Viluppuram Chinnaiahpillai Ganesan Manrayar is the real name of Sivaji Ganesan (1 October 1928 – 21 July 2001), was an stage and film actor and was one of the most respected film actors in India. He progressed from a stage actor since his childhood to the filmdom with such an authority that the Tamil cinema considered as the golden era. In a career spanning close to five decades he has acted in nearly 300 films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi.
He was the first Indian film actor to win a “Best Actor” award in an International film festival. Many leading South Indian film actors have stated that their acting was influenced by Ganesan. His dialogues making many debut entry to actors and even senior actors still following his acting style and trying to speak in his stunning voice with the same body language.
During end of his career, Ganesan was conferred the highest and the most prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his contribution to Indian cinema in 1997.
He received Padma shri in 1996, Padma bhushan in 1984, Doctorate in 1986, Chevalier in 1995, Kalaimamani in 1997, 2 National, 3 Filmfare and several awards has been honoured because of him.
A statue of Ganesan was erected on Kamarajar Road in Chennai, Tamil Nadu to honour the actor and was unveiled by the then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on 2006. The South Indian Film Artistes Association as a tribute to Ganesan, declared that 1 October, the birth day of Ganesan, would be observed as Actors’ Day by the association Chennai film industry. The Government of Maharashtra has instituted a state award, in the name of Ganesan, which is given under the Best Actor category every year entited “Sivaji Ganesan Award”.