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Meenakshisundaram Ramasamy Viswanathan [1]

(1945-07-01)1 July 1945 [2]
Tamil Nadu, India
Died22 March 2020(2020-03-22) (aged 74)
Chennai, India
Occupation(s)Director, writer, actor, television host.
Years active1977–2019

Meenakshisundaram Ramasamy Viswanathan (1 July 1945 – 22 March 2020), best known by his stage name Visu, was an Indian writer, director, stage, film and television actor and talk-show host. [3] Visu initially worked as an assistant to director K. Balachander until becoming a director himself. He later began acting, with his first film being Kudumbam Oru Kadambam (1981), directed by S. P. Muthuraman.



He started his career as a theatre artist, working with Y. G. Parthasarathy's drama troupe. He was writing scripts for stage dramas before getting into the film industry as an assistant to legendary director K. Balachander. During his time with Balachander, he wrote screenplays for numerous films including Pattina Pravesam (1977), Avan Aval Adhu (1980), Thillu Mullu (1981) and Netrikkan (1981). Thillu Mullu and Netrikkan, which were both released in 1981, became box office hits for actor Rajinikanth.Visu made his debut as an actor in the film Kudumbam Oru Kadambam (1981), for which he also wrote the screenplay. The film was directed by S. P. Muthuraman.

His first film as a director was Kanmani Poonga (1982). Most of his films including Manal Kayiru (1982), Dowry Kalyanam (1983), Samsaram Adhu Minsaram (1986), Thirumathi Oru Vegumathi (1987), Penmani Aval Kanmani (1988), Vedikkai En Vadikkai (1990) and Pattukottai Periyappa (1994) spoke about the issues of urban middle-class families. These films, which were released in the mid-80s, turned out to be crowd pullers, particularly with regard to the female audience. [4] His other super hit was Chidambara Rahasiyam (1985), which is considered a cult-classic. [5]

While he has directed a rage of actors on screen, he and his brother Kishmu used to star in his films as well in memorable roles. His film Neenga Nalla Irukkanum won the National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues in 1992. Based on prohibition, the film was the last onscreen appearance of then chief minister, J. Jayalalithaa. [6]

He has also shared the screen with Rajinikanth in Nallavanukku Nallavan (1984), Mr. Bharath (1986), Mannan (1992), Uzhaippali (1993) and Arunachalam (1997).

During the ending phase of his career, he made movies which did not leave a lasting mark on the audience as Vaa Magale Vaa (1994), Meendum Savithri (1996) and Sigamani Ramamani (2001). [7]

Actor and stage artiste S. Ve. Shekher, who has worked in over 20 films with Visu, said that he was an extremely disciplined and committed. [8]

As an actor, he was last seen in Manal Kayiru 2 (2016), the sequel to one of his earliest directorial successes, Manal Kayiru.

He is known to have starred in over 60 films and directed around 25 films. [9]


"Growing up in a joint family, I observed how each person had a difference of opinion. It wasn't bad; just that we were different. I wondered, 'Wouldn't other joint families have similar issues?' So I started writing scripts that reflect the day-to-day scenario in a joint family".

 – Visu in 2016 [10]

In most of the films Visu directed, all the characters were given equal importance. Often, there was huge house wherein a joint family would reside and the character of Visu would solve their problems. Many of Visu's film titles contain rhyming words, such as Kudumbam Oru Kadambam, Samsaram Adhu Minsaram, Thirumathi Oru Vegumathi, Kavalan Avan Kovalan, Penmani Aval Kanmani, Varavu Nalla Uravu and Vedikkai En Vadikkai . His films focused on many family issues like dowry, need of remarriage for women, mother in law-daughter in law disputes and so on which were occurring that time. In most of his films there is a character named Uma, named after a school teacher who predicted his rise to fame after reading one of his scripts when he was a travel agent. [11] [12] [13] [14]

Other works

Visu became known for hosting live debates on television, namely Arattai Arangam on Sun TV and Visuvin Makkal Arangam on Jaya TV. [15] [16] He joined and campaigned for BJP. [17]

Final years and death

On 22 March 2020 at Chennai, Visu died of kidney failure at the age of 74. [18] [19] [20] [21]


