'Manu' Mania: R. Madhavan Turns 42!

Even before he charmed B'Town audiences with his puppy eyes in Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, made an impression as the suave Flight Lieutenant Ajay Singh Rathod in Rang De Basanti and gave an understated, yet solid performance in Tanu Weds Manu, R. Madhavan had already established himself as a force to reckon with in the Tamil film industry. It is indeed a joyous day for movie buffs across the country as B'Town's most successful South import in recent times celebrates his birthday. (1st June)
Born in Jamshedpur to Ranganathan, an executive with Tata Steel and his wife Saroja, a manager with the Bank of India, Madhavan spent most of his childhood in Bihar. When he was 22, he was awarded Maharashtra Best Cadet and traveled to England to receive training with the Royal Army, the Navy and the Air Force. After missing the age cut-off for the Air Force by six months, Madhavan took up public speaking which eventually helped him to get into films.
Madhavan first appeared on screen in Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin in an uncredited role and also acted as a police officer in an English film called Inferno. However, he made his official debut playing second lead to Abbas in the Kannada movie Shanti Shanti Shanti. Though the film failed to create a stir, Madhavan's performance was appreciated and the offers started pouring in.
He got his major break when Mani Ratnam cast him opposite Shalini in the Tamil blockbuster, Alaipayuthey. He went on to act in Gautham Menon's Minnale and then in the highly successful Hindi version, Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein. In 2002, he starred in two Tamil hits Kannathil Muthamittal and Run and also made an appearance in the Hindi film Dil Vil Pyar Vyar.
Mani Ratnam's Tamil film Aayutha Ezhuthu earned Madhavan his maiden Filmfare Award for 'Best Tamil Supporting Actor'. He went on to write and star in Ramji Londonwale and followed it with a special appearance in Rang De Basanti.
In 2007, Madhavan collaborated with Mani Ratnam yet again for Guru. He also penned the dialogues, starred in the lead role and donned the mantle of a producer for Nishikant Kamat's Evano Oruvan.
Madhavan starred alongside Aamir Khan and Sharman Joshi in Rajkumar Hirani's cult hit 3 Idiots and received much appreciation for his portrayal of Farhan Qureshi in the film. He went on to play the role of a shy NRI in search of an Indian bride and romanced Kangna Ranaut in Tanu Weds Manu.
Madhavan and his wife Sarita Birje have been married since 1999 and are proud parents to five year old Vedant.
Madhavan has always juggled Hindi and Tamil films with great ease, striking a commendable balance between the two. On his 42nd birthday, we wish him much personal and professional joy and hope that he continues to enthrall audiences in the North and South with his impressive performances.


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