 2014, an ex-serviceman named Dhandapani registered a case against the actor at the Madras High Court for using the title 'Captain' as prefix to his name. Dhandapani claimed that it was illegal to use the term 'Captain' by the people who had never served in the Indian army. [8]The Indian Express

Fight with a journalist
In December 2015, Vijayakanth publicly criticized a journalist during a press conference, accusing the journalist of directing questions exclusively to him and not the other party, and even spat at him. Later, the Chennai Press Club lodged a complaint against Vijayakanth, alleging his inappropriate behaviour towards journalists. [9]Firstpost

Attacking a security personnel
In April 2016, a video captured Vijayakanth hiting a security guard while heading to a party meeting. The footage was later widely broadcasted on TV channels.
[10]PuthiyathalaimuraiTV - YouTube

Cases against him
• 28 Charges related to Punishment for Defamation (IPC Section-500)
• 2 Charges related to Punishment for wrongful restraint (IPC Section-341)
• 1 Charge related to Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees (IPC Section-427)
• 1 Charge related to Punishment for assault or criminal force otherwise than on grave provocation (IPC Section-352)
• 1 Charge related to Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty (IPC Section-353)
• 1 Charge related to Punishment for Being member of an unlawful assembly (IPC Section-143)
• 1 Charge related to Punishment for Rioting (IPC Section-147)
• 1 Charge related to Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace (IPC Section-504)
• 1 Charge related to Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt (IPC Section-323)
• 1 Charge related to Unlawful assembly (IPC Section-141) [11]My Neta
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Married
Affairs/GirlfriendsRaadhika Sarathkumar (actress) (rumoured)
Vijayakanth with Radhika Sarathkumar
Marriage Date31 January 1990
Wife/SpousePremalatha Vijayakant (costume designer, politician)
Vijayakanth with his family
ChildrenSon(s)- 2
• Shanmuga Pandian (actor)
• Vijay Prabhakar (internet personality)

Daughter- None

Note: Photo in 'Wife' section.
ParentsFather- K. N. Alagarswami (businessman)
Mother- Aandal Azhagarswami
Step-mother- Rukmani

Note: His mother, Aandal Azhagarswami, passed away a year after giving birth to Vijayakanth.
SiblingsHe has three elder siblings and 7 younger step-siblings.
Money Factor
Assets/PropertiesMovable Assets
• Cash: Rs. 9,25,000
• Deposits in Banks: Rs. 21,190
• Bonds, Debentures and Shares in companies: Rs. 36,838,011
• Motor Vehicles: Rs. 8,315,000
• Jewellery: Rs. 19,91,520

Immovable Assets
• Agricultural Land: Rs. 4,87,88,000
• Non Agricultural Land: Rs. 7,12,87,500
• Commercial Buildings: Rs. 7,37,00,000

Note: The net worth was for the year 2016. It excludes the net worth of his wife and dependents (minors). [12]My Neta
Net Worth (approx.)Rs. 11 Crore

Note: The net worth was for the year 2016. It excludes the net worth of his wife and dependents (minors). [13]My Neta


Some Lesser Known Facts About Vijayakanth

  • Vijayakanth was an Indian actor and politician. He is mainly known for his work in the Tamil film industry.
  • He was born into a middle-class family. His father wanted him to pursue higher studies but he was never interested in it.
  • He had a passion for acting since he was a child. He always wanted to become an like MGR.
  • He shifted from Madurai to Chennai to pursue a career in acting. In an interview, he revealed that he was rejected by many directors and producers because of his dark skin tone.

