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Best Actors In Tamil Cinema - From Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, to Thalapathy Vijay, Ajith Kumar, and others

From Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth to Thalapathy Vijay, Ajith Kumar, and others, the Tamil film industry has been blessed with some gifted actors. Here is the list of the best actors in Tamil cinema...

Best Actors In Tamil Cinema - From Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth, to Thalapathy Vijay, Ajith Kumar, and others
Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan

Last Updated: 10.59 PM, Apr 16, 2024

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Tamil cinema is one of those rare industries that has produced some of the finest films Indian cinema has had, over decades. The Tamil film industry, which has always struck the right balance between the creative and commercial aspects of cinema, is also blessed with an abundance of talent. Over the years, the industry went on to produce some of the finest actors in the country. Interestingly, most of them also emerged as the biggest stars of their times.

When it comes to the finest actors in the industry, the list begins with legends Kamal Haasan and Rajinkanth, continues with Vijay and Ajith, and has now reached Dhanush, Vijay Sethupathi, and others. Here we present the list of Best Actors in Tamil Cinema. Have a look...

Best Actors In Tamil Cinema – From Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth to Dhanush and Vijay Sethupathi

Kamal Haasan

Kamal Haasan in his upcoming film, Thug Life.
Kamal Haasan in his upcoming film, Thug Life.

The legendary actor, who began his acting career at 6 with Kalathoor Kannamma, established himself as one of the greatest actors in the world over the years. The extraordinary filmography that spreads across languages and the numerous impeccable performances made Kamal Haasan the ‘Ulaganayagan’ of Tamil cinema. As he completes the sixth decade of his acting career, the legend continues experimenting with all the aspects of his films.

Top 5 Kamal Haasan movies

  1. Nayakan
  2. Thevar Magan
  3. Michael Madana Kama Rajan
  4. Hey Ram
  5. Indian

Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth in Jailer
Rajinikanth in Jailer

The ultimate superstar of Tamil cinema is well known for his screen presence and impeccable style. However, Rajinikanth is also one of the finest actors in Tamil Cinema. The legend who made his acting debut with Apoorva Raagangal, astonished the cine-goers with many brilliant performances over decades. Even though the star status dominated his acting prowess for some time, Rajinikanth – the actor indeed made a grand comeback in films like Kabali and Jailer.

Top 5 Rajinikanth movies

  1. Thalapathi
  2. Thillu Mullu
  3. Padayappa
  4. Mullum Malarum
  5. Aarilirunthu Arubathu Varai

Thalapathy Vijay

Thalapathy Vijay in Leo
Thalapathy Vijay in Leo

The Thalapathy of Tamil cinema, born as Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar, made his acting debut at 10, with the film Vetri. Vijay made his debut as a leading man with the film Naalaiya Theeruppu. Before emerging as the biggest movie star of Tamil Cinema, the multi-faceted talent proved his mettle as an actor with many iconic films and excelled both in serious and humorous roles. After a long gap, Vijay’s acting prowess was explored well in the 2023-released blockbuster Leo.

Top 5 Thalapathy Vijay movies

  1. Thulladha Manamum Thullum
  2. Ghilli
  3. Pokkiri
  4. Nanban
  5. Leo

Ajith Kumar

Ajith Kumar in Yennai Arindhaal
Ajith Kumar in Yennai Arindhaal

Before emerging as the most stylish star in Tamil Cinema, there was a beautiful phase in actor Ajith Kumar’s career where he was well-known for his acting skills. The popular actor began his career in 1990 as a child artist in En Veedu En Kanavar and later made his debut as a leading man in 1993, with the movie Amaravathi. Ajith is one of the rare lead actors who has never shied away from playing grey-shaded roles.

Top 5 Ajith movies

  1. Vaalee
  2. Aasai
  3. Kadhal Kottai
  4. Mankatha
  5. Yennai Arindhaal

Chiyaan Vikram

Vikram in Ponniyin Selvan 2
Vikram in Ponniyin Selvan 2

The National award-winning actor, who started his acting career with Television serials, made his movie debut with En Kadhal Kanmani. After a series of supporting roles and failed solo films, Vikram had the biggest turning point of his acting career with the 1999-released film Sethu. With his unmatched passion for cinema and extraordinary dedication to his craft, Vikram eventually emerged as one of the best actors in Tamil cinema, as well as a bankable star.

Top 5 Vikram movies

  1. Sethu
  2. Pithamagan
  3. Anniyan
  4. Mahaan
  5. Ponniyin Selvan 2

Suriya

Suriya in Soorarai Pottru
Suriya in Soorarai Pottru

The celebrated actor made his acting debut with Nerukku Ner, at 22. However, Suriya had the first big break in his career after four years with Nandha. Thanks to his exceptional acting skills and some unique film choices, the National award-winner soon established himself as one of the top stars and best actors in Tamil cinema. After a prolonged low phase in his acting career, Suriya bounced back in 2020, with the OTT blockbuster Soorarai Pottru.

