Karthik Sivakumar, or popularly known as Karthi, is a prominent film actor, who predominantly works in the Tamil film industry. He was born on May 25, 1977, in
Madras, Tamil Nadu, India, to Tamil actor, Sivakumar and Lakshmi. He studied at Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan, and later attended St. Bede’s Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School in Chennai. He obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering at the Crescent Engineering College in Chennai. Post graduation, he started working as an Engineering Consultant in the city and pursued higher education abroad. During those times, Karthi was earning 5000 every month, until he thought that he wanted to do something more. He had his scholarship in the USA and studied at Binghamton University in
New York, where he took Master of Science in Industrial Engineering. While doing his masters, he also studied filmmaking. Karthi worked as a graphic designer for a short period of time in New York, and then, he decided to pursue his career in film direction. He took two courses at the State University of New York and studied basic filmmaking.
When he came back to India, he met ace director,
Mani Ratnam. He was offered to do the role of Arjun in the 2004 Tamil political film, Aaytha Ezhuthu, but he refused to do so, and just worked as the assistant director of the film. Its Hindi version is entitled, ‘
Yuva’. This is because he preferred to be a director rather than an actor. But he was poured with several film offers and his father tried to convince him to take up acting.
Tamil film producer and director, Ameer Sultan, approached him to appear in the lead role in the Tamil film,
Paruthiveeran, in the year 2005. However, the film had financial issues and was only released in 2007. Luckily, it was acclaimed critically and became very successful, commercially. He was praised for his outstanding performance as a careless village rowdy, and received his first Filmfare Award for Best Tamil Actor as well as the Tamil Nadu State Film Awards Special Prize for Best Actor.
In the year 2006, Karthi signed on his second film to be helmed by '
Selvaraghavan'. The film was entitled as Idhu Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam, which features '
Sandhya' in the lead female role. However, the director abandoned the film and in the year 2007, Selvaraghavan announced the Tamil adventure film,
Aayirathil Oruvan, with Karthi in the lead role. The filming started later that year, and they expected to complete the film in 2008 as they are planning for a release in mid-2008. But it was delayed, and the filming continued until early 2009. Because of the film’s slow progress, he accepted the Tamil romantic action film, ‘Paiyaa’, in 2007. Aayirathil Oruvan was postponed for a number of times and was finally released in 2010. He received a nomination for Best Actor at the Filmfare Award for his performance as a chief coolie, who works at the Chennai port. Meanwhile, Paiyaa, which was also released in 2010, became very successful, and he received another nomination at the 58th
Filmfare Awards South for Best Actor for his performance in the film.
His next film, ‘Siruthai’, is an action masala that was helmed by Siva in 2011. He acted in a double role- as a thief and as a police officer. He earned positive reviews for his performances in the film and it became one of the highest-grossing Tamil films of the year. Siruthai also became his biggest commercial success and carved his niche in the Tamil film industry. In the same year, he acted in the multi-starrer Tamil political thriller film, ‘Ko’, which was helmed by K.V. Anand.
In 2012, Karthi was seen in the political satire film, ‘Saguni’, along with Pranitha in the lead role. This film failed at the box office. This was followed by an action-masala film,
Alex Pandian, in 2013. Before the ending of 2013, he acted in the romantic comedy film, All in All Azhagu Raja, which was helmed by M. Rajesh. This film also featured Santhanam and
Kajal Aggarwal in the lead roles. He was also seen in the black comedy-thriller film, ‘
Biriyani’, which opened to positive reviews and earned box office success. Karthi crooned to the tune of Mississippi for the Telugu and Tamil versions of this film. Later, he was starred in the political drama film, ‘Madras’, which earned commercial and critical success. In 2015, Karthi has done an action drama film, ‘
Komban’, together with '
Lakshmi Menon' in the lead role. He is currently working in the upcoming supernatural horror film, ‘
Kashmora’, which features Nayantara and Sridivya in the lead roles, and the bilingual film, ‘
Oopiri’, along with Akkineni Nagarjuna.
Karthi has two siblings namely, Brindha and 'Suriya', who are also one of the leading actors in the industry. In the year 2011, he got married to Ranjani, and they have one daughter named Umayaal. He got involved in several social service acts and charities. He started the Makkal Nala Mandram on his 31st birthday to make everyone involved in welfare services and activities. He donated blood, bicycles for the handicaps, sewing machines for women and school bags for children. He gave a total of 50,000 for the YRG Care Centre to help the kids who have been affected with AIDS. Karthi also promotes awareness about the Lysosomal Storage Disease and became the ambassador. He adopted a cub at the Vandalur Zoo and gave ₹72,000 for the protection and preservation of the animal.
Karthi became the brand ambassador of Bharti Airtel in South India, and appeared in its advertising campaign. He was seen in the advertisement of Bru Instant Coffee with Kajal Aggarwal.
Another Version of this Bio...
Karthi, aka Karthik Sivakumar, is a Tamil movie actor. He is the son of actor, Sivakumar and the younger brother of Suriya. He was born on 25 May, 1977, in Chennai (then Madras). He completed his schooling from Padma Seshadri Bala Bhavan and St. Bede’s Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, Chennai. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Crescent Engineering College, and also a Master Of Science in Industrial Engineering from Binghamton University. Apart from being an actor, Karthi has been involved in many social welfare activities. He also has a social welfare club named Makkal Nala Mandram. He became a cause ambassador for lysosomal storage disease to promote it’s analysis. In 2015, he became the treasurer of the Nadigar Sangam.
Karthi wanted to be a film director right from his childhood, and thus, came back to India to pursue his dreams. He joined noted director, Mani Ratnam, as an assistant director. He got many film offers and finally made his debut in 2007 with the movie, ‘Paruthiveeran’. This movie earned him accolades from both the audience and the critics, and in this process, he also won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor and a Tamil Nadu State Film Award. His next movie, Aayirathil Oruvan, came after a long gap in the year 2010. It was an adventure movie where he essayed the role of a coolie. Karthi became a commercial star with the subsequent success of his movies at the box office. To add to all of this, Karthi has also recorded two songs as a playback singer.
Karthi got married to Ranjani, an English Literature master’s holder, on 29 April, 2011. The couple was blessed with a daughter on 11 January, 2013, and was named Umayaal.
His welfare club, Makkal Nala Mandram, encourages fans to get involved in welfare activities. He has donated blood, cycles, sewing machines, schoolbags, etc. for the needy. On his birthday, Karthi visits orphanages and donates funds to them.
He signed a deal with Bharti Airtel in 2010, to become the company’s brand ambassador in South India. He has also shot many ads with Airtel and Bru.