Thambi Ramaiah is an Indian actor, director, comedian, lyricist, writer, and singer, who mainly works in the Tamil film industry. He is best known for directing films Manu Needhi (2001), Indiralohathil Na Azhagappan (2008) and Maniyaar Kudumbam (2018). Apart from direction, he is best known for his acting skills in the film Mynaa (2010) for which he won National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his amazing performance in the film.
Thambi Ramaiah was born on Tuesday, 19 June 1956 (age 67; as of 2023) in Rarapuram village in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu. He is a Cancerian. Initially, he wanted to become a screenwriter and entered the film industry with the hope of becoming one. During his teenage, he got training in playing various musical instruments like harmonium and guitar. At the age of 20, he moved to Chennai to fulfil his dream of entering the film industry but due to a lack of contacts, he couldn’t get a breakthrough. Due to this, he failed to fulfil his wish and eventually opted to work for a private company for nine years. Silver Screen India
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Weight (approx.): 80 kgs
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper; Dyed Black
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Parents & Siblings
Thambi Ramaiah’s father, Jagannathapillai, was a poet and a fiction writer while his mother, Pappammal, was a homemaker. He was the eldest child of his parents. His mother passed at the age of 74 due to a sudden illness. Indiaglitz
Wife & Children
His wife’s name is Shanthy Ramaiah. The couple has two children, a boy and a girl. His son’s name is Umapathy Ramaiah and he works as an actor in the Tamil film industry. Umapathy Ramaiah made his debut in the film Adhagappattathu Magajanangalay (2016). His daughter’s name is Viveka Ramaiah and she is married to Rahulji.
Though Thambi Ramaiah wanted to become a screenwriter, he also had an interest in lyric writing and used to write the parody version of various popular songs. He even learned harmonium and guitar for this during his teenage days. He worked as a lyricist for the song Nongala Enakku (2010) and Pappa Poranthathu (2010).
In 1994, Thambi Ramaiah got the first opportunity to work as a dialogue writer for a serial on Sun TV. He also doubled up as an assistant director, lyricist, and scriptwriter. He considers P. Vasu as his teacher for screenplay writing. Silver Screen India He wrote several comedy tracks in various films.
While working as a dialogue writer for a serial on Sun TV in 1994, he also got the opportunity to work as an assistant director. After that, he got several opportunities to work as an assistant director. He got the opportunity to work as an assistant director for films directed by T. Rajender and P. Vasu.
In 2000, he made his directorial debut with the Tamil film Manu Needhi.
In 2008, he directed the Tamil fantasy comedy film Indiralohathil Na Azhagappan and in 2018, he directed Maniyaar Kudumbam.
In 1999, he made his acting debut with a cameo role as Perumal in the Tamil film Malabar Police.
After this, he got several supporting roles in various films. He gained immense popularity by playing the role of a friendly cop in the Tamil romantic drama film Mynaa in 2010. His performance was highly appreciated and he won National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his amazing performance in the film.
After this, his performance in the film Saattai (2012), Kumki (2012) and Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam (2014) gained a lot of positive reviews from both audiences and critics.
During the years 2013 and 2014, Thambi Ramaiah was at the peak of his career and managed to act in films like Lokpal (2013), Moondru Per Moondru Kadhal (2013), Summa Nachunu Irukku (2013), Apple Penne (2013), Pulivaal (2014), Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam (2014), Nimirndhu Nil (2014), Un Samayal Arayil (2014), Aindhaam Thalaimurai Sidha Vaidhiya Sigamani (2014), Vanavarayan Vallavarayan (2014), Nerungi Vaa Muthamidathe (2014), Oru Oorla Rendu Raja (2014), Kaaviya Thalaivan (2014), Sandamarutham (2015), Vajram (2015), Serndhu Polama (2015), Kangaroo (2015), Thani Oruvan (2015), Strawberry (2015), Vedalam (2015), Azhagu Kutti Chellam (2016), Peigal Jaakkirathai (2016), Tamilselvanum Thaniyar Anjalum (2016), Virumandikum Sivanandikum (2016), Enakku Vaaitha Adimaigal (2017), Motta Shiva Ketta Shiva (2017), Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae (2017), Vanamagan (2017), Maniyaar Kudumbam (2018), Viswasam (2019), Thirumanam (2019), Adutha Saattai (2019), Rudra Thandavam (2021), and many more.
In 2021, Thambi Ramaiah played the role of Parasuram in a Tamil comedy fantasy film Vinodhaya Sitham and received critical acclaim.