    Vijayakanth as a youngster

    Vijayakanth as a youngster

  • In 1978, he did a photo shoot in Rasi Studio in Madurai, which helped him to get work in the film industry. In various interviews, the actor acknowledged that the photos taken by the chief photographer of Rasi Studios, R. Asaithambi, helped him earn a spot in the film industry.
  • In an interview, he revealed how he got his screen named and said that, his name was changed from ‘Vijayaraj’ to ‘Vijayakant’ by M.A. Kaja, who was the director of his debut Tamil film ‘Inikkum llamai’ (1979). He said that his name was changed because at that time, there were two more actors in the Tamil film industry having the similar sounding names.
  • He rose to fame after he played the role of Ponnan in the film ‘Doorathu Idi Muzhakkam’ (1980). In 1981, the film was screened at the Indian Panorama of the International Film Festival of India.
  • The film that got him to commercial hero status was ‘Sattam Oru Iruttarai’ (1981), directed by S. A. Chandrasekhar. The film was also remade in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada.

    Vijayakanth in the film 'Sattam Oru Iruttarai'

    Vijayakanth in the film ‘Sattam Oru Iruttarai’

  • In the early years of his acting career, Vijayakanth played the characters of angry young man in several films that were mainly based on the themes of communism and Marxism. Some of these films include ‘Sivappu Malli’ (1981), ‘Jadhikkoru Needhi’ (1981), ‘Sattam Sirikkiradhu’ (1982), and ‘Enakku Nane Needipathi’ (1986).
  • After playing a negative role in Om Shakti (1982), he never played antagonist characters in his career.
  • During the 1980s and 1990s, he became a popular figure in action films. In an interview, he revealed that initially, he wanted to be a stunt master but later ended up becoming an action hero.
  • In 1984, he became the actor to play lead roles in most films in a year in the Tamil film industry.
  • He appeared alongside Radha Ravi and Tiger Prabhakar in the film ‘Annai Bhoomi’ (1985), the first 3D film produced in the Tamil film industry.

    Vijayakanth in the film 'Annai Bhoomi'

    Vijayakanth in the film ‘Annai Bhoomi’

  • He shared screen with Kamal Haasan in the 1986 film ‘Manakanakku.’ This is the only film in which the actors worked together.
  • He received immense appreciation for his performance as DSP Deenadayalan in the film ‘Oomai Vizhigal’ (1986). After this film, he became a strong competitor of Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, who were considered as the superstars of that time.
  • In 1987, he essayed the role of Raja in the film ‘Cooliekkaran.’ Later, Kalaipuli S. Thanu, the producer of the film, bestowed the title ‘Puratchi Kalaigner’ to him for his excellent performance in the film.
  • He played the titular role in his 100th film ‘Captain Prabhakaran’ (1991), which earned him the title “Captain”. After this film, he became the only actor after M.G.R., Sivaji Ganesan, and Jayalalithaa to achieve a silver jubilee hit with his 100th film.
    Poster of the film 'Captain Prabhakar'

    Poster of the film ‘Captain Prabhakar’

  • In 2000, he became the president of the South Indian Film Artistes’ Association (also known as Nadigar Sangam), which was already ridden in debts around Rs 4.5 crore. During his tenure, he organized several fund-raising events globally to clear the union’s debt.
  • In the same year, he appeared in the film ‘Vaanathai Pola,’ directed by Vikraman. He essayed double roles of Vellaisaamy and Muthu in the film.

    Vijayakanth in the film Vaanathai Pola

    Vijayakanth in the film ‘Vaanathai Pola’

  • In 2001, Vijayakanth established the Shri Andal Alagar College of Engineering, Mamandur, Tamil Nadu. He provided free education to all the students in his college.
  • On 1 October 2001, he declared that Sivaji Ganesan’s birthday, that falls on 1 October, to be celebrated as Actors’ Day in Tamil Nadu.
  • He established the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK), a regional political party in Tamil Nadu, with a center-left ideology. The official announcement of the party’s formation took place on 14 September 2005, in Madurai. In the 2006 assembly elections, his party contested all seats and won one, with Vijayakanth securing victory in the seat he contested.

