Rekha's father and late actor Gemini Ganesan's Controversial Life: His stardom to multiple sensational affairs

Gemini Ganesan, had a starry yet controversial life. His near and dear ones called him ‘Appu’, 'Kadhal Mannan' (King of Romance) or otherwise known as Rekha's father. His professional, as well as personal life, had always been the talk of the town.
Rekha's father and late actor Gemini Ganesan's Controversial Life: His stardom to multiple sensational affairsRekha's father and late actor Gemini Ganesan's Controversial Life: His stardom to multiple sensational affairs
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Ramasamy Ganesan, better known by his stage name Gemini Ganesan, had a starry yet controversial life. His near and dear ones called him ‘Appu’, 'Kadhal Mannan' (King of Romance) or otherwise known as Rekha's father. His professional as well as personal life had always been the talk of the town. Ganesan was one of the "three biggest names of Tamil cinema".  The other two being M. G. Ramachandran (known by his initials as MGR) and Sivaji Ganesan. Talking about his personal life, Gemini Ganesan had always been candid about his relationships with co-stars Pushpavalli and Savitri. The 2018 film Mahanati/Nadigaiyar Thilagam documented Savitri's rise and fall as an actress and also showcased her relationship with Ganesan.

Stardom in the South film industry: In a career spanning nearly 50 years, Ganesan played a variety of roles but prominently, he was known for his romantic roles on the big screen. The late South star made his debut with Miss Malini in 1947 and featured opposite several leading actresses like Anjali Devi, Pushpavalli, Padmini, Vyjayanthimala, Savitri, Devika, Vijayakumari, Saroja Devi, Rajasree, Kanchana, Jayanthi, K. R. Vijaya, Bharathi and Jayalalithaa. However, his first break as an actor was in the 1948 production, "Chakradhari," with Pushpavalli.

Ganesan's 1961 film Then Nilavu became a major box-office success and was majorly shot in Jammu and Kashmir. He acquired star status in 1954 and continued to rule the big screen with powerful roles. His last major role was in 1998 with Naam Iruvar Namakku Iruvar, followed by special appearances in Gemini (2002) and Adi Thadi (2004).

Criticism: Despite being one of the most successful actors of Tamil cinema of his time, Gemini Ganesan was criticised for being "fossilised in one type of portrayal". Also, his hostile relationship with daughter Rekha grabbed the headlines.

Gemini Ganesan's marriage with Alamelu and Savitri: He married her at 19 in 1940 and fondly called "Boubji". Alamelu and Ganesan have four daughters; three of them – Revathi, Kamala and Jayalakshmi. However, the actor later fell in love with Savitri. He married Savitri while still married to his first wife. He wooed women and got love in return. With Savitri,  he has two children: a daughter, Vijaya Chamundeswari and his only son, Satheesh Kumar. Parallel families with two women and eight children kept him on toes. Savitri died on 26 December 1981, at the age of 45, after being in a coma for 19 months.

"Amma, however, did not know how to handle her troubles. She wasn't clever to deal with the situation. She was innocent and it affected her very badly. Also, she never had any proper guidance, that's why she became an alcoholic. Once she slipped into a coma, that lasted 19 months, there was no talking to her. We were certain that she would come back, but it was a long wait and it ended only with her death. It was so terrible to watch her on the hospital bed," Vijaya Chamundeswari, daughter of Savitri, told a daily.

Ganesan’s affair with Pushpavalli: Gemini Ganesan also had an affair with his co-star Pushpavalli. Apparently, he was never married to Pushpavalli. However, a few reports state they did marry each other secretly but never came out in open. Rekha, Bollywood's evergreen actress, is his daughter from this relationship.  Rekha was called Gemini’s illegitimate child, as the news or photos of their marriage never came out. In fact, ahead of Mahanati's release in 2018, Pushpavalli's mention from the film was axed.

(Photo: Twitter/@TheRekhaFanclub) 

Telugu character artiste Bindu Chandramouli posted on Facebook saying "It’s very disappointing to have known that the makers have decided to cut out the character of Pushpavalli (after dubbing) and also the appearance of the character of her young daughter Rekha. (sic)."

Back then, during an interview, Narayani, daughter of Gemini Ganesan and Alamelu, recalled how she met Rekha for the first time: “She was pretty and her eyes were lined with mascara. She was named Banurekha. ‘What’s your father’s name?’ I asked. ‘Gemini Ganesan’, pat came the reply. My eyes were filled with tears. How can that be? He was my father.”

(Photo: Twitter/@TheRekhaFanclub)

Narayani Ganesh wrote in a book that her father's relationship with Pushpavalli, his co-star, was "perhaps the first one outside marriage and from the way they remained friends and enquired about each other, they were comfortable with their past".

Death: After a prolonged illness due to kidney and multiple organ failure, Gemini Ganesan passed away surrounded by Boubji and their daughters at his residence on 22, March 2005. 

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Anonymous 2 months ago

GG made sure his own legitimate daughters study and go into academics . they are all successful. the children of Pushpavalli and Savitri were not well cared for by him.

Anonymous 3 months ago

Brilliant actress born Rekhaaa..its his personal life, we should not bother

Anonymous 3 months ago

Love Rekha, great actress and beautiful.

Anonymous 3 months ago

It all happen in the film industry & it is not an isolated one

Anonymous 3 months ago

Tinsel world has not changed much. Philandering is an eternal occupational hazard. Gemini was overt , MGR and others were not. These days its all in the open by all and sundry.

Anonymous 3 months ago

He never pressurised anyone .all the women came to him with eyes wide open .

Anonymous 3 months ago

Eyes??? Well said

Anonymous 3 months ago

Apart from 6 known marriages he had many scores of affairs too .

Anonymous 3 months ago

worst philander, produced numerous kids, had numerous affairs. sick man.

Anonymous 3 months ago

My mom and I were invited to his house for dinner. We were on vacation in Madras,India at that time. Many moons ago, 1974. We met at a show and was introduced to him. That's when he asked us to join him a d his family for dinner. Great personality, I was in awe.

Anonymous 3 months ago

Who are we to make that judgement? His life was like an open book! He was Honest and Candid with his relationships! Many others of that period were not so. MGR married thrice and many relationships! But all hush hush! Kalaignar Karunanithy had three wives and many children! Kannadasan the same. I don’t see any criticism about them?

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