Top 10 Popular Actors in Tamil 2021

The Top 10 Popular Actors in Tamil Cinema in the year 2021 are listed out here. This list is based on the market, popularity and performance of their movies respectively in the particular 2021 year. This list includes the popular actors in Tamil cinema Super Star's Rajinikanth, Thalapathy's Vijay, Suriya, Dhanush, Sivakarthikeyan and more actors are here.

1 Rajinikanth – Annaatthe

Rajinikanth is one of the most influential and bankable movie stars in Indian cinema. Rajinikanth’s mass popularity and appeal is largely drawn from his mannerisms and stylized delivery of dialogue. He received India’s third highest honour, the Padma Bhushan, for his contribution to Indian cinema. Other than acting, Rajinikanth worked as a screenwriter, film producer and also a playback singer.

Rajinikanth was born as Shivaji Rao Gaekwad in a Marathi family in Karnataka, India. His ancestors are from the village of NachiKuppam in Krishnagiri district, Tamil Nadu. He was the fourth child of his parents, Jijabai and Ramojirao Gaekwad, a police constable.

He lost his mother at the age of eight. He did his schooling at the Acharya Paathshala in Basavanagudi, Bangalore, and then at the Vivekananda Balaka Sangha.

He married Latha Parthasarathy, sister of actor Y. G. Mahendran’s wife, on February 26, 1981, at the age of 31 in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, and they have two daughters named Aishwarya Rajinikanth and Soundarya Rajinikanth.


He joined the Madras Film institute in 1973 with the help of his friend Raj Bahadur, a fellow bus driver and completed a basic course in acting. In the film institute, he was helped by his Vice Principal A. Prabhakaran.

Rajinikanth has acted in a total 190 movies, which includes Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, English and Bengali films. Rajinikanth made a foray into Bollywood with Andha Kanoon, but did not make as much of an impact as he had in the south.

He still appeared in a few films in Hindi, such as in Chaalbaaz with Sridevi, Uttar Dakshan, Geraftaar and Hum. He made his Hollywood debut with the movie Bloodstone in 1988 with much fanfare in India at the time of its release. However, the movie failed in the United States.

Rajinikanth’s first film was in Tamil cinema, where he was initially cast in supporting roles, debuting as a cancer patient in Apoorva Raagangal in 1975. The film was directed by K. Balachander, who is constantly referred to by Rajinikanth as his own guru or mentor.

The following year, Rajinikanth acted in his first Kannada film, Katha Sangama, directed by Puttanna Kanagal. Though Rajinikanth refers to director K. Balachander as his guru or mentor, it was director S. P. Muthuraman who actually revamped Rajinikanth’s image entirely.

2 Vijay – Master

Vijay (aka) Joseph Vijay is a Tamil film actor and playback singer. He began his acting career doing many minor uncredited roles as a child artist in films produced by his father S. A. Chandrasekhar. Post-Thirumalai, he began portraying a stereotypical acting manner, much like Rajinikanth and M. G. Ramachandran. Vijay has more recently become a charismatic film star and has thus developed a large fan-following for himself. He is one of the highest paid actors in Tamil film industry, and he is referred to by fans and media as Thalapathy.
Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar was born on June 22, 1974, to film producer and director S. A. Chandrasekhar and Shoba Chandrasekhar, a playback singer. He had a sister named Vidhya Chandrasekhar who died at the age of two. The story of Vidhya Chandrasekhar was pictured in the film, Sukran. Vijay went on to do Visual Communications at Loyola College, Chennai & was classmates with fellow actor Surya Sivakumar, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Karthik Raja, and Vishnuvardhan.
He married the Sri Lankan Tamil, Sangeetha Sornalingam, on August 25, 1999. She was a die-hard fan of Vijay and sought interest in marrying him. They have two children, a son named Jason Sanjay, born on August 26, 2000 in London, and a daughter named Divya Saasha, born on September 9, 2005 in Chennai.
Vijay’s first role was in the drama, he continued to perform as a child artist in films until Ithu Engal Neethi, directed by his father S. A. Chandrasekhar. Vijay debuted as a lead role actor in the 1992 film Naalaya Theerpu, produced by his father, then he co-stared with Vijayakanth in the film Sendhoorapandi. This film helped Vijay to become popular in the interior areas of Tamil Nadu. He received his breakthrough in the film Poove Unakkaga, which was directed by Vikraman.
He made a friendly appearance in the 2012 Bollywood film Rowdy Rathore starring Akshay Kumar, directed by Prabhu Deva. As a playback singer, Vijay has sung over thirty songs in his films, he completes his 25 years in singing on 201

3 Suriya Sivakumar – Jai Bhim

Saravanan alias Suriya Sivakumar is popularly known as Suriya, who is an Indian actor in the Tamil film industry. He is well known for his versatile roles in various films. Surya’s father is the renowned veteran Tamil actor Sivakumar. He is the eldest of the three children – younger brother being the award-winning actor Karthik Sivakumar, and a younger sister named Brindha, who is married to an industrialist named Sivakumar.

