25 July 1939 
|Died||2 April 2019 (Aged 79)|
|Years active||1966–2006, 2016–2019|
|Family||Rajesh (Cousin) |
J. Alexander (25 July 1939 – 2 April 2019), known professionally as Mahendran, was an Indian film director, screenwriter and actor, known for his work in the Tamil film industry. Mahendran is regarded as one of the greatest film makers of Tamil cinema and has influenced several filmmakers of the generations that followed. 
Mahendran entered the film industry as a screenwriter, writing scripts for nearly 26 films. He made an immediate impact with his first directional venture Mullum Malarum (1978). Mahendran's next film Uthiripookkal , based on a short story written by Pudumaipithan, firmly established him as an important filmmaker in Tamil cinema. His Nenjathai Killathe won three National Film Awards including the award for the best regional film.
He has also acted in films during the latter part of his film career, including Kamaraj (2004), Theri (2016), Nimir (2018) and Petta (2019).
Mahendran was born on 25 July 1939  to Joseph Chelliah, a teacher and Manonmani.  Mahendran did his schooling in Ilayangudi and completed his intermediate at American College, Madurai.  Later he joined Alagappa Government Arts College to do a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. During his college days, he was very active in stage plays. It was during that time when M. G. Ramachandran (M.G.R.) was invited as the chief guest for the college day during which Mahendran gave a speech that directly criticized the commercial elements that existed in cinema.  Impressed by his speech M.G.R. praised Mahendran and said that he could become a good critic.  After completing his degree, he went to Madras to study law. Seven months after joining the course he had to discontinue due to financial concerns.  He then decided to go back to Ilayangud. However, on the insistence of Karaikudi Kannappa Valliappan he joined Inamuzhakkam, a periodical as a journalist.  It was during this time he met M.G.R. again and he was asked to write the screenplay of Ponniyin Selvan after the former decided to make a film based on the story.  The idea of developing the screenplay into a film got delayed, and M.G.R. asked Mahendran to write a story for his drama troupe.  Mahendran wrote a script titled Anaadhaigal.  M.G.R. decided to make a film based in the play. He named the film Vaazhve Vaa and acted in the lead role alongside Savitri.  The project got shelved after three days of shooting. Soon M.G.R. acted in a film called Kaanchi Thalaivan and he recommended Mahendran to the director to make him an assistant. 
Mahendran made his breakthrough as a screenwriter for the film Naam Moovar in 1966.  After the success of the film he got more offers from the same banner and worked in films like Sabaash Thambi and Panakkara Pillai, both released in the subsequent years.  He also wrote the script for Nirakudam starring Sivaji Ganesan.  He announced that he was working on a new film in 2014 starring newcomers, for which Ilaiyaraaja would score music.  He also worked as an actor in the films Kamaraj (2004), Theri (2016),  and Nimir (2018). 
Mahendran died on 2 April 2019, at the age of 79.  
|1975||Avalukku Aayiram Kangal|
|1976||Vazhvu En Pakkam|
|1976||Mogam Muppadhu Varusham|
|1977||Sonthamadi Nee Enakku|
|1977||Aadu Puli Attam|
|1979||Pagalil Oru Iravu|
|1984||Kai Kodukkum Kai|
|1986||Kannukku Mai Ezhuthu|
|2019||Rustum||Posthumous release; Kannada film|
|2021||Pon Manickavel||Posthumous release|
|2022||Kombu Vatcha Singamda||Posthumous release|
Asha Kelunni Nair, better known by her stage name Revathi, is an Indian actress and director, known for her works predominantly in Tamil and Malayalam cinema - in addition to Telugu, Hindi and Kannada films. She has won several accolades, including the National Film Awards in three different categories, and six Filmfare Awards South. She has also won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Bhoothakaalam (2022).
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Mullum Malarum is a 1978 Indian Tamil-language drama film written and directed by Mahendran. Produced by Venu Chettiar and V. Mohan, the film stars Rajinikanth, Sarath Babu, Jayalaxmi and Shoba. It marks Mahendran's directorial debut and is partly based on Uma Chandran's novel of the same name, which was serialised in the Tamil magazine Kalki in 1966. Mullum Malarum tells the story of Kali (Rajinikanth), a winch operator of a cable trolley who dotes on his sister Valli (Shoba) since they were orphaned, and clashes with his boss Kumaran.
