Early Life of Mohan
Actor Mohan was born on August 23, 1956, and brought up in ITI Colony, Bangalore. He hails from the Udupi district of Karnataka. His father was a restaurateur who owned restaurants at various places in south Karnataka and Bangalore. He completed his education in Bangalore.
Mohan was introduced to theatre by renowned film and theatre personality B. V. Karanth, and trained by the likes of G. V. Iyer. He was spotted by B. V. Karanth at a restaurant and asked to join the theatre group. Mohan’s first stage play down south was praised by critics from places like Delhi, before he made his foray into films.
Film Career of Mohan
Mohan was introduced into cinema by director Balu Mahendra in his Kannada film ‘Kokila’, released in 1977. He was featured in the film alongside Tamil actor Kamal Haasan. The film was a hit and brought Mohan into the limelight. Post ‘Kokila’, Mohan starred in a Malayalam movie ‘Madaalasa’ in 1979, which was also successful and immediately after that, he made his debut in Telugu Cinema with the film ‘Thoorpu Velle Railu’, directed by Bapu and remake of the Tamil film ‘Kizhakkae Pogum Rail’. Mohan was introduced in Tamil Cinema with the film ‘Moodu Pani’ in 1980, in which he played a supporting role, but his major breakthrough was with the film ‘Nenjathai Killathe’ by director Mahendran that ran in the box office for more than 365 days. In the same year, he also acted in dual roles for the first time in ‘Gandar Golam’, directed by Singeetham Srinivasa Rao.
The film ‘Nenjathai Killathe’ marked the beginning of the peak of Mohan’s career. The actor had an astounding success ratio at the box office than most of his contemporaries in the period 1980 to 1991, with 63 out of 82 Tamil films becoming hits. Amongst the numerous successful films of the actor, ‘Nenjathai Killathe’, ‘Kilinjalgal’, ‘Payanagal Mudivathillai’ and ‘Vidhi’ had a Silver Jubilee run of over 250 days at the box office, with the latter two also crossing the 500-day mark. His other Tamil films ‘Gopurangal Saivathillai’, ‘Ilamai Kaalangal’ and ‘Nooravathu Naal’ completed 200 days in the cinemas, while films ‘Manaivi Solle Manthiram’, ‘Saranalayam’, ‘Osai’ and ‘Vengaiyin Mainthan’ running beyond 175 days.
Mohan became a major star with the 1982 film ‘Payanangal Mudivathillai’, while also garnering himself the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor. His 1986 Mani Ratnam-directed romantic drama ‘Mouna Ragam’ won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil. He was active as a major star in Tamil films until 1991, when after the release of box office failure ‘Uruvam’ he stopped getting offers as the leading hero.
Comeback Ventures of Mohan
Mohan attempted a comeback in films by producing, directing and playing the lead role in ‘Anbulla Kadhalukku’ in 1999. However, the movie faced a poor critical and commercial response, after which Mohan went into his sabbatical from films. He took a new avatar as the producer of television serials and managed to come out with a serial on the prominent Tamil satellite channel Sun TV. After a 9-year hiatus, Mohan again played the hero in the moderately successful film ‘Sutta Pazham’, a low-budget production released in 2008. He made a comeback to Kannada cinema with ‘Ghauttham’ in 2009 and ‘Shikari’ in 2012. He appeared in the 2016 Telugu film ‘Abbayitho Ammayi’ in a supporting role. His subsequent Kannada project ‘Asokavana’ is awaiting release, expected to bring back Mohan in a big way as the solo hero. It would also be released in Tamil and Telugu versions.
Awards received by Mohan
Mohan was awarded the Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor at Filmfare Awards South for his performance in the film ‘Payanangal Mudivathillai’ (1982).
Selected Filmography of Mohan
Mohan has acted in the following select films in his illustrious career, highlighted along with their years of release.