Karunas - Profiles of Cine Artist

Karunas (born 21 February 1970 as Karunanidhi) is a Tamil comedic film actor in the Tamil film industry. He has acted with many prominent actors and starred in successful films. Appearing mostly in supporting roles and providing comical relief, he also played lead roles in Dindigul Sarathy and Ambasamudram Ambani. Apart from acting, Karunas is known as a musician and singer as well.

Karunas was born as Karunanidhi in Pudukkottai, Tamil Nadu, India. He did his schooling at Palangudi Bharathi School and later studied at Nandanam Arts, Presidency College. Karunas began his career as pop singer and dancer. He became a popular singer of 'Gaana' or Tamil Folk Music. He then gradually appeared in films as a comedian. Karunas is a modern day comedian and has done good comic roles. His main comedy style like popular comedian Vivek is satire which he usually diverts in the direction of College romances or stuck up snobbish beauties.

His funniest tracks include Nandha where he plays the character 'Lodukku Pandi' (this brought him the ultimate recognition in the industry), April Maathathil. Villain and Pudukotayil Saravanan where he plays a spoof of the famous hit film 'Vaali'. As of August 2011, Karunas has appeared in 79 films.

“The reach of cinema and the popularity that comes with it is something I wasn’t prepared for,” says Karunas, as he re-lives the ‘Nanda’ days. “Before I realised it I was rushed off my feet!” For all that, Karunas’ re-mix albums had made him known to listeners as far away as London, even before he got into films. “The just released ‘Saadhu Miranda,’ has for the first time, the title ‘Comedy King’ along with Karunas’ name in the credits! “Director Siddique has been kind to honour me so,” says Karunas for whom the opportunity to act in films knocked at his door. Sensibly, he didn’t miss the bus. In fact he steadfastly held on to it!

When just12 years old, Karunas decided his career will be in music. He was one of the early birds to cash in on the popularity the ‘ghana’ genre offered. So much so, that after his first album he came to be referred to as ‘Ghana’ Karunas. He sings paeans to Yugi Sethu whose ‘Naiyandi Durbar’ show on TV had Karunas’ Maestro Orchestra forming the backdrop and providing the music. The sessions had celebrities being interviewed by Sethu. And one day when he could find none, Sethu made Karunas take the VIP seat.

“I had cut 22 discs and was the first to venture into remixes before I got into films. My CD of Chandrababu songs, in which the opening number welcomed the millennium, was a major hit. My wife Grace and I had sung the songs and it sold well in London. Director Bala had heard it there, and knew me by face from the wrapper. So when he saw me on the Durbar show, he called me over,” says Karunas.

As he had done mimicry shows in college, when Bala asked him to act impromptu, Karunas did it with ease. Once Bala told him what the part involved, Karunas did thorough homework. He had to have a different gait, he was told. And soon Karunas was ready with half dozen different walks, for Bala to choose from. Yet little did he know then that acting would become his profession. Till date ‘Lodukku’ Pandi (the character he portrayed in ‘Nanda’) lives on. So as of now, besides acting he plans to traverse more into music.

Family Background

Karunas is married to pop and playback singer Grace. He has two children, a daughter and a son.