S. A. Ashokan, born as Antony, was a Tamil film actor during the 60s and 70s. He was born in Tiruchirappalli, in Tamil Nadu. His date of birth is unknown. He worked in several Tamil movies such as
Naanum Oru Penn (1963), and
Anbe Vaa (1966). He portrayed villainous characters quite well. He also played the roles of eccentric and intriguing characters, especially in supporting roles.
As a child, Asokan was quite keen about stage plays. He also participated in several oratorical and writing competitions. He has a degree from the noted college, St. Joseph’s, in Tiruchirappalli.
After finishing his degree, T. R. Ramanna introduced him to the film industry. Ramanna was an acclaimed film director. He played an important part in his life and upon his request, Antony changed his name to Asokan. He kept this name for the rest of his life.
Asokan played a minor role in the film ‘Avvaiyar’, which was his debut movie. But his career got a kick start when he bagged a role in the film, Kappalottiya Thamizhan (1961). In this movie, he portrayed the role of a collector called Ash.
However, his career as a lead actor was not quite notable. The films in which Asokan played the lead role were not quite well-received by the audience. On the whole, he acted as a villainous character. He also did character roles opposite many acclaimed actors of those days.
Asokan has played several personas in many distinguished films. In Vallavanukku Vallavan, he played the role of a helpless traveler who gets conned. In ‘
Karnan’, he portrayed the role of Duryodhan from Mahabharata. These films were well received, and Ashokan’s fame increased. His landmark performance was his role as Professor Bhairavan in
Ulagam Sutrum Valiban. This was directed by M. G. Ramachandran.
Other than acting, Asokan had many other interests such as singing. In the film Iravum Pagalum, it was Asokan who sang the song ‘Iranthavanai Sumanthavanum’. Asokan was a kind-hearted and helpful person. He promoted filmmaker, A. C. Trilok Chander, by introducing him to AVM Studios. Asokan, Jaishankar and an ensemble of performing artists, conducted several cultural programs. They performed all around Tamil Nadu.
Asokan married Mary Gnanam (born Saraswati), in spite of her family’s objection. The couple had two sons, Vincent and Amalraj.
Vincent Asokan is an engineering graduate. Like his father, he plays the role of an antagonist in most films.
Asokan died on 11th November, 1982, due to his second heart attack. His wife, Mary, also passed away a few years after his death. His son, Amalraj, is also deceased.