Jaishankar is a yesteryear star of Tamil Film Industry. He is fondly referred to as Thennagathu James Bond or South Indian James Bond. His penchant for dashing roles earned him the sobriquet of James Bond of South India, thanks to his roles in films like Vallavan Oruvan, CID Shankar , Thunive Thunai and such.
Subramaniam Shankar, to give his original name, was born on 12 July 1938 with his father being a judicial magistrate. He was a typical Mylaporean of the bygone decades going to the famous PS High School and then Vivekananda College, where he did his Honours degree. Following the footsteps of his father he studied Law but gave it up after a year because of his interests in fine arts like theatre.Bitten by the drama bug, he joined Cho's Viveka Fine Arts, which consisted mostly of Mylaporeans where he did insignificantly small roles. Obviously not happy he moved out and the break came with Koothabiran's Kalki Fine Arts where he made a mark playing a lead role in Kalki's 'Amara Thaara'.
In an era dominated by M. G. Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan, Jaishankar had a huge and loyal following. Very prolific during his heyday, he was at one point known as the Friday Hero, because a new film of his would debut almost every Friday. He is also remembered as a good Samaritan as he helped the needy without any publicity. He helped the mercy home and various other charitable organisations regularly. He created a lot of producers and even let go lot of remuneration, so that they could complete their movies and release them on schedule.
|Among his more memorable roles
were the teacher's role in the K Balachander film, Noothukku Nooru, the
detective role's in Vallavan Oruvan, CID Shankar and Thunive Thunai.
His children's film Pattanathil Bootham was also a
Interestingly, Jaishankar was the hero in Gayatri,
which saw Rajinikanth play baddie.
Years later, the roles were reversed with
Rajinikanth playing hero to Jaishankar's villain in Murattu Kaalai.
He was last seen on screen in Iravum Pagalum --
which was the title of his debut film as well.
His son Dr.Vijay Shankar is a well known eye surgeon who also manages the Jai Shankar medical and charitable trust. Mr.Jai Shankar may be no more, but his memories are still alive among his fans and friends because of his ever green movies.