The last few months have been pretty bad for Tamil cine industry.. After Jeeva, Pandian and recently writer Sujatha, one of the most versatile actors of our time, Raghuvaran, has passed away. More than 20 years ago, I have heard high about him during my school days when one of my friends raved his performance in 'Oru mNidhanin kadhai', a teleserial in DD. My first sighting of him was in 'Samsaaram adhu minsaram', in which he effortlessly played the grayish role of a money-minded son. After that, he mostly acted as villain in Rajini's movies like 'Oor kaavalan', 'Manithan' and 'Shiva'. He was deadly as Bhavani in super-hit 'Udhayam'. A turning point in his career was KS Ravikumar's debut 'Puriyadha pudhir' in which his famous 'I know' dialogue firmly established him as a psychotic deadly villain.
But, IMHO, his best performance so far was as a calm, loving father and a tender, caring husband in 'Anjali'. Though the kids stole all the fame, his role was a stellar one, and, as usual, Maniratnam was very good in extracting the best from his protagonist. Later, he did some unforgettable roles like the ones in Kadhalan, Baasha, Aahaa and Mudhalvan. In the last few years, he started doing character-roles in movies like Roja Koottam, Thirumalai, Run, and recently, Sivaji.
One thing that was known about him for the past 2 decades is his addiction to alcohol and some disturbances that it caused to his professional commiotment. He married actress Rohini and that seemed to change him for good. Apparently, the hope was short-lived; he returned back to his addiction, and that caused their divorce. Recently, his movie appearances have dwindled due to his problems. It is sadly ironic that, his life turned out to be similar to the role he played as an alcoholic in 'Oru manidhanin kadhai'. He will surely be missed. May his soul rest in peace.