In an interview in 2021, he described how his journey took a turn from being a director to an actor. He said,
Right from my directorial days, I had the confidence that there was an actor in me. My producers and actors too felt I had an expressive style of narrating my scripts. My body language, my expressions, and my verbal style would change with each of my roles. But yes, it was Prabhu Solomon who first believed in my potential to carry a full-fledged role. Acting comes from a place of love for the people. I love people. I observe them. Also, I take characters from books I read and the people I meet. Taking characters from society helps make them relatable. It is important to understand the power of our craft. The effort to secure a place in the audience’s heart should be there till the end. I am blessed with the opportunity of regaling so many people, and I need to make the best use of it.”
He acted in the web series Victim – Who is Next? in 2022 which was telecasted on SonyLIV.
He has sung several songs like Pappa Poranthathu (2010), Nongala Enakku (2010), Oru Padi Mela (2013), and Polladhavaa (2015).
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor, Mynaa (2010)
- Vijay Award for Best Supporting Actor, Mynaa (2010)
- Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian, Mynaa (2010)
- Norway Tamil Film Festival Award for Best Villain, Saattai (2012)
- SIIMA Award for Best Comedian, Kumki (2012)
- Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Tamil, Kumki (2012)
- Vijay Award for Best Comedian, Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam (2014)
- Ananda Vikatan Cinema Award for Best Comedian, Kathai Thiraikathai Vasanam Iyakkam (2014)
- SIIMA Award for Best Comedian, Thani Oruvan (2015)
- In an interview, Thambi Ramaiah shared an incident from his school days. He said that to earn pocket money, he used to write love letters for his classmates. He used to get 50 paise as his payment per letter which was enough for him to buy ice mittai. Silver Screen India
- Thambi Ramaiah used to work for four films a day when he was at the peak of his career in 2013-2014. Not only this but he also served as his manager, makeup artist, and costume designer in the films. Silver Screen India He said,
I don’t have a make-up man, manager or costume-designer. Everything is scheduled by me. If a role is destined for me, it will arrive somehow.”
- In an interview in 2014, Thambi revealed that his favourite timepass was to re-write the parody lyrics of popular songs which he used to do 14 years ago.
- Thambi Ramaiah’s son is 6ft tall and according to Thambi, it’s because he choose a tall girl to get married. His wife is taller than him. Silver Screen India
- According to Thambi Ramaih, a person should always use humour as a tool to get over anger. He further said that he doesn’t have friends in the industry and is still the life of every set. Silver Screen India
- To take inspiration for his various comedy scenes, Thambi often takes breaks from his shooting, goes out to random streets and does a lot of face reading. He has the habit of observing and interacting with people to see their reactions. Silver Screen India
- Thambi shared another incident while shooting for the films. He said that there were movies that showed a lot of promises in the beginning but later on the promises were changed at the time of editing. He said this about the films Jilla (2014) and Amara Kaaviyam (2014) in which his eight and twelve scenes were chopped off. Silver Screen India
- The film Mynaa (2010) is very close to him as he gained immense popularity with this film. He rates Mynaa at the top as the director of the film Rabhu Solomon allowed him to write his comedy scenes just the way he writes for others.
- After the release of the Tamil film Vinodhaya Sitham in 2021, Thambi expressed his fondness for the director of the film, Samuthirakani. Thambi said that earlier he used to see a younger brother in Samuthirakani but after completing the shooting of the film, he sees him as a father figure. He said,
I saw a younger brother in Samuthirakani earlier. Now, after this film, I see him as a father figure. As a fan of cinema, I am awed by how he has understood my strengths in acting and extracted such a performance from me. In fact, he is surprised that he made such a film, and I am surprised that I acted like I did. It is divine intervention. In an industry that has seen the likes of MGR, Sivaji Ganesan, Rajinikanth, and Kamal Haasan having the top billing in a film, now, I have been given a similar experience. I don’t even know how I can repay Samuthirakani.”
- According to Thambi Ramaiah, while shooting for the film Viswasam in 2019, he got a promotion as an actor. In an interview, he said,
If my role becomes memorable despite the short runtime, it is not just about my performance, but also the space and content given to me by Siva. He is a wonderful actor himself and gives enormous belief to his actors. As a filmmaker, he’s calculative and shoots only those scenes he knows will make the final cut. In Viswasam, I got a promotion as an actor. If you notice carefully, I might not have many dialogues, but I am the representation of the happiness, loneliness, and strength of Thookudurai (Ajith Kumar).”
- In his leisure time, he loves to read books.