Top 5 Suriya movies

  1. Nandha
  2. Kaakha Kaakha
  3. Ghajini
  4. Vaaranam Aayiram
  5. Soorarai Pottru

R Madhavan

Madhavan in Irudhi Suttru
Madhavan in Irudhi Suttru

The celebrated actor, who began his acting career with Hindi television serials, made his Tamil Cinema debut in 2000 with the Mani Ratnam directorial Alaipayuthey. R Madhavan, who emerged as an overnight star, however, proved that he is not just a chocolate boy with his extraordinary filmography. He refused to restrict himself to mainstream roles and never shied away from experimenting with his films and characters, that too in all major Indian languages. Madhavan remains one of the Best Actors in Tamil Cinema, to date.

Top 5 Madhavan movies

  1. Alaipayuthey
  2. Kannathil Muthamittal
  3. Anbe Sivam
  4. Aayutha Ezhuthu
  5. Irudhi Suttru

Dhanush

Dhanush in Asuran
Dhanush in Asuran

The multiple National award-winner made his acting debut at 18, with the romantic thriller Kaadhal Kondein, which was helmed by his elder brother Selvaraghavan. After a series of unimpressive outings, Dhanush established himself as one of the finest actors in Tamil Cinema with gangster drama Pudhupettai. Along with his Tamil film career, the talented actor has also made in Telugu cinema, Bollywood, and Hollywood, with some notable roles.

Top 5 Dhanush movies to watch

  1. Pudhupettai
  2. Aadukalam
  3. Vada Chennai
  4. Asuran
  5. Thiruchitrambalam

Vijay Sethupathi

Vijay Sethupathi in Super Deluxe
Vijay Sethupathi in Super Deluxe

The supremely talented actor, who kickstarted his acting career with some insignificant roles, made his debut in lead roles with the Karthik Subbaraj directorial Pizza. Later, the National award-winning actor earned immense love from the audiences with many spectacular performances in many notable films. Vijay Sethupathi, who has been considered one of the Best Actors in Tamil Cinema, is now equally popular in Malayalam and Telugu film industries, as well as Bollywood.

Top 5 Vijay Sethupathi movies

  1. Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom
  2. Soodhu Kavvum
  3. Vikram Vedha
  4. ‘96
  5. Super Deluxe

Karthi

Karthi in Ponniyin Selvan 1
Karthi in Ponniyin Selvan 1

The talented actor kickstarted his career in movies as an assistant director to veteran filmmaker Mani Ratnam. However, he eventually made his acting debut with Aayutha Ezhuthu in a supporting role and later played the lead role in Ameer’s Paruthiveeran. Unlike his contemporaries, Karthi has always been extremely choosy about the films he picks. With his unique roles that still belong to the commercial cinema space, the actor established himself as one of the Best Actors in Tamil Cinema.

Top 5 Karthi movies

  1. Paruthiveeran
  2. Paiyaa
  3. Madras
  4. Kaithi
  5. Ponniyin Selvan 1

Silambarasan

Silambarasan in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya
Silambarasan in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya

Silambarasan TR, who is also known with his stage name Simbu, made his acting debut as a child artist in 1984. Later, he made his debut in lead roles with the 2002-released romantic thriller Kaadhal Azhivathillai in 2002. The multi-faceted talent made his directorial debut in 2006, with Vallavan. However, it is his appearance as Karthik, a struggling filmmaker in Gautham Vasudev Menon's Vinnaithaandi Varuvaaya, that established Silambarasan as a solid performer.

Top 5 Silambarasan movies

1. Vinnaithaadi Varuvaaya

3. Maanaadu

3. Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu 

4. Chekka Chivantha Vaanam

5. Manmadhan 

Sivakarthikeyan

Sivakarthikeyan in Doctor
Sivakarthikeyan in Doctor

The multi-faceted talent started his career as a mimicry artist and later participated in the Star Vijay show Kalakka Povathu Yaaru? which kickstarted his television career. Sivakartikeyan made his acting debut in 2012 with the acclaimed movie, Marina. Later, after a series of small films, the actor had the first big break in his career with Ethir Neechal. Even though he soon established himself as one of the most bankable stars in the Tamil film industry, it is Nelson's Doctor who established Sivakarthikeyan as one of the best actors in the industry.

Top 5 Sivakarthikeyan films

1. Doctor

2. Maaveeran

3. Don

4. Ethir Neechal

5. Varuthapadatha Vaalibar Sangam

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