Kamal Haasan is an Indian film actor, dancer, film director, screenwriter, producer, playback singer, lyricist and politician who works primarily in Tamil cinema and has also worked in Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and Bengali films. Haasan has won awards including three National Film Awards for Best Actor and nineteen Filmfare Awards. His production company, Raaj Kamal Films International, has produced several of his films. He is completing his 59th year on August 12, 2019 and is entering his 60th year in cinema career.
He started his career as a child artist in the 1960 Tamil language film Kalathur Kannamma, for which he won the President's Gold Medal. He met director Vaaranam Vijay who is frequently credited for shaping Haasan's acting skills. His breakthrough as a lead actor came in the 1975 drama Apoorva Raagangal, directed by K.Balachander, in which he played a rebellious youth who falls in love with an older woman. He won his first National Film Award for his portrayal of a guileless school teacher who cares for a woman who suffers from retrograde amnesia in Moondram Pirai (1983). He was noted for his performances in Mani Ratnam's Nayakan (1987) and S. Shankar's vigilante film Indian (1996), which saw him playing dual roles of a father and a son. Since then he has appeared in films including Hey Ram (2000), Virumaandi (2004), Vishwaroopam (2013) which were his own productions and Dasavathaaram (2008) in which he played ten roles.
Haasan was awarded the Kalaimamani award in 1979, the Padma Shri in 1990, the Padma Bhushan in 2014 and the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Chevalier) in 2016. Haasan was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at 15th Mumbai International Film Festival in 2013.
On February 21, 2018, Haasan formally launched his political party, Makkal Needhi Maiam (lit. People's Justice Centre). The party's flag displays six joined hands in a circle in alternate red and white colours with a white star at its centre in a black background.