Vijayakumar is a BJP politician and an Indian actor, who has worked in several Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu films and TV serials. In September 2022, he appeared in the Tamil film Ponniyin Selvan: I (PS1).
Panchaksharam Rangasamy Pillai aka Vijayakumar was born on Sunday, 29 August 1943 (age 79 years; as of 2022) in Nattuchalai village, Madras Presidency, British India (now Tamil Nadu, India). His zodiac sign is Virgo.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Hair Colour: Salt and Pepper
Eye Colour: Dark Brown
Vijayakumar belongs to a Tamil Vellalar family.
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name was Rangasamy Pillai. His mother’s name was Chinnammal.
Wife & Children
Vijayakumar had two wives. His first wife, Muthukannu Vellalar, is a homemaker. He got married to her in 1969.
His second wife, Manjula Vijayakumar, was an actress, and he got married to her in 1976. She died in 2013.
He has five daughters and a son. His son, Arun Vijay, is a prominent Tamil actor.
His daughters’ names are Vanitha Vijayakumar (actress), Preetha Vijayakumar (actress), Sridevi Vijayakumar (actress), Kavitha Vijayakumar (actress), and Anitha Vijayakumar (doctor).
Vijayakumar dated Manjula for some time before getting married to her in 1976.
Vijayakumar’s acting career began in 1961 when he made his acting debut as a child artist with the Tamil film Sri Valli in which he played the role of Lord Muruga.
For the remainder of the 1960s, Vijayakumar appeared in several Tamil films like Mahaveera Bheeman (1962), Thaaye Unakkaga (1965), and Kandhan Karunai (1967). Vijayakumar played the role of a collector named Shankar in the 1973 Kollywood film Ponnukku Thanga Manasu. In 1974, he played the role of a drunkard doctor in the Tamil film Samarpanam. In the same year, he played the role of a character named Tilak in Aval Oru Thodar Kathai, a Tamil film. In the 1976 Tamil film Panayam, he played the role of an Indian Army officer named Captain Murali. Later, he made a cameo appearance as Sasi in the Kollywood film Oru Oodhappu Kan Simittugiradhu. Vijayakumar played the role of a man named Ravi Shankar in Mogam Muppadhu Varusham, a 1976 Tamil film. In 1977, he appeared in the Kollywood film Dheepam in which he played the role of a man named Kannan. Later, he acted in three Tamil films titled Unnai Suttrum Ulagam (as Sekar), Indru Pol Endrum Vaazhga (as Kumar), and Ilaya Thalaimurai (as Pandu). Vijayakumar played the roles of Shankar and Ravi in the 1978 Kollywood films Shankar Salim Simon and Aayiram Jenmangal. In 1979, he appeared in several Tamil films like Sigappukkal Mookkuthi, Velum Mayilum Thunai, Azhage Unnai Aarathikkiren, and more. In 1980, Vijayakumar acted in Kaali, a film made in Tamil and Telugu languages. For the Tamil version of the film, the role of GK was played by Vijaykumar, while for the Telugu version, the role of GK was played by Chiranjeevi. He played the role of a character named Ranjith in the 1981 Tamil film Savaal. In 1983, he acted in the Tamil film Sattam and played the role of a character named Michael Johnny. Later, he appeared in Apoorva Sahodarigal, a Tamil film. In the 1989 Kollywood film Paattukku Oru Thalaivan, he played the role of a politician named Marudhanayagam. In the same year, he made his debut in Tollywood with Geethanjali in which he played the role of Geethanjali’s father.
In 1991, he played the role of a man named Periya Gounder in the Tamil film Cheran Pandian for which he won the Cinema Express Award.
Vijayakumar landed a role in his second Telugu film Ghatana in 1992. He acted in the 1992 Tamil film Deiva Vaakku in which he played the role of a character named Vallatharai. Vijayakumar made his debut in the Malayalam film industry, Mollywood, with the 1993 film Aayirappara in which he played the role of a character named Chettiyar.
In the same year, he played the role of Maayaandi Thevan in the Tamil film Kizhakku Cheemayile for which he won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize.
In 1994, he acted in several Tamil films like Adharmam, Rasigan, Senthamizh Selvan, and more. In 1996, he played the role of a police commissioner in the Tamil comedy film Engirundho Vandhan. In the same year, Vijayakumar acted in Anthimanthaarai, which is a Tamil film, and won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize.
In the 1997 Kollywood film Bharathi Kannamma, he played the role of Vellaisamy Thevar Zamindar. From 2000 to 2010, Vijayakumar played several characters in Tamil and Telugu films like Sandhitha Velai, Simharasi, Vasu, Kadhal Virus, Solla Solla Inikkum, and many more. In 2011, he appeared in Konjam Sirippu Konjam Kobam, a Tamil romance movie. In 2013, Vijayakumar played the role of a politician in the Tamil film Singam II. In 2014, he appeared alongside Rajinikanth, a South Indian superstar, in the Tamil film Lingaa. In 2015, he was seen in Aambala, a Tamil film. In 2016, Vijayakumar appeared in three Tamil films titled Janatha Garage, Ilamai Oonjal, and Nenu Sailaja. In 2017, he was seen in the Tamil film Singam III, where he played the role of a politician.
