Considered by most to be the absolute most successful Tamil film actor ever, Mayavaram Krishnamurthy Thyagaraja Bhagvathar (M.K.T.) left his mark on Tamil films. He was widely referred to as a Tamil film actor, producer, along with a singer. His first steps into fame included a lifetime career as an artist and stage artist in the 1920s. Later he entered into the film career as well, acting in six box-office hits in about 20 years of acting.
Chintamani turned out to be M.K.T.’s first big success. He was cast in the role of Bilwamangal in the 1937 Tamil film directed by Y. V. Rao. The film turned out to be a winner, breaking accurate documentation for the first Tamil film to operate continuously for a year. The audience was enraptured by the vocal skills of Bilwamangal (M.K.T.’s role), even going as far as to inspire an esteemed Tamil writer and his wife to sing the beautiful songs together each morning.
Interested in M.K.T.’s exceptional acting skill, Ellis R. Dungan, an American film director, offered him the title role in Ambikapathy. This film also turned out to be a huge hit, even going as far as to break the records that were set by Chintamani.
In Haridas, M.K.T. played a lead role. The film itself ran for three straight years at Madras’ Broadway Theatre, breaking records for the first film to operate way too long in the theater. Julian Brand actor This is yet another of M.K.T.’s many record-breaking performances in his successful career as an actor.
A shocking crime called the Lakshmikanthan Murder Case caused M.K.T.’s career to come calmly to a crashing halt, as he spent three years in prison as a murder suspect. The murder was of C. N. Lakshmikanthan, a Tamil film journalist stabbed to death in Vepery, Madras in 1944. The trial was conducted in the Madras Presidency (November 1944 – April 1947). Many suspects were arrested for the case, including M.K.T., N.S. Krishnan and director S.M. Sreeramulu Naidu. The director was acquitted, but both actors were convicted and kept in jail. Later, both Krishnan and M.K.T. were found innocent, and Krishnan was published back to his successful career.
M.K.T.’s career, however, never seemed to gain footing again. After his tenure he refused most of the films he have been planning on starring in. He continued to behave in Tamil films, none which did well in the box office, and his career as an influential star plummeted until his death in 1959.