Vadivelu is an Indian actor who predominantly works in the Tamil film industry. He is mainly known for playing comic roles.
Vadivelu was born as Kumaravadivel Natarajan on Monday, 10 October 1960 (age 63 years; as of 2023) in Madurai, Madras State
(now Tamil Nadu). His zodiac sign is Libra. He has no school experience.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Wife & Children
He is married and have three daughters and a son. His youngest daughter’s name is Kalaivani.
Vadivelu made his film debut with the film ‘En Thangai Kalyani’ (1988) in which he played a small role. In 1991, he appeared alongside the popular comic duo of Goundamani and Senthil in the film ‘En Rasavin Manasile.’ After this film, he appeared in the trio with Goundamani and Senthil in several more films.
He essayed the role of Maakali in the film ‘Chinna Gounder’ (1992), starring Vijayakanth. He played the role of Sabha in the film ‘Singaravelan’ (1992). The actor gained popularity after he played the role of Vasanth in the film ‘Kadhalan’ (1994), starring Prabhu Deva.
In 1996, he played Sekar in the film ‘Kaalam Maari Pochu’ and received immense appreciation for his performance. He appeared as a lead actor for the first time in the film ‘Imsai Arasan 23rd Pulikecei’ (2006). He played the dual role of King Pulikesi XXIII and Ukraputhan in the film. The film received positive reviews from both the audience and critics.
In 2008, he played the lead role of Azhagappan in the film ‘Indiralohathil Na Azhagappan.’ The actor played the titular role in the film ‘Tenaliraman’ in 2014. The film failed to run at the box office.
The following year, he appeared as a lead actor in the film ‘Eli,’ which also didn’t receive a positive response from the audience and critics. After facing failure as a lead actor in a few films, Vadivelu decided to get back to playing the supporting roles. Later, the actor appeared in supporting roles in the films ‘Kaththi Sandai’ (2016) and Shivalinga (2017) which became a superhit, marking a great comeback for Vadivelu in the film industry.
In 2022, he made his re-entry into the Tamil film industry after a ban of four years with the film ‘Naai Sekar Returns.’ He played the lead role of Naai Sekar in the film. His performance in the titular role in the film ‘Maamannan’ (2023) received huge praise from the audience. In a career of more than three decades, he has worked in more than three hundred films. Some of his most notable films include ‘Chinna Gounder’ (1991), ‘Chandralekha’ (1995), ‘Friends’ (2001), ‘Gambeeram’ (2004), ‘Muniyandi Vilangiyal Moonramandu’ (2008), ‘Mambattiyan’ (2011), ‘Mersal’ (2017), and ‘Chandramukhi 2’ (2023).
Vadivelu made his debut as a playback singer in 1995 with the film ‘Ellame En Rasathan’ in which he sang the song “Ettanaa Irundha.” In 1996, he sang the song “Vaadi Potta Pulla Veliye” for the film ‘Kaalam Maari Pochu.’
He, along with Kovai Sarala, sang the song “Therkathi Mappillai” for the film ‘Magalirkkaga’ in 2001. In 2004, he sang the song “Kadhal Panna” along with Kovai Kamala, Silambarasan, and Tippu for the film ‘Kovil.’
He sang the song “Kannameya” for the film ‘Eli’ in 2015. Vadivelu sang the song ‘Raasa Kannu,’ composed by A. R. Rahman, for the 2023 film ‘Maamannan.’ He has worked as a playback singer for various Tamil films such as ‘Thadayam’ (1997), ‘Manaivikku Mariyadhai’ (1999), ‘Vadagupatti Maapillai’ (2001), ‘Kadhal Kirukkan’ (2003), ‘Vel’ (2007), ‘Villu’ (2009), and ‘Naai Sekar Returns’ (2023).
In the 2011 Tamil Nadu Assembly election, Vadivelu campaigned for the DMK ( Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) party and its allies. The actor mainly criticises actor Vijaykanth as Vijaykanth’s party, DMDK (Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam), had allied with the opposition party AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam), which was led by popular actress and politician Jayalalithaa.
