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M.N. Nambiar: Legendary "Villain" of Tamil Cinema

by D.B.S. Jeyaraj

Article on MN Nambiar can be read on Daily Mirror.lk

Manjeri Narayanan Nambiar or M.N.Nambiar (89) as he was generally known passed away after prolonged illness around 1.00 pm , at a private nursing home in Chennai on Wednesday November 19th 2008. The remains were taken to his residence at Gopalapuram for fans and members of the film fraternity to pay their respects to the legendary “villain” of Tamil cinema.

Rare individual

Nambiar was a rare individual who played villainous roles on screen while remaining a virtuous person with saintly qualities off-screen. Contrary to his villainous screen persona, Nambiar was in real life a teetotaler and vegetarian and, above all, a man who upheld ethical values without any scandal or gossip ever being attributed to him.

He was also a great devotee of Sabarimalai Shree Aiyappan and undertook annual pilgrimages to the shrine for over 65 years. He was one of those instrumental in popularising the comparatively unknown deity over the years. He initiated mountain-trekking pilgrimages at a time when it was not ‘fashionable’ to worship Shree Aiyappan on the scale it is being done today. As a result, he was hailed not merely as a ‘Guruswamy’ but a ‘Mahaguruswamy’ by Aiyappan devotees.

Recently, former film actress and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha Jayaram worshipped at the octogenarian’s feet and sought his blessings on her 60th birthday. Tamil superstar and Aiyappan devotee Rajnikanth is another who regularly got himself blessed by the Mahaguruswamy.

Ironically, Nambiar, in spite of his unblemished character, was perceived as a dastardly villain by millions of movie-goers on account of his on-screen image while others guilty of off-screen villainy were hailed as good men due to their screen performances.

In this, Nambiar was like P.S. Veerappa, another actor who played the villain in Tamil cinema while being of exemplary virtue in real life.

The ‘villain’

To those Tamil cinema fans like this writer who grew up on a diet of Tamil movies, the demise of Nambiar evokes a sense of deep sorrow. Just as much we relished the great heroes like M.G. Ramachandran, Sivaji Ganesan or Gemini Ganesh, we also appreciated the actors who played villainous roles opposite them.

Without these villains, the heroes could not make their mark. How could the lead actor perform his heroic deeds and win rounds of applause if the villains did not battle it out with guns, swords and fists or abduct the beautiful heroine?

Ramayana without Ravana or Mahabharatha without Duryodhana is unimaginable. Likewise, a Tamil movie without a villain or henchmen cannot be visualised. Villains were an integral part of moviedom.

Their impact was so great that the word ‘villain’ was adopted as a Tamil word ‘villan,’ with its amusing feminine equivalent ‘villi’ for ‘vamp.’ We jeered the villains and cheered the heroes.

The older generation of villains faded away and a new breed is taking over but then for some of us, ‘old is gold’ indeed. The villains who faded away or transformed into actors playing character roles have all gone one by one.
P.S. Veerappa, T.S. Baliah, M.R. Radha, S.A. Asokan, R.S. Manohar, O.A.K. Devar and S. Ramadas have all passed away and now it is the turn of Nambiar. He was the last of the great villains of Tamil cinema.

Each actor had a distinctive trait or mannerism. Veerappa was known for his raucous laugh; M.R. Radha for his swift change of voice from squeaky and high-pitched to guttural rasps; and R.S. Manohar would thrust his chest out and impose his personality.

His specialty

As for Nambiar, his speciality was the way in which he would shake his head from side to side with a scowl and/or grimace. He would arch his eyebrows, expand his nostrils, screw up his mouth in a leering smile or merely purse his lips tightly.

This was enough to project a sense of evil and terror. Sometimes the lighting was dimmed to enhance the ominous threat. Chilling, powerful music in the background added to the fear. At times he would wear false, protruding teeth. When he grinned from ear to ear with those wolfish dentures, the effect was truly menacing.

Recollecting Nambiar’s facial expressions revive nostalgic memories in this writer. Imitating actors is a phase many of us have passed through in childhood. Sivaji’s dialogue, MGR’s action, Veerappa’s laughter and Chandrababu’s slapstick are but some of these.

One of my favourite acts during childhood was to imitate Nambiar’s threatening facial expressions. Upon hearing of his death I could not resist a few attempts before the mirror. Hmmm!

