Written by 8:09 AM Film

N S Krishnan: The Legendary Comedian of Tamil Cinema

In Tamil cinema, the name N S Krishnan stands tall as one of the most iconic comedians to have grac…


In Tamil cinema, the name N S Krishnan stands tall as one of the most iconic comedians to have graced the silver screen. With an impeccable sense of comic timing and a natural flair for acting, Krishnan redefined the comedy genre in the early years of the Tamil film industry. In this blog post, we take a closer look at the life, career, and fascinating real-life anecdotes of the legendary N S Krishnan.

Early Life:

Born on November 29, 1908, in the small village of Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu, Nagercoil Sudalaimuthu Krishnan, fondly known as N S Krishnan or NSK, began his career as a stage actor in a drama troupe. He was a man of many talents and worked as a playwright, singer, and dancer before entering the film industry. His passion for the arts and strong work ethic laid the foundation for his successful career in cinema.

Career and Notable Movies:

NSK debuted in the Tamil film industry with the movie “Sathi Leelavathi” (1936), directed by the legendary A.V. Meiyappan. This began a successful partnership with leading lady T. A. Madhuram, who later became his wife. The duo became a hit pair on-screen, working together in over 150 films and inseparable in real life.

Some of NSK’s most notable movies include:

  1. Ambikapathy (1937) – This historical drama based on the Tamil epic poem by the same name featured NSK in a significant role, showcasing his versatility as an actor.
  2. Haridas (1944) – NSK played a memorable role in this blockbuster movie, which ran for a record-breaking 110 weeks in Chennai’s Gaiety Theatre.
  3. Nallathambi (1949) – NSK starred as the protagonist in this film, portraying a humorous and lovable character that won over the audience’s hearts.
  4. Avvaiyar (1953) – NSK’s comic timing and engaging performance in this biographical film about the life of the famous Tamil poet Avvaiyar was highly appreciated.

Real-life Anecdotes:

NSK was an exceptional actor and a man of great wit and wisdom. His wisdom and quick thinking saved him from potential embarrassment on multiple occasions. Here are some fascinating real-life anecdotes that illustrate NSK’s remarkable wit:

  1. During a stage performance, NSK noticed that a small part of the set had caught fire. Instead of panicking, he cleverly incorporated the fire into his act, making the audience laugh and saving the show. He calmly put out the fire while making the audience believe it was all part of the act.
  2. In another instance, NSK was caught without a ticket on a train journey. When the ticket inspector confronted him, NSK humorously replied, “I am an actor who can bring joy to millions. Can’t I travel without a ticket for a few miles?” His wit and charm worked, and the ticket inspector let him go without penalty.
A nice video byV. Sriram about N S Krishnan


N S Krishnan’s contributions to Tamil cinema remain unparalleled. His natural talent, comic timing, and on-screen chemistry with T. A. Madhuram made him a beloved figure in the industry. He also supported his co-actors and others. He resurrected Thangavelu’s career when Thangavelu was down and out by offering him a role in his movie, Singari.

Unfortunately, he was a co-accused along with another superstar of those time, M K Thiagaraja Bhagavathar and was sentenced to a 30-month jail time. He couldn’t get back to his stature after his release from jail and died a broken man, drained of his finances.

His real-life anecdotes and experiences show us that NSK was not just an actor but a quick-witted and humble human being. As we remember his legacy, it is evident that his work continues to inspire and entertain generations of audiences.

%d bloggers like this: