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VijayBiography, Tamil film actor,singer and social reformer

Tamil film actor,singer and social reformer
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro Tamil film actor,singer and social reformer
A.K.A. Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar
Is Actor Film actor Musician Singer Dancer
From India
Type Dancing Film, TV, Stage & Radio Music
Gender male
Birth 22 June 1973, Chennai, India
Age: 47 years
Star sign CancerCancer
Residence Chennai, India
Mother: Shoba Chandrasekhar
Father: S. A. Chandrasekhar
Loyola College
doctor honoris causa  
Tamil Nadu State Film Award  
Vijay Award for Best Actor  
SIIMA Award for Best Actor  
Edison Awards  
Behindwood Gold Medal  
Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards  
Asianet Film Awards  
Cinema Express Awards  
Mathrubhumi Film Awards  
The details


C. Joseph Vijay (born 22 June 1974) is an Indian film actor, playback singer and dancer who works in Tamil cinema. Referred to by fans and media as Thalapathy (commander), Vijay is the highest paid actor and one of the most significant figures in the industry. By 2017, he became the second-highest grossing actor in Tamil cinema history, behind Rajinikanth. As of 2019, Vijay has acted in 64 films as a lead actor and won numerous awards including three Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, eight Vijay Awards, an Indiatoday Award, SIIMA Award, Cosmopolitan Award and National Film Award UK, three Edison Awards and two Vikatan Awards. He received an honorary doctorate from the Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute of the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University in 2007 for his contributions to social welfare and in honour of his achievements in the film industry. He has been included five times in the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list, based on the earnings of Indian celebrities.

At 10 years old, Vijay's first role was in the drama Vetri (1984); he continued to perform as a child artist in films until Ithu Engal Neethi (1988), directed by his father S. A. Chandrasekhar. He then featured as the lead in Naalaiya Theerpu (1992), again directed by his father. He received his breakthrough in the film Poove Unakkaga (1996), which was directed by Vikraman. Vijay began the new millennium with successful films such as Kushi and Priyamaanavale. The success of his masala film Thirumalai (2003), where he was paired opposite Jyothika, changed his on-screen persona to that of an action hero. He appeared next as a kabaddi player opposite Trisha in Dharani's Ghilli (2004), which went on to become the most commercially successful Tamil film of the year and the first Tamil film to earn 500 million (Indian rupees). His performance in Thirupaachi (2005) earned him a Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize. Vijay continued to achieve commercial success during the 2000s with films including Sivakasi (2005) and Pokkiri (2007).

In 2011, Vijay's career prospects improved after he was praised for his role as a bodyguard in Kaavalan. The following year he appeared in two films: as a college student in Nanban and an army officer in Thuppakki. His performances in both films received positive critical feedback. He followed that with A. L. Vijay's Thalaivaa (2013) and the multi-starrer Jilla (2014). Again, he teamed up with AR Murugadoss for the action film Kaththi (2014) where he had played dual roles as a thief and an idealist. It became one of the highest-grossing Tamil films of 2014. In 2016, he played a police officer in Atlee Kumar's Theri which had one of the biggest openings in Tamil cinema, grossing 1.5—1.56 billion worldwide, and is among the highest-grossing Tamil films of all time. He played triple roles for the first time in the film Mersal (2017), his second collaboration with Atlee. It became the highest-grossing film of Vijay's career and was also released in Japan in four major cities: Tokyo, Ebina, Osako and Nakaya.

Early life and family

Vijay was born on 22 June 1974 as Joseph Vijay in Madras (now Chennai). His father S. A. Chandrasekhar is a Tamil film director and his mother Shoba is a playback singer and carnatic vocalist. He had a sister Vidhya, who died when she was two years old. His sisters death affected Vijay greatly; according to his mother, Vijay, who was very talkative, naughty and hyperactive as a child, became silent after Vidhya's death. Vidhya's story is depicted in the 2005 film Sukran, in which Vijay played an extended cameo.