Apart from his facial expressions, Nambiar could also deliver his dialogue with appropriate modulation. He would lower or raise his voice when necessary. Even his hoarse whispers were terrifying.

Unlike many of the present actors, these ‘oldies’ could speak perfect, fluent Tamil with correct diction and pronunciation.

Nambiar was ethnically a Malayalee but like those of his era could speak other ‘Dravidian’ languages like Tamil well. Nowadays, even ‘Tamil’ actors and actresses cannot speak Tamil properly.

Nambiar could also play the ‘cool’ villain without engaging in melodramatic histrionics. He could also act the womanising playboy who seduces suavely and then ditches the unfortunate damsel.

A true master

Like most actors of the older generation he mastered swordplay, wrestling, stick-play, horse-riding, etc. This enabled him to play a realistic, swashbuckling villain on the screen.

It is as villain that Nambiar established himself as an actor. But the great thespian has played other roles like comedian, hero and character artiste on screen. Interestingly, the ‘macho’ Nambiar has also acted as a woman and girl on the stage during his formative years.

In a stage and screen career that spanned more than seven decades Nambiar has acted in more than 850 films with different generations of actors. Most of them were in Tamil but some were in Malayalam and Telugu. He has also acted in a Hindi and English film.

It is difficult indeed to single out specific roles from a galaxy of stellar roles played out over several decades. Nevertheless, I shall mention some outstanding ones lingering in memory.

In ‘Ambikapathy,’ the classical villain was the poet Ottakoothan known for his rivalry with poets Kamban and Pugalenthi. Kamban was played by the veteran M.K. Radha while Nambiar played Ottakoothan. Nambiar also played the crafty maternal uncle villain in ‘Uthama Puthiran.’ Sivaji played a dual role in this movie based on ‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ by Alexander Dumas.

Making an impression

Another movie where Nambiar made an impression despite a small role was in A.P. Nagarajan’s ‘Thillana Mohanambal,’ where he played the Maharaja of Madanpoor who was eying the danseuse played by the gorgeous Padmini.

Nambiar also played villain in a historical movie made by Nagarajan starring Sivaji Ganesan. This was ‘Raja Raja Cholan,’ where Sivaji essayed the titular role while Nambiar played Baladevar, a cunning counsellor. The clash between both was like an intricate game of chess and the verbal duelling was captivating. It was truly a clash of titans.

Nambiar also played the ambitious Dewan in ‘Sivantha Mann,’ made by maestro Sridhar. Sivaji was the hero. Nambiar also played villain remarkably in two other Sridhar movies. One was in ‘Then Nilavu,’ starring Gemini Ganesh and Vyjayanthimala. Nambiar acted as a sophisticated cheat and impersonator.

The other was ‘Nenjam Marappathillai,’ starring Kalyanakumar and Devika.In this film on the rebirth theme, Nambiar played a villain crazed with the revenge motive who tries to disrupt a union between two souls in two incarnations.

Nambiar has played villain to MGR in a number of films. Some of the notable ones are ‘Ulagam Sutrum Vaaliban,’ where he plays a karate expert assassin; another one was ‘Vettaikaran,’ where Nambiar played double as bandit and estate manager.

Nambiar played the bandit chief Kaangeyan to MGR’s Kathiravan in ‘Puthiya Bhoomi.’ The names were not so subtle references to the Congress called ‘Kaangiras’ in Tamil and the DMK with its symbol of Sun also called Kathiravan in Tamil.

Among other noteworthy MGR movies where Nambiar made a strong impact were 'Nadodi Mannan', ‘Enga Veetu Pillai,’ ‘Naan Aanaiyittaal,’ ‘Theiva Thaai, ‘Thirudathe,’ ‘Raman Thediya Seethai,’ ‘Pallandu Vaalha,’ ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’ and ‘Arasa Kattalai.’

Early days

Nambiar, who was born on March 7, 1919, hailed from Chirakkal in Kannur District in present day Kerala state. The name Nambiar is a caste identity. The Nambiars are a sub-caste of the pre-dominant Nair caste in Kerala.

It is believed that Nambiars are a mixture of the Namboodri (Brahmin) and Nair castes. They are concentrated mainly in North Malabar in the Kannur region. The Manjeris are a Nambiar clan with claims of a martial lineage.
Young Narayanan Nambiar’s mother tongue was Malayalam but he opted to join a Tamil drama troupe at the age of 13. He joined the Madurai Devibala Vinodha Sangeetha Sabha run by the famous “Nawab” Rajamanickam Pillai.

This was one of the famous ‘Boys Company’ drama troupes, so called because all actors were mainly young boys who played both male and female roles. Young Narayanan Nambiar learnt to speak perfect Tamil and played many roles, including that of women.

His monthly salary then was just Rs. 3, of which he sent Rs. 2 regularly to his mother. Board and lodging was the responsibility of the troupe.

After three years of stage acting, Nambiar got his first screen break. A film company called Parameswar Sound Pictures produced in 1935 a film titled ‘Bhaktha Ramadas’ at the Ranjit Studio in Mumbai (then Bombay).

All the actors were males and several from ‘Boys Company’ were recruited. Nambiar, then 16, played two or three roles in the film. He was paid Rs. 75. The director was Murugadas Swamigal.

Unexpected boost

Thereafter, Nambiar did not get any more screen roles for many years. Meanwhile, his stage career received an unexpected boost when lead actor K. Sarangapani quit Rajamanickam Pillai’s troupe.

Now Nambiar began to get better and prominent parts to play. His drama career began taking off. Soon Nambiar passed teenage and sought a place elsewhere in more ‘mature’ troupes. He joined the ‘Shakthi Nataka Sabha’ of “Shakthi” Krishnaswamy.

One of the roles played by Nambiar was that of the cruel monarch in ‘Kaviyin Kanavu,’ a play about the poet Kalidas. S.V. Subbiah played the poet. The play, written by S.D. Sundaram, was a runaway hit. Nambiar’s name gathered fame in drama circles.

It was then that Nambiar and Subbiah caught the eye of Producer Somasundaram of Jupiter Films. “Jupiter Somu,” as he was known, placed both on a contract for his production company. This was in 1946.

Nambiar’s first movie was ‘Vidyapathy.’ This was based on a detective novel written by Vaduvoor Duraiswamy Iyengar and directed by A.T. Krishnaswamy, who also wrote the screenplay.

Nambiar played an evil Brahmin role. His wife was played by M.S.S. Bhagyam. Subsequently Nambiar and Bhagyam were paired in other light, comedy roles. But the duo was not a hit like N.S. Krishnan-T.K. Mathuram or Kali. N. Ratnam-C.T. Rajakantham.

Big break

In 1947, Nambiar got his big break as hero in the film ‘Kanjan’ (Miser). It failed miserably. He was relegated again to secondary roles. Nambiar played ‘friend’ to M.G. Ramachandran in ‘Rajakumari’ (Princess). He also played the scheming uncle Shakuni in ‘Abimanyu.’

Then 1949 saw the film ‘Velaikkari’ being made. The story and dialogue was by DMK founder and ex-Chief Minister C.N. Annadurai. A.S.A. Samy directed it. Nambiar played a dual role acting as the landlord’s son and a crafty priest. His Harihara das Swamy role attracted widespread attention.

Nambiar’s stock rose and the turning point came when the legendary T.R. Sundaram of Modern Theatres sought him out. He was placed on a contract as was the custom then.

In 1950, Nambiar acted as the conspiring Rajaguru in ‘Manthiri Kumari,’ for which the dialogues were written by M. Karunanidhi, the present DMK Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. The movie was a roaring success. Nambiar had arrived.

This was followed by ‘Thigambara Samiyar,’ another screen version of a Duraiswamy Iyengar detective novel. M.N. Nambiar played the title role and adopted 11 different disguises for the film. It was a novelty then and Nambiar’s acting skills were recognised widely.

In 1951, Nambiar played the villainous title role in ‘Sarvathigari’ (Dictator).It was a re-make of an English movie, ‘Gallant Blades.’ Nambiar’s skill as swordsman was praised.

Interesting anecdote

Nambiar was one villain actor who could fence on equal terms with M.G. Ramachandran. An interesting anecdote relates to this.

When the movie ‘Aayirathil Oruvan’ was being made in 1965, MGR sustained a cut on his little finger when a sword-fighting scene between both was being shot. MGR bled profusely. Nambiar apologised and MGR graciously accepted it.

One year later the film ‘Arasa Kattalai’ was being made. Another fencing sequence was being shot. This time it was MGR who nicked Nambiar’s little finger.

As Nambiar was being bandaged, the actor wisecracked, “Settan marakkavillai. Mannikkavum illai” (brother has not forgotten or forgiven). MGR, of course, claimed it was an accident.

Meanwhile, Nambiar was also cast as comedian in some movies. Notable among them was ‘Marmayogi,’ but he did not click in comic roles.

In 1952, an English movie, ‘The Jungle,’ directed by William Burke, was shot in India. It was a USA-India co-production starring Rod Cameron and Marie Windsor. Nambiar also acted in it, playing the villager Mahaji.
T.R. Sundaram of Modern Theatres also tried out Nambiar as hero in the film ‘Kalyani’ in 1952 with B.S. Saroja as heroine. It was a disaster. Some years later Sundaram used him as hero in another movie, ‘Kavitha.’ That too flopped.

Road to success

But Nambiar began zooming to success as a villain on screen. He acted in a vast number of roles with different actors playing the hero. He also acted as second hero and also in ‘grey’ roles where the characters were not clearly black or white.

In some of these roles, Nambiar played the brother to the hero who teams up with the villain and then repents; in others he played the lover or husband to the hero’s sister and is antagonistic to him.

Among such roles Nambiar made his mark as MGR’s brother-in-law or lover of his sister in films like ‘Arasilankumari,’ ‘Nallavan Vaalvaan,’ ‘Parisu’ and ‘En Kadamai.’ In these Nambiar played opposite Padmini, E.V. Saroja, Ragini and L. Vijayalakshmi.

[“Ondru Serntha Anbu Maarumaa? Unmai Kaadhal Maari pohuma?”]

A Sivaji film where he played a role in similar vein and shone was as Kannan in ‘Makkalai Petra Maharasi.’ M.N. Nambiar was paired with M.N. Rajam (no relative).

A highlight of that film was the song ‘Ondru Serntha Anbu Maarumaa? Unmai Kaadhal Maari Pohuma?’ picturised on Nambiar and Rajam. It was composed by K.V. Mahadevan and sung by P.B. Sreenivas and U. Sarojini.

In some other films Nambiar was depicted as a bad guy for most of the time, only to be revealed near the finale that he was in reality the good guy. But it was as the archetypal villain that Nambiar excelled. He played them all with consummate ease.

He did not identify with any particular actor, director or producer and avoided being categorised as belonging to a certain camp.

Sivaji, MGR, Gemini, SSR, Anandan, Jaishankar, Ravichandran, A.V.M. Rajan, Muthuraman, Kalyanakumar, Muthuraman, Sivakumar, Bhagyaraj, Kamalhasan, Prabhu, Rajnikanth, Vijaykanth, Arjun, Prashanth, Vikram and Manoj – he acted with them all.

Renaissance

Nambiar had a filmy renaissance in 1982 when Bhagyaraj cast him in a refreshingly different role in ‘Thooral Nindru Pochu.’ The wrestling match between Nambiar and Bhagyaraj coupled with the drunken song ‘En Soha Kathaiyai Kelu Thaaikulame’ were the highlights of this film.

Thereafter, Nambiar played a number of character and comic roles. His last film role was with Vijaykanth in ‘Sudeshi,’ released in 2006.

He has acted in a number of TV serials. He has also appeared frequently on TV with his reminiscences of Tamil film. He was perhaps one of the oldest and most articulate actors of Tamil cinema.

Udappu

Ayappan Temple in Udappu, North Western Province, Sri Lanka [Pic: HA]

He also spoke regularly on TV about Sabarimalai Ayappan. He embraced controversy in an uncharacteristic manner by refuting claims made by some actresses about Ayappan temple.

Nambiar did not forget his first love: the stage. He formed the drama troupe Nambiar Nataka Mandram and staged plays. Two such ones were a revival of ‘Kaviyin Kanavu’ and a comedy, ‘Kalyana Supermarket.’

In tribute

He was a deeply religious man and led an austere, pious life, despite being in the tinsel world of Kodambakkam. He was admired and respected for this.

Nambiar is survived by two sons and a daughter. One of his sons, Sukumaran Nambiar, is a stalwart of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tamil Nadu. Nambiar, however, steered clear of politics while being an ardent nationalist.

He was ailing for some time and was hospitalised. Nambiar passed away peacefully on November 19 at the age of 89. The last of yesteryear Tamil screen villains has breathed his last! We, his rasikas, can only think of the past and pay tribute to his memory.