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Kai Kodukkum Kai is a 1984 Indian Tamil-language film directed by Mahendran, starring Rajinikanth and Revathi. It is an extended version of Munithayi written by Eeswarachandra – the third segment of the 1976 Kannada anthology film Katha Sangama. Rajnikanth, who played the antagonist role in Munithayi, played the lead role in this film. The film was produced by Vijayakumar and R. Vijayachandran.
Azhiyatha Kolangal is a 1979 Indian Tamil-language coming-of-age film directed by Balu Mahendra, starring Pratap Pothen and Shoba. Kamal Haasan played a guest role in the film. The film was Balu Mahendra's second directorial venture and his first in Tamil. Partly autobiographical, the film dealt with the events that happen during the adolescence of three friends who live in a small village. In addition to directing the film, Balu Mahendra wrote the screenplay and shot the film. The film is inspired from the 1971 Hollywood film Summer of '42.The film was released on 7 December 1979. Upon release, Azhiyadha Kolangal received critical acclaim, and was premièred at the "Indian Panorama" of the International Film Festival of India in 1980.
Uthiripookkal is a 1979 Indian Tamil-language drama film, written and directed by Mahendran. Based on the short story Chitrannai by Pudhumaipithan, it stars Vijayan, Ashwini and Madhu Malini. The film focuses on a sadistic man who makes life miserable for everyone in his village, including his wife and children.
Y G Mahendran is an Indian Actor, dramatist, actor, singer, playwright and comedian from the state of Tamil Nadu. He has acted in a number of plays and films. He is the son of Y. G. Parthasarathy, one of the pioneers of modern Tamil drama and Rajalakshmi Parthasarathy, founder and dean of Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan group of schools, and nephew of veteran Tamil filmmaker K. Balaji. Mahendra is also the cousin of actress Vyjayanthimala and the co-brother of Rajinikanth and Mohanlal.
Nandu (transl. Crab) is a 1981 Indian Tamil-language film written and directed by Mahendran. The film stars Ashwini and newcomer Suresh. It is based on the 1975 novel of the same name by Sivasankari. The film was released on 17 April 1981 and failed commercially.
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Nenjathai Killathe is a 1980 Indian Tamil-language romantic drama film written and directed by Mahendran. The film stars Suhasini, Sarath Babu, Pratap and Mohan. It focuses on a girl who is torn between the man she loved, and the man she married.
Pulan Visaranai (transl. Investigation) is a 1990 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film directed by R. K. Selvamani. The film stars Vijayakanth. while Rupini, M. N. Nambiar, Radha Ravi, Anandaraj, and Sarathkumar play supporting roles. It was released on 14 January 1990. The film was remade in Hindi as Ravan Raaj: A True Story (1995). The character of the antagonist Dharma is loosely based on the serial killer Auto Shankar. A sequel, Pulan Visaranai 2, was released in 2015.
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Enippadigal is a 1979 Indian Tamil-language film directed by P. Madhavan and produced by K. S. Sethumadhavan. It is a remake of the 1978 Telugu film Seetamalakshmi. The film stars Sivakumar and Shoba. It was released on 16 February 1979.
Naam Moovar is a 1966 Indian Tamil-language comedy drama film, directed by Jambulingam. The film's story was written by Mahendran and dialogue by Mullai Sakthi respectively. It stars Jaishankar, Ravichandran and Nagesh playing major roles, with L. Vijayalakshmi, Rathna, V. K. Ramasamy and Pandari Bai playing pivotal roles. The film was released on 5 August 1966, and was a huge success at the box-office.
Nimir (transl. Arise) is a 2018 Indian Tamil-language comedy drama film directed by Priyadarshan, starring Udhayanidhi Stalin, Namitha Pramod, and Parvati Nair. It is a remake of the 2016 Malayalam-language film Maheshinte Prathikaaram, with changes made to the screenplay to suit the cultural and regional tastes of Tamil audiences. The film was released on 26 January 2018.
Azhagiya Kanne is a 1982 Indian Tamil-language film written and directed by Mahendran. It was released on 17 December 1982.