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From humble beginnings to stardom it was a long road for Nassar.

To the film buffs in Tamil Nadu, Nassar is ruthless villainy personified on screen. He can be bracketed with the real time actors like Om Puri, Mammooty and Kamal Hassan, the elite breed who are many rungs above the run-of the mill actors, the also rans, that clutter Indian cinema. He has the courage of conviction as an actor, a born theatre man at that. When Nassar dons a particular role, a cop or a servant, a cutthroat or a terrorist, he sees to it that full justice is meted out to the assumed mask. Nassar can underplay a particular role and still steal the applause. He's an actor, producer, storywriter, director, lyric writer and a singer, all in one. 

Nassar the actor, sprung from very humble beginnings. His road to stardom was hard and arduous. Nassar was born on March 5, 1958, in an interior village called Naththam, in Chinglepet district, Tamilnadu. He was an indifferent student and bid goodbye to his P.U.C. studies, while he was half way through the course. The pull of fine art was something he could not resist. He just escaped to Chennai. On the basis of his past experience as drama writer and actor, he started seeking chances to act in films. But he didn't get any immediate openings. Hunger forced him to undergo unending sufferings. At one point, he got some employment in the catering department of Taj Coromandel Hotel, Chennai. 

Though Nassar later earned the status of a popular film actor, his father Mehaboob Pasha still continued his old profession of polishing age-old jewellery at a shop in Chengalpet bus terminus area. Nassar has one sister and three brothers. Nassar fell in love with Kameela, while he was in search of an acting chance. They are married and have three sons.

While he was trying for chances in cinema, he also wrote stories and poems and sent them to newspapers and magazines. Some of them were published.Nassar joined the Film Institute in Chennai, in the year 1982-83, and received his diploma in acting. Prior to this, he also underwent training in acting at the Acting Training Centre, affiliated to South Indian Film Chamber, Chennai. His strenuous efforts started bearing results when he was introduced as an actor in K. Balachander's film "Kalyana Agathigal". He entered film industry in the year 1985. He has acted in more than 190 films, which include Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and English language films. He also became popular in T.V. serials. 

The telefilm "Kaattuppookkal", directed by Mahendran, and the other one titled "Panagaadu", directed by Senathibathi elevated his popularity as an actor to higher levels. Other T.V. serials like "Neela Mala", "Chiththirappaavai", "Vaana Veethi" and "Avalukkentru Oru Idam" also earned him very good name. Nassar says that Mahendran is one of his favourites among film directors. In 1995, Nassar acted in and also directed the film "Avatharam". In 1997, he acted in as well as directed the film "Devathai". 

He has received 'Nandhi' award for his acting performance in the Telugu film, 'Chandy', directed by Ravi Raja Bini Shetty. Next, he has got Tamilnadu Government's 'Best Actor' award for his role in the film "Aavaaram Poo", directed by Bharathan. 

Compiled by U. Bharat.

Updated on 21 - 03 - 2001



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