D.B.S.Jeyaraj can be reached at: djeyaraj2005@yahoo.com

40 Comments

Its refreshing to read DBSJ writing on a Tamil film actor. Yes, MN Nambiar was a great villan of Tamil cinema. Its big loss

Posted by: W. Raveendranath | November 20, 2008 04:27 PM

very good article. We shall miss Late MN Nambiar

Posted by: Seshadri | November 20, 2008 04:28 PM

very good article. We shall miss Late MN Nambiar

Posted by: Seshadri | November 20, 2008 04:28 PM

MGR - Nambiar is so popular among Tamils same as Kallan-Police with Tamil children.

He is a perfect example to prove that, Leaders who look villan are not really villans and leaders who look innocent are not innocent.

RIP
:)

Posted by: aratai | November 20, 2008 05:13 PM

DBS loves to write on cinema.

It is sad that MGR went first than most of his contemporaries.

Posted by: Dr Arun Vincent | November 20, 2008 05:32 PM

Great actor and great villain, nobody cant replace him. I've lost my words, simply he is brilliant.

Posted by: r.veera | November 20, 2008 06:32 PM

Very good Mr. Jeyaraj. keep writing more cinema articles

Posted by: Raguram | November 20, 2008 10:06 PM

Who can forget his frightening face? Great article on great Nambiar

Posted by: Jamuna | November 20, 2008 11:52 PM

really an exhuastive information, i never thought that DBS had nown so much about Tamil Film world.
Raja raja Cholan was made by Umapathy and not by Nagarajan

Posted by: P.Kanagasabapathy | November 21, 2008 12:19 AM

M N Nambiar is no doubt a legendary figure in the history of Tamil cinema. Though he was famous for 'villain' roles in the movies, he was the most respectable man in the tamil film world in real life.

may his soul rest in peace.

my heartfelt condolences to his family members, fans & well wishers.

Posted by: Venkatesh V | November 21, 2008 12:43 AM

I have gone with Gurusamy Nambiar on Sabarimalai yathra. He is religiously good man. Like a human god

Posted by: K.Sivasothy | November 21, 2008 01:55 AM

He is truly and amazing person. On the screen a villan and a hero in life. Outstanding icon and a legend of Tamil Cinema. Hats off for him. My deepest condolences. May his soul rest in peace.

Posted by: Siva Kumar | November 21, 2008 06:51 AM

Wow! Excellent piece while sharing your cherishing childhood memories with the readers.

"Nambiar was a rare individual who played villainous roles on screen while remaining a virtuous person with saintly qualities off-screen. Contrary to his villainous screen persona, Nambiar was in real life a teetotaler and vegetarian and, above all, a man who upheld ethical values without any scandal or gossip ever being attributed to him" this sentence says it all!

Please keep writing more on Tamil Cinema.

Posted by: Dushiyanthini GK | November 21, 2008 08:06 AM

MGR couldn’t have been ‘MGR’, without Namibiyar playing opposite. Nambiyar was a great man.

Posted by: Suresh M | November 21, 2008 10:23 AM

DBS Saar

Romba nalla katturai

Ungalukku Cinemavum nalla varuthu

Nambiar avargalukku en anjali

Posted by: Venkat | November 21, 2008 12:51 PM

Very informative article on Mr. MN Nambiar. No one in Tamil Nadu has written like this

Posted by: Meena | November 21, 2008 07:41 PM

Great Article.

Nampiyar was such a legend there was a song (As I remember Raguwaran also acted on it. Suhasini is also in that movie) which says " Nampiyaraip Pole Nanum vanthathaale.."

Posted by: Preethi | November 22, 2008 10:10 AM

Mr. Kanagasabapathy says "Rajaraja Chozhan" was made by Umapathy and not AP Nagarajan as DBS has written. It was AP Nagarajan who wrote the sceenplay and also DIRECTED it. It was the magnum Opus of APN.

G. Umapathy owner of Anand and Little Anand theatres in Madras produced the film under his Anand movies banner

Posted by: Puvanendran.P. | November 22, 2008 07:08 PM

wonderful artical. DBS you must write one on MGR and Nambiar pictures alone. What a pair.