Stone attack at his home
On 21 September 2008, Vadivelu’s home in Chennai’s Saligramam neighbourhood was attacked with stones by a group, causing damage to windows and furniture. However, the actor managed to save himself by taking refuge in a room. Vadivelu claimed the involvement of actor Vijayakanth in the attack as there was an ongoing legal row between them regarding an assault. Vadivelu said that the attack occurred just before the final court hearing so he couldn’t attend the hearing. Later, Vadivelu filed a countercase against Vijayakanth for attempted murder. While talking about it in an interview, he said,
This is not a laughing matter. It is little over a year since they (Vijayakanth’s supporters) first clashed with me (Sept 12, 2007) and I am due to appear in court on Monday in connection with that case, and now they are compounding the matter.” The Times of India
Filed a case against Manobala and Singamuthu
In June 2020, Vadivelu filed a complaint against the actors Manobala and Singamuthu at Nadigar Sangam (South Indian Artistes’ Association) to defame his name. Vadivelu claimed that during an interview on Manobala’s YouTube channel ‘Waste Paper,’ Singamuthu made some derogatory remarks against him, which were later circulated by Manobala on the internet to defame him (Vadivelu). The Times of India
A temporary ban on Vadivelu
In September 2018, Vadivelu had a dispute with the filmmaker Chimbu Deven, regarding his costume designer, during the shooting of the film ‘Imsai Arasan 24 am Pulikesi,’ which was a sequel to the 2006 film ‘Imsai Arasan 23 am Pulikesi.’ The actor left the project halfway after which the filmmakers S. Shankar and Subaskaran Allirajah filed a complaint against him to the Tamil Nadu Film Producers’ Council (TFPC) for his non-cooperative attitude. The Producers’s Council initially asked Vadivelu to either resume shooting or pay a compensation of Rs 9 crore to makers. However, the actor refused to agree on either option after which the Producers’s Council put a temporary ban against casting him in the Tamil films. The Indian Express
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian for the film ‘Kaalam Maari Pochu’ in 1996
- Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian for the film ‘Vetri Kodi Kattu’ in 2000
- Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian for the film ‘Thavasi’ in 2001
- Filmfare Award for Best Comedian – Tamil for the film ‘Chandramukhi’ in 2005
- Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian for the film ‘Imsai Arasan 23m Pulikesi’ in 2006
- Filmfare Award for Best Comedian – Tamil for the film ‘Imsai Arasan 23m Pulikesi’ in 2006
- Ananda Vikatan Cinema Award for Best Comedian for the film ‘Pokkiri’ in 2007
- Vijay Award for Best Comedian for the film ‘Marudhamalai’ in 2007
- Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian for the film ‘Kathavarayan’ in 2008
- Nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Comedian – Tamil for the film ‘Winner’ in 2003
- Nominated for the Vijay Award for Best Comedian for the film ‘Aadhavan’ in 2009
- Nominanted for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Tamil for the film ‘Aadhavan’ in 2009
- Nominated for the Vijay Award for Best Comedian for the film ‘Nagaram’ in 2010
- Nominated for the Vijay Award for Best Comedian for the film ‘Kaavalan’ in 2011
- Nominated for the SIIMA Award for Best Comedian for the film ‘Kaavalan’ in 2011
- Honorary doctorate under the category of entertainment by the International Council on Anti-Corruption and Human Rights in February 2023 Nakkheeran
- He had a deep interest in acting since childhood. He used to actively participate in the stage plays whenever he got the chance.
- Before entering the film industry, he worked in his father’s glass-cutting business. After his father’s death, he continued the business with his brothers.
- After gaining popularity in the film industry, the media gave him the nickname Vaigai Puyal. The nickname is derived from the reference to the Vaigai River that flows through his hometown, Madurai.
- In an interview, he talked about getting his debut role and said that he met the filmmaker Rajkiran on the train while he (Vadivelu) was on the way to Chennai to meet his would-be bride. He said that during the journey, he and Rajkiran had a conversation after which Rajkiran was impressed by him and decided to cast him in the film ‘En Rasavin Manasile’ (1991).
- Vadivelu’s signature style is self-depreciation. His characters mainly had an exaggerated sense of self-importance and often acted like comical versions of tough gang leaders.
- Many members take inspiration from Vadivelu’s dialogues to create memes on social media, which were used to express irony in various real-life situations. Many of his dialogues have also influenced the titles of various Tamil films.