He is a Roman Catholic, and received his first Holy Communion at a church in Chennai. Initially attending Fathima Matriculation Higher Secondary School at Kodambakkam, he later joined Balalok Matriculation Higher Secondary School at Virugambakkam and went on to pursue a degree in Visual Communications from Loyola College. He eventually dropped out as he was more interested in acting.

Film career


At the age of 10, Vijay started his film career as a child actor in the film Vetri (1984) and then performed as child actor in films such as Kudumbam (1984), Vasantha Raagam (1986), Sattam Oru Vilayaattu (1987) and Ithu Engal Neethi (1988). He also performed as child actor in Naan Sigappu Manithan (1985) co-starring Rajinikanth as lead actor.


After performing as a child artist in the films directed by his father, Vijay started featuring in lead roles at the age of 18 from Naalaiya Theerpu (1992). Vijay appeared alongside Vijayakanth in Sendhoorapandi (1993), which performed well only to a certain extent at the box office. In 1994, his film Rasigan was released, which can be deemed as his first success but not acclaimed by critics. This was the first film in which Vijay was credited with the prefix Ilaya Thalapathy (young commander), an epithet by which he became popularly known among fans and the media for the rest of his career. He had lead roles in films such as Deva and Rajavin Parvaiyile, wherein the latter he co-starred with actor Ajith Kumar. He then acted in the romantic comedy Vishnu and the romantic tragedy Chandralekha. In early 1995, he starred in Coimbatore Mappillai a romantic comedy film.


In 1996, Vijay performed in the Vikraman-directed Poove Unakkaga, which became his first acclaimed performance as well as the breakthrough in Vijay's career and made him a recognizable star. Vijay's tenth film Vasantha Vasal was followed by the action films Maanbumigu Maanavan and Selva. In 1997, Vijay acted in Kaalamellam Kaathiruppen, Love Today and Once More, where he co-starred with veteran Tamil film actor Sivaji Ganesan and actress Simran, and in the Mani Ratnam-produced movie Nerukku Ner, directed by Vasanth and co-starring debutant Suriya, the eldest son of actor Sivakumar. Kadhalukku Mariyadhai, directed by Fazil, earned Vijay a Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Actor. It is the remake of Fazil's own Malayalam film Aniyathipraavu. In 1998, Vijay worked in the movies Ninaithen Vandhai, Priyamudan and Nilaave Vaa, the first one being the remake of Telugu film Pelli Sandadi. In 1999, Vijay acted in debutant Ezhil's Thulladha Manamum Thullum, with Simran, which ran for more than 200 days at the Tamil Nadu box office and earned Vijay a Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film. This was followed by Endrendrum Kadhal, Nenjinile and Minsara Kanna, with the latter being a K. S. Ravikumar direction.

From 2000, Vijay began to commit to entertaining ventures, which marked a change in trend. In 2000, he performed in Kannukkul Nilavu directed by Fazil again, and two romantic movies Kushi and Priyamaanavale, the latter being the remake of Telugu film Pavitra Bandham. His 2001 comedy-drama film Friends was directed by Siddique and featured him in the leading role alongside Suriya again. Vijay also performed in Badri, an action film remake of the Telugu film Thammudu, and the romantic movie Shahjahan. In 2002, he starred in the action film Thamizhan alongside Priyanka Chopra, making her acting debut before establishing herself as a leading Bollywood actress. Later, he featured in the romantic film Youth and the action film Bagavathi, the former being the remake of Telugu film Chiru Navvuto. Vijay began 2003 with the films Vaseegara and Pudhiya Geethai, the former being the remake of Telugu film Nuvvu Naaku Nachav.


In late 2003, Vijay starred in the action-romance flick Thirumalai, co-starring Jyothika, directed by debutant Ramana and produced by K. Balachander's Kavithalaya Productions, which featured him in a different way. Thirumalai was considered a turning point in Vijay's career. Udhaya, which began production in 1998 and filming in 2002, but was delayed, was finally released in early 2004. Ghilli, a remake of the Telugu film Okkadu was released next in 2004, and completed 200 days in theatres in Tamil Nadu. Directed by S. Dharani and produced by A. M. Rathnam, it co-starred Trisha and Prakash Raj. Ghilli is the first Tamil film of all time to gross over 500 million in the domestic box office. This was the time in which Vijay transformed himself from a romantic hero into an action hero.

It was followed by Madhurey, directed by Ramana Madhesh. In 2005, he starred in debutant Perarasu's Thirupaachi, followed by a guest appearance in his father's Sukran, the romantic comedy Sachien, co-starring Genelia D'Souza, directed by John Mahendran, and Sivakasi, starring Asin, again directed by Perarasu. Vijay's next film Aathi, the remake of Telugu film Athanokkade, was released in early 2006. It is produced by his father S. A. Chandrasekhar and again directed by Ramana. In early 2007, Vijay starred in the gangster film Pokkiri, a remake of the Telugu film of the same name. Directed by Prabhu Deva, it became the third highest grossing Tamil film of 2007. Pokkiri is the first Tamil film of all-time to complete a 100-day theatrical run in Kerala. The film received critical acclaim.

Vijay in 2009

In late 2007, Vijay starred in the psychological thriller film Azhagiya Tamil Magan, directed by Bharathan, who made his directional debut with this film. Vijay played a dual role for the first time in his career. He played the roles of both the antagonist and protagonist. The film was only a moderate success at the box office. Vijay was honoured with people's choice Superstar award in 2008 Vijay TV awards ceremony. In 2008, he starred in the action comedy film Kuruvi, again under Dharani's direction, and produced by Red Giant Movies. The year 2009 commenced with the action film Villu, in which Vijay teamed up again with Prabhu Deva and played another dual role. His next film Vettaikaaran, directed by Babusivan and produced by AVM Productions and distributed by Sun Pictures became one of the highest grossing Tamil film of 2009. In 2010, he acted in the action comedy film Sura, also distributed by Sun Pictures. This was Vijay's 50th film.


In early 2011, Vijay joined up with director Siddique again, for the romantic comedy Kaavalan, a Tamil remake of the Malayalam film Bodyguard. It received positive responses from both viewers and critics and was a box office hit. Kaavalan was screened at the Shanghai International Film Festival in China. During Diwali the same year, his next film, the action film Velayudham, directed by M. Raja and produced by Venu Ravichandran was released. Velayudham became one of the top-grossing films of 2011.

Vijay's next release was Nanban, the Tamil remake of the Bollywood film 3 Idiots, where he played the role which was played by Aamir Khan in the original. Directed by S. Shankar, it was released during the Pongal weekend of 2012 and emerged a major financial success. Nanban was screened at the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia. Vijay's performance in the film was praised by critics, including leading Indian actor Kamal Haasan. Nanban went on to complete 100 days theatrical run. He made a special appearance in the 2012 Bollywood film Rowdy Rathore, starring Akshay Kumar and directed by Prabhu Deva.

Vijay's next film, the action thriller Thuppakki, directed by A. R. Murugadoss and produced by S. Dhanu, was released on Diwali 2012 to mostly positive reviews. The film became the third Tamil film to enter the 1 billion (US$14 million) club after Sivaji (2007) and Enthiran (2010). Thuppakki became the highest-grossing film of Vijay's career, and the first of his films to gross over 1,800,000,000. His next film Thalaivaa, directed by A. L. Vijay, was released on 9 August 2013 worldwide and had a delayed release in Tamil Nadu. His next film Jilla, co-starring Kajal Aggarwal and Mohanlal, and directed by R. T. Neason, was released on a Pongal weekend in 2014 and ended up as a box office hit.

Vijay again worked with AR Murugadoss in the action thriller Kaththi, co-starring Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Neil Nitin Mukesh and produced by Ayngaran International, which was released on Diwali 2014 to mostly positive reviews.He played a dual role for the third time. It was the highest grossing Tamil film of 2014. In 2015, the fairy tale fantasy film Puli was released. His next film, the action-thriller Theri, directed by Atlee, co-starring Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Amy Jackson and Produced by S. Dhanu, was released in April 2016 to positive reviews. Theri is the highest-grossing film of 2016 and his second film to gross over 1,720,000,000.


