M.G. Chakrapani, who is remembered on his birth centenary, played many memorable roles.
He had the talent to hit big time and enter the glittering league. But stardom and success, which he richly deserved, somehow eluded him in spite of his fairly long career in Tamil Cinema. One reason was his younger brother happened to be the iconic M.G. Ramachandran.
Marudur Gopala Chakrapani, affectionately known as ‘Yettan' (elder brother in Malayalam), was in his own way popular and left behind interesting performances in Tamil cinema of the 1940s and the following decades - which are remembered to this day.
Chakrapani was born in Vadavanur, Kerala, on January 13, 1911, to Gopala Menon and Sathyabhama. Initially, he was named ‘Neelakantan,' but because his father was a staunch ‘Vaishnavaite' he was renamed Chakrapani. The family migrated to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) where Gopala Menon became a magistrate in Kandy (where MGR was born). However there were problems in the family and he passed away early leaving his wife, two sons and a daughter virtually penniless in a strange land. The daughter also died young. The mother and her two young sons returned to India and relocated to Kumbakonam where Sathyabhama had a brother. Life was so harsh that it affected the education of the two brothers. Chakrapani studied up to the seventh standard in Yanaiadi School (Kumbakonam), while MGR had to drop out of school even earlier. Left with no option, the mother entered them into professional Tamil theatre in a ‘Boys' drama company. It was a popular, cultural movement at that period, thanks to its founder, Sankaradas Swamigal. At one time there were around 300 Tamil drama companies and the two brothers joined the most famous of them – the ‘Madurai Original Boys' Company (MOBC).
Article From : RANDOR GUY (Hindu News Paper)