Jaishankar is a yester-year actor of the Tamil Film Industry. He is fondly referred to as Thennagathu James Bond (South Indian James Bond). His penchant for dashing roles earned him the sobriquet of James Bond of South India, thanks to his roles in films like Vallavan Oruvan, CID Shankar and so on. He is considered as one of the leading actors of Tamil cinema in the 1970s.
Subramaniam Shankar, to give his original name, was born on 12 July 1938. His father being a judicial magistrate, he was a typical Brahmin of the bygone decades going to the famous PS High School and then The New College Chennai, where he did his Honors degree. Following the footsteps of his father he studied Law but gave it up after a year because of his interests in fine arts like theater.
Bitten by the drama bug, he joined Cho's Viveka Fine Arts, which consisted mostly of Brahmins where he did insignificantly small roles. Obviously not happy he moved out and the break came with Koothabiran's Kalki Fine Arts where he made a mark playing a lead role in Kalki's 'Amara Thaara'.
Jaishankar is an unforgettable hero of the yesteryears. In the era dominated by Sivaji Ganesan, M. G. Ramachandran and Gemini Ganesan, he created his own niche by excellent portrayals of interesting characters. He was popularly known as South Indian James Bond because of his roles as the investigative detective in Vallavan Oruvan and CID Shankar and Friday star because he invariably had a release every week.
Among his more memorable roles was the teacher's role in the K Balachander film, Noothukku Nooru. He was last seen on screen in Iravum Pagalum -- which was the title of his debut film as well. His son Dr.Vijay shankar is a well known eye surgeon who also manages the Jai Shankar medical and charitable trust in Nungambakkam, Chennai.
Every year his son Dr.Vijay shankar conducts 15 free eye surgeries on his father’s birthday. He planned to create a trust in his father’s memory and conduct these camps on a larger scale and later include some more specialities like cardiac surgeries also. Jaishankar died of heart attack on 3 June 2000, at the age of 62 in Chennai. He is survived by his wife and sons.
Kizakkum Merkkum Santhikkindrana
Idhayam Paarkiradhu (100th film)
Ore Vaanam Ore Bhoomi
Ore Thayin Sapatham
Ini Ellam Sugamae