M.K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar, also known as M.K.T was a South-Indian actor who worked in Tamil films. He was also a producer and Carnatic music singer. Bhagavathar was born in Mayiladuthurai, Madaras Presidency. He started his career in late 1920's as a stage artist and classical singer. He debuted with the movie Pavalakkodi in 1934.
This movie became a hit in the South. He did 14 movies out of which 7 were blockbuster hits. One of his films Haridas ran for three years consecutively at Broadway Theatre. He was born on 7 March 1910 in Tanjore district. He was the eldest of his brothers. He was passionate about singing right from childhood. He had fought with his family to become a singer.
He always wanted to pursue singing as a career. Initially, his family didn't approve of his choice of singing as this profession in the pre -independence period was thought of as a disgrace. He has been highly appreciated for his melodious and powerful voice. He was known to be the first "first superstar of Tamil cinema".
He got involved in Lakshmikanthan Murder Case, though was later found innocent but not until serving three years of imprisonment. After serving his jail term, he lost interest in wealth and fame and went on for many pilgrimages journey. Also, the movies he did after releasing didn't do well at the box office. He died of diabetes on October 22, 1959, after being admitted for about a week at General Hospital, Madras.