Karunas continues to serve as the Vice-President of Nadigar Sangam, a union for film, television and stage actors in Tamil Nadu based in capital Chennai, after having been elected in October 2015. Apart from being a film personality, Karunas is also a politician, serving as a Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) in the Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly, from Thiruvadanai where he won the 2016 state elections under the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), by a margin of over 10,000 votes.
Early Life of Karunas
Karunas, born Karunanidhi Sethu on February 21, 1970, in Kuruvikkarambai village of Peravurani town, in the Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, completed his schooling from Palangudi Bharathi School and later studied at Nandanam Arts, Presidency College. Karunas began work as a Gaana singer at the age of 12, earning the sobriquet "Gaana" Karunas. He later made his television debut with Yuhi Sethu's Naiyaandi Darbar in the late 1990s, as a musician. He worked extensively as a pop singer and dancer and also on Tamil folk music. He then started gradually featuring in films as a comic actor.
Film Career of Karunas
Tamil Cinema director Bala heard one of Karunas songs and subsequently signed him on for an acting role in his second directorial venture, the drama film Nandha. The film released in 2001 and Karunas was seen in the comic role of 'Lodukku' Pandi, his portrayal winning him critical acclaim and prompting him to accept further film offers. He subsequently went on to appear in notable films such as Baba (2002), Pithamagan (2003), Vasool Raja MBBS (2004) and Polladhavan (2007), in supporting comic roles. He also distributed two films, Pori and Kattradhu Thamizh, both released in 2007, the failure of which prompted him to stay away from distributing any further ventures.
Karunas first appearance in the lead role was in the comedy drama Dindigul Sarathy that released in 2008, wherein he portrayed an insecure man with an inferiority complex. With aggressive promotions by Sun Pictures, the film became a surprise success at the box office and prompted the actor to appear in more leading roles in comedy films Ambasamuthiram Ambani (2010), Chandhamama (2013), Ragalaipuram (2013) and Lodukku Pandi (2015). In between the films, he also trialled serious performances, and was briefly involved in the making of Thanga Meengal (2013), before it underwent a change of cast. In 2014, Karunas won acclaim for his role in Santosh Sivan's war drama Ceylon. His films where he played the lead hero gradually had lower key promotions than the previous ones, and in 2015, the actor announced that he would not appear in any further lead roles. He subsequently returned to starring in supporting roles thereafter, earning critical acclaim for his performance of a suicidal man in the film Darling and as a villager in Komban, both released in 2015 and the latter being his 100th film. In 2016, he appeared in Pugazh as the lead character Pugazhs brother and in Kathakali as Karpooram. He will be seen in the upcoming Tamil horror film Pottu, alongside actor Bharath.
In addition to acting in films, Karunas is a music director having composed the soundtracks of Tamil films Rajathi Raja (2009), Ambasamuthiram Ambani (2010) and Kasethan Kadavulada (2011). He is also a playback singer having lent his voice to songs from films Shree (2002), Chennai 600028 (2007), Rajathi Raja (2009), Kasethan Kadavulada (2011), Chandhamama (2013), Ceylon (2013), Ragalaipuram (2013) and Darling (2015), the music album of which were composed by himself and the likes of T. S. Muralidharan, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Srikanth Deva, Vishal Chandrashekhar and G. V. Prakash Kumar.
Political Life of Karunas
Karunas is an active politician, the leader of Mukkulathor Puli Padai party. He contested from Thiruvadanai for the assembly seat in the 2016 state elections under the AIADMK's Twin Leaf (Irratai Ilai) election symbol. He won the election with a margin of over 10,000 votes. Actor Karunas will be serving as an MLA at the Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly hereafter.
Selected Filmography of Karunas
Selected films from the myriad range of films in which Karunas has acted in are highlighted below, along with the years of release.
Karunas has lent his playback to the following songs of Tamil films, mentioned alongside their composers.
Personal Life of Karunas
Karunas is married to Grace, a playback singer working in the Tamil film industry. The couple had met when Karunas was the guest judge at an inter-collegiate singing competition, and after being impressed, he asked Grace to sing in his personal music album.
Tamil Actors, Indian Cinema
Indian Movie Actors
Tamil Movie Directors
Indian Film Comedians
Indian Playback Singers
Theatre Personalities of Tamil Nadu
Tamil TV Actresses
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