Suriya went to the Prestigious St. Bede’s School in Chennai. He graduated from Loyola College with a B.Com and worked for a few years in the garment industry, before foraying into the film industry.

Suriya is married to Jyothika Saravanan, a popular Tamil actress. They are blessed with two children, a daughter named Diya and a son named Dev.


His debut film, Nerrukku Ner (1997) with Vijay was a big hit; but all his succeeding films did not do well. His first reasonable success was in the movie with Vijay, called Friends. But he did not get any big breaks and his career seemed to be stalled until director Bala approached him for a role in his next venture titled Nandha. This was his first solo hit and Suriya won his first Filmfare award for best actor for this movie.

Suriya’s next venture was with Vikraman in the movie Unnai Ninathu and the movie was able to record good collections. This was followed by Mounam Pesiyadhe, which also did decently well. Suriya’s second blockbuster was Kaakha Kaakha, a movie about the life of a police officer.

This movie raised the profile of Suriya tremendously and made him a huge star overnight. This was also the movie that fueled intense speculation of his relationship with fellow co-star Jyothika. This was partly due to the strength of the screen chemistry shared by both of them on screen. Also, Pithamagan alongside Vikram was a big hit, in which Surya was appreciated for playing a happy-go-lucky village guy and thus proving his skills as a comedian too.

In the movie Perazhagan, Suriya acted in two roles, one as a boxer and the other as a handicapped but a confident phone booth keeper. His role as the handicapped was praised by critics, and he received a Filmfare Award for Best Actor for his performance. His role in Aayitha Ezhuthu as a student leader was also favoured by the critics.

In 2005, Surya delivered more successful films in the form of Aaru and Ghajini – afterwards he set up a production company called Studio Green along with his cousin K.E.Gnavelraja. Ghajini was one of the most sensational hits of 2005, with Suriya playing a short-term memory loss patient, for which he even tonsured his head. The film was his third blockbuster and grossed over Rs.200 million at the box office. By then, trade began comparing him with long established actors like, Vikram next to Vijay and Ajith

Suriya’s 2006 release is Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. He acted opposite his real-life partner Jyothika in the film. The film was an average grosser. In 2007, Suriya’s solitary release was Vel, where he was paired with Asin Thottumkal. The film became a hit at the box-office. From here, he started doing movies for all A,B & C centre audiences.

In 2008, he appeared in Vaaranam Aayiram directed by Gautham Menon. He won several awards. Suriya played dual roles, of a son and a father, ranging from 17 to 75 years. His next film Ayan in 2009 was directed by K. V. Anand, which went on become the highest grosser of that year in Tamil Nadu. He played the role of a smuggler. His next release was Aadhavan directed by K. S. Ravikumar. In 2010, he had his 25th release with Singam, directed by Hari, in which he played the role of a police officer.

He made his Bollywood debut in Ram Gopal Varma’s two-part political drama Rakta Charitra.

Suriya was named as the official host of the new game show to be presented on STAR Vijay, Neengalum Vellalam Oru Kodi, the Tamil version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, which began airing on 27 February 2012 and ended on 12 July. His next film was Singam II, a sequel to his 2010 film Singam, that got released on July 5, 2013.

The film received positive response from critics and had a huge opening. Suriya was once again acclaimed for his portrayal of Durai Singam and his performance was hailed as “the film’s backbone”.


Suriya has been the ambassador for TVS Motor, Aircel and Sunfeast since 2006. He has endorsed Saravana Stores, Bharathi Cements and Emami Navaratna products since 2010. In 2011, he had signed a new deal with Nescafé, Zandu Balm and with Close-Up (toothpaste) brand as of May 2011. As of 2012, Suriya had endorsed the leading jewellery group, Malabar Gold.

Other Works

In 2008, Suriya began the Agaram Foundation, working to help children who drop out of school early in Tamil Nadu. With the Ministry of Education in Tamil Nadu, he created a short commercial video outlining child poverty, labour and lack of education, titled Herova? Zerova?. The film was written and produced by Sivakumar and also starred Joseph Vijay, R. Madhavan and Jyothika.

Agaram has sponsored 159 underprivileged students in 2010 for their higher education in various disciplines. With the firm belief that the educated mind can not only eliminate social evils but also aid in the socio-economic upbringing of the society, Agaram Foundation works towards providing appropriate learning opportunities to the rural populace who do not otherwise have access to quality education.

Suriya, along with his father and brother, has also extended help towards the education of Sri Lankan Tamil children on behalf of the Sivakumar Charitable Trust. He is also an active participant in other philanthropic works such as “Save The Tigers” campaign, which aids in the protection and preservation of Tigers in India, and “REACH”, a non-profit organisation that cures TB patients for free using supervised medication programs. The actor celebrates every birthday by doing charity work across Tamil Nadu.