    Vijayakanth during an election campaign

    Vijayakanth during an election campaign

  • Under Vijayakanth’s leadership, DMDK performed well in the 2006 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly Elections, securing 10% votes.
  • In 2009, he announced that he wouldn’t seek donations for his party, and he would fund a significant portion of the party’s expenses. He also declined to form alliances with other political parties in the 2011 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election.
  • On 14 April 2010, he launched a 24-hour television channel named ‘Captain TV,’ and later launched a 24-hour news channel named ‘Captain News’ on 29 August 2012.

    Vijayakanth during the launch of Captain TV

    Vijayakanth during the launch of Captain TV

  • In the 2011 Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election, Vijayakanth allied with the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and contested in 41 constituencies. His party achieved success by winning 29 out of the 41 seats it contested.
  • He became an MLA for the second time by winning the Rishivandhiyam constituency in 2011 elections.
  • On 8 January 2011, DMDK launched a campaign to defeat DMK by uniting all parties. This decision was made during a conference in Salem, led by Vijayakanth. However, S. Ramadoss, the leader of Pattali Makkal Katchi, voiced his discontentment with people from the film industry governing Tamil Nadu since 1967. He also advised voters not to support Vijayakanth, highlighting his extensive career as a Tamil actor.
  • After the 2011 election, Jayalalithaa and Vijayakanth engaged in discussions in the assembly that led to a strain between the two parties. Because of this, Vijayakanth separated his party from AIADMK.

    Vijayakanth with Jayalalithaa

    Vijayakanth with Jayalalithaa

  • In the 2014 parliamentary elections, DMDK formed a partnership with BJP.
  • After a five-year break from films, Vijayakanth returned with a cameo appearance alongside his son Shanmuga Pandian in the film ‘Sagaptham’ (2015).
  • In a career span of almost forty years, he has acted in more than 150 Tamil films. Some of his notable films include ‘Vaidehi Kathirunthal’ (1984), ‘Naane Raja Naane Mandhiri’ (1985), ‘Rajadurai’ (1993), ‘Ulavuthurai’ (1998), ‘Simmasanam’ (2000), and ‘Arasangam’ (2008).

    Poster of the film 'Rajadurai'

    Poster of the film ‘Rajadurai’

  • He was also known for playing patriotic characters in his films. He has acted in more than 20 films as a police officer.
  • In 2016, he lost his role as the Leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly when eight of his MLAs submitted their resignations to the speaker of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.
  • After becoming an MLA twice (in 2006 and 2011), Vijayakanth contested from the Ulundurpettai constituency in Tamil Nadu’s Vilupuram district in 2016. However, he secured only 34,447 votes, resulting in a third-place finish.
  • In 2022, he was listed by The Cinemaholic among the top 20 best Tamil actors of all time.
  • According to one of his associates, he changed the tradition of serving only vegetarian food on the sets and made sure that fighters, dancers, and everyone else had non-vegetarian options. He reasoned that he wanted them to eat well so they could work hard.
  • Vijayakanth used to made huge donations to help underprivileged people. Every year he used to donate Rs. 25,000 to Little Flower School and helped poor students.
  • According to various media reports, he donated Rs. 500,000 to the Kargil Relief Fund.
  • Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Mrs. Janaki Ramachandran who is the wife of MGR had given him the van used by MGR during his political campaign.
  • In 2023, in a meeting of NDA leaders, PM Narendra Modi specifically mentioned him and called him his friend.

    Vijayakanth with Narendra Modi

    Vijayakanth with Narendra Modi

  • The actor started facing some thyroid problems in 2017. He was tested positive for COVID-19 in 2020. Later, he was diagnosed with diabetes.
  • In November 2023, he was admitted to MIOT hospital due to some liver complication. While in hospital, he again contracted COVID-19. On 28 December 2023, the passed away at the age of 71 following some complication related to pneumonia.

    Vijayakanth's last rite

    Vijayakanth’s last rite

  • Many prominent actors and politicians including Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi mourned his demise.