Posted by: ravivarma | November 22, 2008 07:34 PM

Dear DB

Very nice and interesting article. But you have missed one important legendary film acted by the Great Nambiar called “Devadas”.I mean our Greatest Devads Barvathi film from late 50’s.In this particular film Nambiar acted as Devadas’s close friend. After Barvathi, married to another person Devadas become very depressed and broken heart man. In order to over come the so-called love break problem our great Nabiar the close friend of Devadas introduced his friend the famous medicine “Bottle - drinking”.

After Devadas, film this so-called bottle, habit become legend for love break singles. I can still remember few so called “Sandians” from my village imitate Nambiar including their hairstyle.

Once again fantastic article. Keep it up DB

Posted by: Thunnalai Kumar Kulasingam | November 22, 2008 10:32 PM

In K. Balachander movie Thillu Mullu Rajini looks at the little boy who blackmails and ultimately sabotages him and says"enakku ippadi oru M.N.Nambiar-u". That was the man's impact. My condolences to his family.

Posted by: Muralidhar | November 22, 2008 11:18 PM

I forgot to mention in earlier comment.. "Nambiar" has become a word we use day to day conversation. "Ennadaa Nambiyar veelai pannura?" For example. A super villain, a true villathi villain...who later turned out to be a great versatile character actor. Who can forget his "defection" to comedy 80s onwards.

Posted by: muralidhar | November 22, 2008 11:20 PM

MN Nambiar was one of the best on screen villians the Thamizh Film Industry has ever seen Known for his voice and mannerism, he is remembered for his Swami Ayyappa devotion too

I ve truly enjoyed his performance in nenjam marappadillai, aayirathil oruvan and much more .....

may his soul rest in peace

Posted by: Brindha Kalyanaraman | November 22, 2008 11:37 PM

RIP sir, you are one of the best villains on screen, and generous human in real life.

Posted by: TKS Vasan | November 22, 2008 11:56 PM

M.N. Nambiar is synonymous with the word "villain" in Tamil films! A legendary villain actor and more importantly a very nice and pleasant human being. Sad that he is no more. May his soul RIP!

Posted by: BJ Soundarapanian | November 23, 2008 12:20 AM

My heart felt condolences to the family. He did his initial schooling and was a classmate with my Dad in Ooty School. My Dad used to visit him in Chennai occasionally and Mr. Nambiar was always gracious enough to remember him and be a great host. I never had the honour of personally meeting him, but Dad always had fond memeories of Mr.Nambiar, to quote - "Nambiar is such a popular and affluent person but he has not forgotten this small man ( my dad) from Ooty". May your soul rest in peace.

Posted by: S.Samuel | November 23, 2008 12:42 AM

During the mid & late 70s we used to watch his films in theatres and some in B & W TVs and we get frightened at his looks and always wanted him to be trashed by the hero. Such was his potrayal of the character that we mistook it to be real. But alas, I dont think we will be able find an actor who will match his skills in the villainry.

May his soul rest in peace.

Posted by: Madhu | November 23, 2008 01:03 AM

As a diehard fan of MGR, even today the name Nambiar causes some disturbance and some sort of restlessness... Such is the impact he had made in his illustrious career with the great MGR... I think after no one in Tamil filmdom made any attempt or come little close to him on the impact as villian. We miss him..

Posted by: Dev Anand | November 23, 2008 06:58 AM

Firstly, demise of M.N.Nambiar is a irreplaceable loss to the Tamil and Indian film industry. There were many villians in this Industry but only a handful left behind their mark. Also, a thing of irony is that, many of th eon-screen heros are villians in their real life and some on-screen villians like M.N.Nambiar are real life heros.

Mr.Nambiar earns accolades not just for his on-screen performance but alos for the magnanimous human quality he displayed through out his life time both on and off the sets. I parsy for his soul to rest in peace and also wish that all the actors/actoress in Indian film industry make him a role model and bring goodness into their respective lives.

Posted by: pasumpon.Muthulingam | November 23, 2008 08:11 AM

I was neighbour of MNN (Adjoining house), between 1977 to 1981.I can never forget the time we had together. We used to play Tennis together in his courts. He was such a simple man.Those days, I was a school boy & he was much much older.

But how well he wud mingle with us. In real life he was totally opposite to the roles he wud do in reel life.Such a nice man , I have personally experienced it.

Read about the news of his death & I do not know whom to contact. There used to be his grandson & if I remember that time he was probably 10 to 12 years of age & his name was Deepak .

Deepak , if you happen to read this , I am the Sikh boy whi used to play early morning Tennis at your Grandfather's house - 1979 era. We will always miss your Grand pa & his memories will remain for ever in our hearts.

I am now 46 years of age & I remember last I came to Chennai in 2005 , I just came to see my house in Gopalapuram & just came outside your Grandpa's house, but did not go in becaise he wud not have rememnbered me.

We will miss him.

Posted by: MSK | November 23, 2008 05:19 PM

I think in tamil cinema if we think about villians(on screen) anyone would definitely remember Late.

Nambiar. He is definitely a role model not only in the screen,but also in real life also. He doesn't possess any bad habits. And he is the first person to go to Sabarimala in film industry. Because of him only Sabarimala pilgrimage has been famous in Tamilnadu.

MY CONDOLENCES TO HIS FAMILY. May his soul rest in peace.

Posted by: S.Ramakrishnan | November 23, 2008 07:02 PM

Your article about the Late M.N.Nambiar was indeed a good one.I read The Hindu, Thina Thanthi and other Indian Tamil Internet news papers. You of course has given much more details about him.I don't know from where you got all the information?

Posted by: T.Krishnamaachchcaary | November 23, 2008 07:55 PM

Dear mr. Jayaraj:

I have greatly appreciated your biography on late M N Nambiar. For years I have been an ardent fan of Mr. Nambiar and I have seen most of his films right from Rajakumari, Marmayogi and numerous others in which he acted as villain, hero, friend and other characters best suited him. We will miss him a lot for he has a vacuum in Tamil Film Industry which cannot be filled.

Posted by: JDM | November 23, 2008 08:23 PM

I enjoyed reading your article on Nambair. If I may suggest similar write ups on other Tamil screen actors , playback singers (of the 1940/ mid 50 era) will be most welcome.

Posted by: oldie fan | November 23, 2008 11:31 PM

I saw the article about late MN Nambiar . He was a real actor in the cine field and real human being in the mankind.He had such a good qualities.His unique way acting kept him in a high place.He will always be remembered by Tamils.

May his soul rest in peace.

Posted by: KANNAN | November 25, 2008 10:06 AM

What a refreshing write-up from you after dispensing so much of your usual serious topics most of the time. A great actor, a man to be admired, those were the days, I hardly watch any Tamil films of today. I have watched most of his films. All things has to end one day.

Posted by: Dehiwelawallah | December 9, 2008 12:38 AM

It is difficult to collect so much of detail information about M N Nambiyar. Good job by DBS. DBS's article took us many years back. In real life MN Nambiar is a disciplined good charactered man with only one wife unlike MGR

Posted by: Pon | December 15, 2008 08:22 AM

i think that its very honour to Mr.M.N.nambiyar...pass 60years he play the ethic role in the film industry..yet the body will burned since the memorys&ways never dies.....

Posted by: vinod.p.k | February 10, 2009 04:42 AM

Hello DBS

Once again you have written with a wealth of information.

I did not know till now that the legend Nambiar had passed away some months ago. With such a tragedy unfolding in Sri Lanka everthing else pales.

One can never forget Nambiar's legendary roles. I particularly like his comedy-villain role in Lakshmi Kalyanam.

DBS, one thing you had not mention was how handsome he was. Remember him in Sivantha Mann as Diwan in the Red Suit, he looked much more handsome than the hero! And of course his majestic manner in Thillana Mohanambal, Mriuthanga Chakarawarthy etc.

DBS, recently you had lamented that you had more time to write about things that appeal to you - mentioned CV Sridhar, who was a forerunner to K Balachander and Bharthiraja, but who is sadly forgotten. Also there is a huge gap in what is available about Tamil Cinema. For instance there is absolutely anothing in the net about Muthuraman, Major Sunderarajan, TS Baliah, SV Subbiah, SA Asokan, G Ramanathan, TK Ramamuthi etc. I hope you would fill this gap whenever you can.

Belatedly Nambiar, Rest in Peace.

Posted by: TearsForLanka | May 29, 2009 06:28 AM

HE IS THE GREAT LIVING LEGAND VILLAN,NO BODY CAN FILL UP HE PLACE....TAMIL CINEMA ALWAYS MISS AND LOSS THE GREAT LIVING LEGAND VILLAN AAIYA M.N.NAMBIYAR

Posted by: VIJAY | September 9, 2009 02:23 AM

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