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  • Writer's picturesri venkateswara charitable trust

Binny Ramachandran – oldest living stage artist at 92






K Ramachandran also referred affectionately as Binny

Ramachandran is perhaps the oldest stage artist in India

at 92 and still acting and going strong. He had acted in

over 5,000 dramas during his long span of about 70

years.


His first encounter with the stage play was in 1956 when

he acted in a Tamil drama Only Letter written by M

Ramachandran, cinema dialogue writer with the then

Thevar Films


The success of the play encouraged him to become a

stage actor and he joined G Srinivasan and Puliyur Saroja,

movie dance director and formed Sundaranar Nataka

Mandram and staged over a dozen plays the most

popular being Mann Bommai.


Veteran movie stars of yesteryears TS Balaiah and T K

Ramachandran encouraged Binny Ramachandran by

offering advice and tips by watching his plays


He started performing with veteran comedian Nagesh in

the troupe run by veteran movie actor and producer K

Balaji. He also acted as a father of young Kamal Hassan in

the Idhaya Kamalam play.

He joined veteran movie actor and stage artist S Ve

Shaker’s Natakapriya in 1973 and was part of all his

productions for over 27 years.


He was assigned important roles in the immortal dramas

such as Crazy Thieves in Palavakkam, Tenant

Commandments, One More Exorcist, Mahabarathathil

Mangatha and became a popular stage artist.


In the year 2000 he joined veteran actor and news reader

T V Varadarajen’s United Visuals drama troupe and is

now an integral part of all the stage plays of the troupe.

He is an accredited B grade artist of the Doordarshan

Kendra and All India Radio and has done about 40 plays

in Doordarshan.


Ramachandran has also acted in major roles in various

television serials such as Vizhuthugal, Kolangal, Marma

Desam by ace director K Balachander and the play Violin

Pesukirathu with the legendary violinist the late

Kunnakudi Vaidhyanathan in Jaya TV. He has also acted


in movies such as Marupakkam directed by veteran K S

Sethu Madhavan.


He was given the title of Vani Kala Nipuna by Thyaga

Brahma Gana Sabha, Best Actor award by the Mylapore

Academy and Binny Recreation Club, Karthik Fine Arts’

Lifetime Achievement Award, Veteran Artist award by

Chromepet Cultural Association to name a few.


It’s a great irony that the successive Tamil Nadu

Governments had failed to recognize a dedicated actor

who had donned several roles for the past 70 years and

not even bestowed its Kalaimamani award on such

passionate artists which are often given to glamorous

movie stars.


“Often a person sitting in the last row in an auditorium

would walk up to me and say you were excellent and

what more can an actor wish for,” he says in all humility.

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