In the same year, he made a guest appearance in Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan, an action comedy Tamil film. He appeared in the 2018 Telugu film Touch Chesi Chudu in which he played the role of a politician. In 2019, he was seen in two Telugu films titled Prati Roju Pandage and Entha Manchivaadavuraa. Vijayakumar played the role of a character named Shanmugam in the 2022 Tamil children’s comedy-drama film Oh My Dog.
In September 2022, Vijayakumar portrayed Vijayalaya Chola, the founder of the Chola Empire, in the Mani Ratnam-directed epic period action drama Tamil film Ponniyin Selvan: I (PS1), which is a critically acclaimed film and had Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in its cast.
Apart from acting in numerous films, Vijayakumar has also worked in several South Indian TV soap operas. He made his debut in the Tamil entertainment industry with the 1997 TV show Kokila Enge Pogiraal.
He played the role of Rajaramchandra Raghunath (aka Ayyaa) in the 2009 Tamil TV show Thangam, which was televised on Sun TV. In 2013, he landed the role of Vetrivel Annachi in the Tamil TV serial Vamsam. In 2016, he made his debut in the Telugu entertainment industry with the Gemini TV serial Talambralu, where he worked till 2017.
In 2017, he acted in the Tamil-Kannada supernatural fiction TV serial Nandini, where he played the role of a character named Rajashekar. He worked in the serial till 2018. Vijayakumar was seen in the 2019 Tamil TV serial Rasaathi in which he played the role of Shanmugasundaram. The show aired on Sun TV. In 2022, he made a guest appearance in the Tamil TV show Oru Oorla Rendu Rajakumari.
Vijayakumar’s political career began after he joined the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) when Marudhur Gopalan Ramachandran was serving as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
After leaving AIADMK in 2016, he joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Talking about it, he said.
I am known in all the southern states by virtue of my acting in all the regional language movies. People in Tamil Nadu know me well. I also applaud our Prime Minister Shree Narendra Modi for the excellent policies that he has implemented in the country taking it towards progression. I did not join the party aiming to contest the poll but wanted to strive for the BJP’s victory in the upcoming elections in the state.”
Allegations of physically assaulting Vanitha
In 2010, Vanitha Vijayakumar, who is Manjula and Vijayakumar’s daughter, lodged a complaint against her father in which she said that her father, along with her brother, had assaulted her when she tried to take her children back home after their Diwali vacation. According to Vanitha, her father was intoxicated and refused to let her take her kids back home, and when she resisted, she was battered by Arun Vijay, her brother. Talking about it, she said,
My husband and I approached the police immediately after the incident occurred on November 7 and met DGP Letika Saran on Wednesday. Our complaint was against my brother Arun, who assaulted me and my husband when we tried to pick up my son Vijay Sri Hari from my father’s house in Maduravoyal.”
After filing a complaint, she claimed that her father married her mother because of her money and social status. She also said that her father’s constant physical, emotional, and mental abuse made her mother an alcoholic. While talking about it, she said,
I moved out of my family at the age of 16 unable to bear the immense torture from my father and mother. They forced me to indulge in distressful activities. My mother Manjula was made drunkard by my father to get hold of her property and now all the properties have been registered in the names of Muthukannu(Vijayakumar’s first wife) and actor Arun Vijay.”
Responding to the allegations, Vijayakumar said that Vanitha’s allegations against Arun Vijay were untrue as on the day she claimed to have been assaulted by her father and brother, Arun was on a flight to the US. He said,
She is not my daughter anymore, she would feel the parent’s pain only when her children grow up. I am not sure why she is behaving so oddly and like this. something has definitely happened to her. Vanitha claimed that Arun Vijay and a set of goons had threatened her against lodging any complaint after assaulting her. However, Arun was on a flight to America at that time.”
The feud between the father and the daughter
In 2013, after the death of his second wife Manjula Vijayakumar, Vijayakumar denounced and disowned Vanitha Vijayakumar. In September 2018, Vijayakumar lodged an FIR against Vanitha and accused her of forcefully occupying his home and refusing to vacate it. In response, Vanitha filed a petition in the Madras High Court and said that the house does not only belongs to her father but also her as she had spent a large portion of her savings on the construction of the house in the 90s. She also said that her father had adopted several ways to pressurise her to have her vacate the house. During an interview, Vanitha talked about it and said,
I am staying at my mother’s house. The office address of my production house is also present there. No one has objected to it so far. We regularly give the house out for shooting of different types of films. Out of nowhere, they seem to have gotten an offer from a producer to lend the house on contract. My dad asked me to vacate the house. Even after my mother passed away, I’ve been staying there, it is convenient for me as well. I stay with my daughter. My dad stopped the shooting and pressured me to vacate the house. I told him that I am willing to stop the shooting of the movies but it is not right to ask me to leave the house.”
- In 1991, Vijayakumar won Cinema Express Award under the Best Character Actor category for the Tamil film Cheran Pandiyan.
- In 1993. for the Tamil film Kizhakku Cheemayile, Vijayakumar won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize under the Best Actor category.
- In 1995, he won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize for the Tamil film Anthimanthaarai under the Best Actor category.
- Vijayakumar has acted in more than five Tamil films along with his son Arun Vijay.
- Vijayakumar was the Vice President of the actor’s association named South Indian Nadigar Sangam.
- According to his daughter Vanitha Vijaykumar, Vijayakumar owns a licensed gun.