The legendary Sivaji Ganesan may longer be with but his legacy continues to win us over even after so many years. Born October 1, 1928, Sivaji Ganesan had passed away on July 11, 2001 at the age of 72, but not before leaving a treasure-cove of great roles and films. One of his children, Prabhu is also one of the finest actors in the country, while his son Vikram Prabhu has already made his mark as an actor. Fans Remember Sivaji Ganesan On His Death Anniversary, Share Memorable Pics Of South Cinema’s Legend On Twitter.

Have predominantly acted in Tamil cinema, with few forays into Telugu and a couple of ventures in Malayalam cinema, Sivaji Ganesan had acted in about 288 films in all these languages. The kind of roles that he has taken and his versatility had not only won him admiration and praise, from just his peers and successors, but also gotten him a lot of awards. From National Film Award (Special Jury for Bharathan's Thevar Magan) to Dadasaheb Phalke award, he had some prestigious ones.

And even when it comes to awards, there are some firsts that only Sivaji Ganesan can claim stake on. Like, did you know he was the first Indian actor to be given an international award?

Yes, that happened in the year 1960, where he won the Best Actor in Asia–Africa Continent Award at the Afro-Asian Film Festival. This honour was conferred for his performance in the 1959 historical drama Veerapandiya Kattabomman, that was directed by BR Panthulu. Prabhu Birthday: Chinna Thambi, Guru Sishyan, Kaalapani – A Look At Late Actor Sivaji Ganesan’s Son’s Best Roles!

Playing the lead role of an 18th Century chieftain who fought against the East India Company, Sivaji Ganesan's performance won him a lot of accolades. Veerapandiya Kattabomman also had its premiere in London, an apt irony considering Britishers were the villains in the film. The movie went on to be a silver jubilee success in India, and even got  Special mention at the National Film Awards.

Watch a scene from Veerapandiya Kattabomman:

Veerapandiya Kattabomman also became the first Tamil film to earn international honours at 1960 Afro-Asian Film Festival, where Sivaji Ganesan won the Best Actor, cementing himself a golden place in Indian cinema.

That was not the only international first for the legend. In 1995, Sivaji Ganesan also became the first Indian actor to be conferred Chevalier by the National Order of the Legion of Honour of France. We can't help but agree with the New York Times article that called him the 'Marlon Brando of South India's film industry'. A legend in true sense!

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Oct 01, 2021 10:00 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website