YearTitleCredited asRoleNotes
1977 Pattina Pravesam Red x.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svg
1978 Sadhurangam Red x.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svgalso dialogue
1980 Avan Aval Adhu Red x.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svg
1980 Mazhalai Pattalam Red x.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svg
1981 Thillu Mullu Red x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgAs a film crewVoice-Over Actor (Dubbing)
1981 Netrikkan Red x.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svg
1981 Keezh Vaanam Sivakkum Red x.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svg
1981 Kudumbam Oru Kadambam Red x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgSrinivasa Raghavan
1982 Kanmani Poonga Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgCricketer Ramkumar
1982 Simla Special Red x.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svg
1982 Manal Kayiru Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgUthramerur Narathar Naidu
1982 Pudhukavithai Red x.svgGreen check.svgRed x.svg
1983Oru Kai PaappomRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgKai adi Kamalaknnan
1983 Dowry Kalyanam Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGanesh
1984 Nallavanukku Nallavan Red x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgOwner Gangadharan
1984Puyal Kadantha BoomiGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgNammaalu allies Namachivaayan
1984 Rajathanthiram Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgBairavan
1984Vaai Sollil VeeranadiGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgVengapuli Varadhachari
1984Nanayam Illatha NanayamGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgVeerapandi
1984 Oorukku Upadesam Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgSankaran
1985 Pudhiya Sagaptham Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRamadasaradan
1985 Aval Sumangalithan Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgWatchman Aarumugam
1985 Ketti Melam Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg
1985 Chidambara Rahasiyam Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgBeemarao
1986 Mr. Bharath Red x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgKumaresa Gounder
1986 Dharma Pathini Red x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgLawyer "Vicks" Vardarajan
1986 Samsaram Adhu Minsaram Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgAmmaiyappa Mudaliyar National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment
1986 Oomai Vizhigal Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgRathnasabapathy
1986 Mella Thirandhathu Kadhavu Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgThulasi's father
1986 Thaaiku Oru Thaalaattu Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgPonnambalam
1986 Anandha Kanneer Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgPaapa Panchu
1987 Thirumathi Oru Vegumathi Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgNaagarkoil Naadhamuni
1987 Kavalan Avan Kovalan Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgPrabhu's Father-in-law
1987 Kathai Kathaiyam Karanamam Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svg
1987Srimathi Oka BahumathiGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgTelugu film; remake of Thirumathi Oru Vegumathi
1988 Veedu Manaivi Makkal Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgSubbaiah Pillai
1988 Penmani Aval Kanmani Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgRadio Mama
1988Aadade AadharamGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg Nandi Award for Second Best Story Writer [22]
Telugu film; remake of Penmani Aval Kanmani
1988 Mappillai Sir Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgVakkil Varadharajan
1988Illu Illalu PillaluGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgTelugu film; remake of Veedu Manaivi Makkal
1989Sakalakala SammandhiGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgMayavaram Malayappan
1990 Varavu Nalla Uravu Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgAppa Ambalavanar Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Story Writer
1990 Vedikkai En Vadikkai Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgKaavisattai Kandasamy
1992 Mannan Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgViswanathan
1992 Urimai Oonjaladugiradhu Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgKasturi's Father
1992 Neenga Nalla Irukkanum Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svg National Film Award for Best Film on Other Social Issues
1993 Uzhaippali Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgBarrister
1993 Sinna Mapplai Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgMarriage Broker
1994 Pattukottai Periyappa Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgPattukottai Periyappa
1994 Aranmanai Kaavalan Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgSilai thirudan Santhanam
1994 Vaa Magale Vaa Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgViswanathan
1994 Vanaja Girija Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgBusiness man Ramanathan
1994 Vaanga Partner Vaanga Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svg Ganapathi
1995 Mayabazar Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgVishwanathan
1995God FatherRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgViswanathamTelugu film
1996 Irattai Roja Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgAnchorGuest appearance
1996 Meendum Savithri Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgNarayana Moorthy


Telugu film
1997 Nesam Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgHimself
1997 Aravindhan Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svg
1997 Adimai Changili Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svg
1997 Vasuki Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgRamasamy
1997 Arunachalam Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgAdv. Rangachari
1997 Sishya Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgAadhimoolam
1997 Vaimaye Vellum Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svg
1998 Bhagavath Singh Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svg
1999 Mannavaru Chinnavaru Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgShanmugasundaram
1999 Anbulla Kadhalukku Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgChandrasekhar
2000 Kakkai Siraginilae Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgJudge
2000 Vaanavil Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgHimself
2001 Sigamani Ramamani Green check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgSundaramoorthy
2001 Krishna Krishna Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgAdvocate ViswanathanGuest appearance
2001 Middle Class Madhavan Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgAdvocate
2001 Vadagupatti Maapillai Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGomathi Shankar
2001 Looty Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgDr. Kuzhanthavelu
2001 Vedham Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGuest appearance
2003 Thithikudhe Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgHimself
2004 Maha Nadigan Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svg
2005 Ji Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgRaghavan
2007 Cheena Thaana 001 Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGovernorGuest appearance
2007Nenjirukkumvarai NinaivirukkumRed x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgGuest appearance
2008 Ellam Avan Seyal Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svg
2009 Innoruvan Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgJudge
2009 Kannukulle Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svg
2013 Alex Pandian Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgChief Minister
2013 Oruvar Meethu Iruvar Sainthu Red x.svgRed x.svgGreen check.svgJudge
2016 Manal Kayiru 2 Red x.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgUthramerur Narathar Naidu

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