Vijay in England with his 2018 IARA Award for Best International Actor.

His next, the masala film Bairavaa, directed by Bharathan, co-starring Keerthy Suresh and produced by Vijaya Productions was released in January 2017. His next film, the action-thriller Mersal, directed by Atlee, co-starring Samantha Ruth Prabhu, Kajal Aggarwal and Nithya Menen and produced by Sri Thenandal Films was released in late 2017. He played a triple role in this film. Mersal became the highest-grossing film of Vijay's career, and the first of his films to gross over 2,500,000,000. Mersal was also released in Japan in four major cities Tokyo, Ebina, Osako and Nakaya. For his role in Mersal, Vijay was nominated at the National Film Awards UK in 2018 and also the film won the Best Foreign Language Film award at the National Film Awards UK. Mersal was his second film to release in China after Kaavalan (2011). Mersal was screened at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea. His next film, the action film Sarkar directed by A R Murugadoss and produced by Sun Pictures released on diwali 2018. Sarkar is the highest-grossing film of 2018.

Presence in other regional Indian films

"I've given hits and blockbusters but what I've truly earned is my fans ... Ignore all negativity. The two things that decide a person's fate are: his determination when he has nothing, and his attitude when he has everything."

—Vijay on his film career

Vijay's first cameo Bollywood appearance in the song Chinta Chinta from the Hindi film Rowdy Rathore (2012), co-starring Akshay Kumar and Prabhu Deva, was well received by Hindi audiences. Vijay's song Varalam Va Bairavaa is played in Ajay Devgan's Hindi film Golmaal Again (2017) during a fight sequence along with a poster of his film Theri as a tribute to the actor. Most of his Tamil films are dubbed into Hindi by Goldmines Telefilms and telecast on Sony Max Hindi TV channel. Vijay's film Mersal gave tough competition to Hindi films in October 2017, when it collected more than Golmaal Again and Secret Superstar in international markets. Mersal also topped in the UAE market collecting more than 90 million, beating Golmaal Again and Secret Superstar. In July 2017, Rishtey Cineplex Hindi TV channel held the Hindi movies Television Rating Point rankings #1 and #3 respectively during the Dangerous Khiladi 3 (2014) (dubbed version of Vettaikaaran) and Policewala Gunda 2 (2014) (dubbed version of Jilla) telecasts. Sony Max Hindi TV channel held the #5 spot in Hindi movies Television Rating Point during Hindi film Theri telecast. In late 2017, the Hindi version of Vijay's film Kaththi titled Khaki Aur Khiladi was released and telecast on Zee Cinema Hindi TV channel. Vijay's Sarkar is the all-time top opener in India beating Hindi film Sanju. Sarkar is the highest-grossing film of 2018 and also broken records of many Hindi films such as Raazi, Gold and Aamir's Thugs of Hindostan.

Vijay's films are dubbed into Telugu and most of them have turned out to be successful ventures, such as Snehitudu, Thuppakki, Jilla, Policeodu, Agent Bairavaa and Adirindhi. The Telugu version of Jilla included a separate track shot that featured Surekha Vani, L. B. Sriram, and Brahmanandam. Actor Chiranjeevi thanked Vijay as the latter was more keen on his comeback film and helped him to get the remake rights of the Tamil blockbuster film Kaththi, which was remade in Telugu as Khaidi No. 150 with Chiranjeevi in the lead. Actor Junior NTR applauded Vijay as his favourite dancer, that he loves Vijay's dance steps and had even copied the latter's moves from the song, Vasantha Mullai for his own film, Kantri. Adirindhi had the biggest opening of Vijay's career in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states and was very successful. The Telugu dubbed version of Sarkar earned more than 180 million at the Andhra box office and was the highest Telugu grosser in Vijay's career in the Telugu-speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

In the media and other works

Referred to by fans and media as Thalapathy (commander), Vijay has been included several times in the Indian edition of the Forbes Celebrity 100 list, based on the earnings of Indian celebrities. In 2012, he was ranked #28, in 2013, he was ranked #49, in 2014, he held the #41 slot, in 2016, he held the #61 slot, and in 2017, he was ranked #31. In 2017, a third standard Central Board of Secondary Education textbook has displayed Vijay's image with veshti and shirt in reference to the traditional attire worn by Tamil men during Pongal festival in South India.

