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Jaishankar is a yesteryear star of Tamil
Film Industry. He is fondly referred to as Thennagathu James Bond or 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 , Thunive Thunai and such.
Subramaniam Shankar, to give his original name,
was born on 12 July 1938 with his father being a judicial magistrate. He was a
typical Mylaporean of the bygone decades going to the famous PS High School and
then Vivekananda College, where he did his Honours 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 theatre.
Bitten by the drama bug, he joined Cho's Viveka
Fine Arts, which consisted mostly of Mylaporeans 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'.
In an era dominated by M. G. Ramachandran and
Sivaji Ganesan, Jaishankar had a huge and loyal following. Very prolific during
his heyday, he was at one point known as the Friday Hero, because a new film of
his would debut almost every Friday. He is also remembered as a good Samaritan
as he helped the needy without any publicity. He helped the mercy home and
various other charitable organisations regularly. He created a lot of producers
and even let go lot of remuneration, so that they could complete their movies
and release them on schedule.
Among his more memorable roles were the
teacher's role in the K Balachander film, Noothukku Nooru, the detective role's
in Vallavan Oruvan, CID Shankar and Thunive Thunai. His children's film
Pattanathil Bootham was also a huge hit. Interestingly, Jaishankar was the hero
in Gayatri, which saw Rajinikanth play baddie. Years later, the roles were
reversed with Rajinikanth playing hero to Jaishankar's villain in Murattu Kaalai.
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.
Jaishankar died of heart attack on 3 June 2000.Mr.Jai Shankar may be no more,
but his memories are still alive among his fans and friends because of his ever
Filimography: ( Only few are listed here)