Nagesh was born as Nageswaran.C.Krishna Gundu Rao on 27th September in the year 1933. He was a Kollywood film actor who is most remembered for his portrayal of roles as a comedian during the 1960's. He is looked upon as one of the most inexhaustible comedians of the Tamil cinema industry.
Nagesh was born to a Kannada speaking family in a place called Dharapuram, Erode. He got his education in Madras and has worked as a clerk in the Indian Railways before making his entry into the Tamil film industry. He has acted in more than 1000 films in his career years from 1958 to 2008. He performed in a range of roles as a humorist. Lead roles, supporting actor and as an antagonist. In a bleak disparity to the comic roles he performed on screen, Nagesh's personal life was twisted with suffering. After losing his father at a very younge age, Nagesh had to tolerate a weak financial situation which beleaguered him throughout his life.
Date Of Birth : 27th September 1933
Place Of Birth : Dharapuram, Erode, Tamilnadu
Zodiac Sign : Libra
The film Server Sundaram, a rags to riches story in which Nagesh portrayed the lead role, is thought to be almost based on the real life story of the actor Nagesh himself. Despite being mainly a comedian, Nagesh was also rated highly as a character artist too by his peers. Nagesh's approach of comedy was mostly inspired by Hollywood actor Jerry Lewis. Resemblances between Nagesh and Lewis earned Nagesh the title Jerry Lewis of India.
- In his early life may be during his childhood, he witnessed a Tamil play named Kamba Ramayanam that was enacted by his colleagues and felt that he could do a better job. So he persuaded the secretary of the Railways Cultural Association to allow him to portray the role of a man who was suffering from stomach ache. MGR who was then the chief guest, seeing this play gave a lot of praise in his speech for Nagesh for his amazing performance. From then onwards, Nagesh started playing small roles in a lot of drama troupes.
- In in the year 1958, film producer Balaji dotted Nagesh and gave him his very first break in a film titled Manamulla Marudhaaram. The film failed to do well at the box office. Moreover, Nagesh portrayed only a small role in this movie. Nagesh then won critical acclaim for his astonishing performance in the year 1961 for the movie Thayilla Pillai. But it was all his hit film Nenjil Oru Aalayam in the year 1962 that became his launching pad for his career in the Tamil Cinema industry.
- Nagesh was then signed for K. Balachander's film Server Sundaram in which he played the lead role. The movie was a extraordinary hit and helped to launch the career of a directorial venture of K. Balachander who then went on to rule the industry with his films. Nagesh's career saw a decline from the mid 1970's onwards. He was inundated by personal problems. His marriage to a Christian woman named Regina broke his relationship with his dear mother and other close relatives.
- In the year 1973, his mother died creating him an irreparable misery. Also at the same time, he had a fight with famed Tamil actor and politician M. G. R. who mislaid Nagesh from most of his films. Nagesh's theatre that was owned by him in Chennai was on the edge of getting detained for non payment of dues forcing actor Nagesh to scrap out differences with actor M. G. R. who later bailed him out. In order to handle the changing trend, Nagesh was forced to switch over to portraying character roles full time.
- Nagesh has acted in a few movies during this crucial period, out of which many were hits. One of his very notable roles was that of a drunkard in the year 1974 which was Kamal Hassan starrer film titled Apoorva Raagangal where he speaks to his very own shadow and hurls the unfilled glass upon it while saying Cheers. In the theatres where the film was screened the viewers imitated him and threw cups on the wall of the entrance hall during the interval. He portrayed the role of a writer named Jayakanthan in the year 1977 in the movie Sila Nerangalil Sila Manitharkal.
- Nagesh acted as himself in the film Thillu Mullu, the Tamil remake of the Hindi film Golmaal. Nagesh kept on acting in Tamil films till a few months before his death in the year 2009. Remarkable among some of his latest movies were the film Panchathanthiram in which he played as Yuhi Sethu's father-in-law, memorable cameo as Kamal Hasan's father who gets dishonored in the film Vasool Raja MBBS and as Mokkappayar in the film Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi. His last accomplished role was that of a Sheikh who is father of Kalifullah Mukthar in the year 2008 in the movie Dasavatharam in which Kamal Hasan portrayed ten different roles.
He won the following awards:
In the year 1974 he was given the title Kalaimamani
In the year 1994 he was given Nammavar Tamil Nadu State Government Award
- He made his debut in films as a lead actor with the film titled Thamaraikulam in the year 1959.
- Nagesh was born with the name Gundu Rao to Krishna Rao and Rukmaniamma on 27th September in the year 1933. His parents belonged to the Kannada Madhwa Brahmin society. He was born in a place called Dharapuram which is in the Former Integrated Erode district that is now changed to new Tirupur district. His father passed away at a very young age and the yoke of educating Nagesh fell upon his dear mother.
- In his early days, Nagesh was affected by small pox which somewhat disfigured him. He then left Dharapuram at a young age and moved to Madras city in search of a new career. In Madras, he shared a single bedroom room with two other fellow mates. His room mates, were none other than writer Vaali and ace director Sridhar who later became very famous and established themselves as well-known personalities in the Tamil film industry. He initially found employment as a clerk in Indian Railways and was thus very much able to pay his rent and expenses.