Brand endorsement

In 2002, Vijay appeared in Coca-Cola advertisements. He has appeared in a Sunfeast advertisement in 2005. In 2008, Vijay was signed up as an ambassador for the Indian Premier League cricket team Chennai Super Kings. In January 2009, Vijay appeared in a Coca-Cola advertisement. In August 2010, Vijay was signed by Jos Alukkas as their brand ambassador for Tamil Nadu and Kerala. He also appeared in a Tata Docomo advertisement.


On his birthday, 22 June 2007 Vijay presented golden rings to the newborn babies at the Egmore Government General Hospital.

In May 2008, Vijay appeared in a short public service video, Herova? Zerova?, in an effort to discourage children from dropping out of school.

He founded a social welfare organisation, Vijay Makkal Iyakkam (Vijay People Organization), which was officially launched in July 2009, which is responsible for much of his philanthropic work. After Cyclone Thane, his Makkal Mandram administrators arranged for a relief camp at Kammiyampettai, Cuddalore where he provided rice to the affected people. The Ilayathalapathy Vijay Education Awards were conducted at JS Kalyana Mandapam in Chennai on 8 July 2012 by his Vijay Makkal Iyakkam organisation to honour the students who topped in 2012 SSLC and 12th board exams and the awards were distributed by Vijay. In November 2014, Vijay assisted the daughter of a tea stall owner to obtain admission to a private college in Kodambakkam.

On 21 January 2017, Vijay rendered his voice and support to Jallikattu protests by anonymously joining the protesters in Chennai, hiding his face with a hanky. In September 2017, the Vijay Makkal Iyakkam official website was launched to unite all of his fans, and in December 2017, Vijay fans in Pollachi began providing services to the needy such as autos for school students and ambulances for the sick and injured. On 11 September 2017, Vijay offered financial aid to the family of a girl who committed suicide after failing to secure a medical seat in NEET exams. On 7 June 2018, Vijay offered financial aid to the families of the Thoothukudi police gunfire victims who protested against the Sterlite Copper plant. On 22 August 2018, Vijay distributed 70 lakh worth of relief materials to flood affected victims with the help of his fan club district heads in various parts of Kerala. In November 2018, Vijay deposited 4.5 lakh in each VMI head's bank account to provide relief for the Gaja cyclone-affected families in Tamil Nadu.

Vijay received an honorary doctorate from the Dr. M.G.R. Educational and Research Institute (Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University) in 2007 for his contributions to social welfare and in honour of his achievements in the film industry.

Personal life

Vijay married a fan, Sangeetha Sornalingam, a Hindu Sri Lankan Tamil whom he met in the United Kingdom, on 25 August 1999. They have two children, a son Jason Sanjay born in 2000 in London and a daughter Divya Shasha born in 2005 in Chennai. Jason Sanjay made a cameo appearance with his father in Vettaikaaran (2009) and Divya Shasha portrayed a small role as her father's pre-teen daughter in Theri (2016).

On 5 February 2020, the Income Tax Department raided Vijay's residence in Chennai and inquired about potential tax evasion, regarding his investment in immovable properties, which he inherited from the production studio AGS Entertainment. It was reported that actor Vijay and AGS Entertainment producer Anbu Cheliyan were suspected of undisclosed payments, alleged tax fraud and nearly 65 crore was seized by the officials from Cheliyan's residence. Vijay was investigated while he was busy shooting for his upcoming film Master in Cuddalore. On March 12th, The I-T department said that nothing significant was found during the raid and Vijay has paid all the necessary taxes. Member of the parliament, Dayanidhi Maran accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of politically targeting actor Vijay through IT raids because he was critical of the BJP.


The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 01 Apr 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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