(Last Updated on : 30/03/2012)
G. Swaminathan was a prominent Bhagavata Mela
performer. He was born in Melattur, Thanjavur district
in 1918. He was the son of V. Ganesa Iyer, who was the chief force behind the form's revival in the 1930s. At the age of 15, in the thick of that activity, he made known his interest in acting. He trained under all the surviving maestros, including Balu Bhagavatar
G. Swaminathan began his career with children's parts, and, later, grew into female roles that earned him a sizeable reputation. He matured to take on lead male characters like Hiranyakasipu and Harishchandra
, to which his tall frame and commanding presence lent majesty. His work in Bhagavata Mela stretched over nearly four decades. However he had to undergo a throat operation that affected his vocal cords and he could no longer sing. Yet he continued to dance and lip-sync to playback from behind. He used to do this to such perfection that nobody could detect that he had lost his voice. His son, S. Natarajan, donned exactly the same roles in exactly the same order.
G. Swaminathan died in the year of 1995.
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