4 Silambarasan – Maanaadu

Silambarasan TR (aka) Simbu is an Indian Tamil film actor, director, lyricist & playback singer. He is the son of actor, director & politician Vijaya T. Rajendar and former actress Usha Rajendar. He is the eldest son in the family, he has a younger brother named Kuralarasan and a younger sister named Ilakkiya. He began his career as a child artist in films produced by his father.


His first movie in a lead role is Kadhal Azhivathillai in 2002, which was directed by his father. In 2003, his movie Alai movie released, which was a disaster at the box office. Then Dhum, which is a Telugu remake and Kuthu with Divya Spandana were released, which made average business at the box office. Later, he did Kovil with director Hari that reached well in the C centre and did a very good business.

He reached places for his acting & excellent story narration work in Manmadhan in 2004. Yuvan Shankar Raja composed music for Manmadhan, and from there on, they both started sharing a very good rapport. Once again, he shared the screen space with Jyothika in Saravana after Manmadhan, which was the Telugu remake. He played a  gangster’s role in Thotti Jaya with some romance, but it failed at the box office badly.

He turned as the director for his next movie Vallavan, he took a long time to direct it. In the meanwhile, there was also a controversy of his with Nayantara. It was speculated that they both were in love for a few months and split up later in the same year. Vallavan received mixed reviews and turned out to be an average grosser.

In 2008, his movie Kaalai released and once again, he failed to fulfill the audience’s expectation. His next movie Silambattam was with Sneha and got some good openings & did an above-average business at the box office. He also gave the voice for the dubbing of Slumdog Millionaire in Tamil.

In 2009, he started his 25th film Vinnaithandi Varuvaya with Gautham Menon. It released on Feb 2010 and became a big blockbuster. Silambarasan has cleared out the image that he is not only a commercial hero but also a good performer. He won many awards for the film. 

5 Dhanush – Karnan

Dhanush is a Tamil film actor born on 28th July 1984. His name by birth is Venkatesh Prabhu. He is the son of director Kasthuri Raja and younger brother of director Selvaraghavan. He completed his Higher Secondary and entered into the cine field due to his brother’s compulsion. 
He married Aishwarya Rajinikanth on 18th Nov, 2004. He has two sons named Yathra and Linga. Also, Dhanush has two elder sisters who are doctors.


Dhanush debuted in the film Thulluvadho Ilamai under the direction of his father Kasthuri Raja. The film became a big hit all over Tamil Nadu. Then, Dhanush was handled by his brother Selvaraghavan for Kadhal Konden, it was Selva’s debut movie and it earned big fame for Dhanush.

Next, Thiruda Thirudi a commercial movie also became a blockbuster. Then, came his first failure Pudhukottaiyilirindhu Saravanan which was directed by Stanley. Then, Sullan movie also fell in the same category due to his poor physique and both these action movies flopped.

Again, he teamed up with his brother for Pudhupettai. Dhanush played the role of a gangster, his body language & acting earned him many fans but the movie did only an average run at the box office. Then, he tasted the success after 3 years with the commercial hit of Thiruvilayadal Arambam. The movie showed the love story of a poor guy and rich girl in a comic sense.

Parattai Engira Azhagu Sundaram released and it became a big disaster in his career. It was a remake of the Kannada movie Jogi. Then came Polladhavan during Deepvali, directed by a debutant Vetrimaran, which became a hit.

He also appeared in a cameo role, for his father-in-law Rajinikanth’s venture Kuselan. For the second time, he worked with Vetrimaran and the movie gained positive reviews. Dhanush won the Best actor award in 2011 in the 58th National Awards for the movie Aadukalam.

The movie 3 was directed by his wife, Aishwarya Rajinikanth. The movie became a commercial success and his “Why this Kolaveri Di” Song became a big hit on YouTube, which got him his Hindi debut movie Ranjhanaa. For the first time, he acted in A R Rahman’s music Mariyaan, a film by Bharath Bala.

Other Works

Dhanush occasionally works as a playback singer and lyricist as well, generally in his own films. He was introduced as a playback singer in Pudhukottaiyilirundhu Saravanan by its composer Yuvan Shankar Raja and collaborated again with him in his brother Selvaraghavan’s directorial, Pudhupettai. He sung further numbers in Selvaraghavan’s films Aayirathil Oruvan and Mayakkam Enna.

His biggest success became the song “Why this Kolaveri Di” from his film 3, directed by his wife. The song became viral on the internet and gained an overwhelming response, fetching Dhanush nationwide fame. He had also sung another song “Kannazhaga” from the same film with his co-star Shruti Haasan.

He was nominated to become the brand ambassador of PETA with the title of India’s Hottest Vegetarian Celebrity of 2011. Dhanush joined hands with WWF India to support Earth Hour 2012.

He also started his own production banner named WUNDER BAR.

6 Sivakarthikeyan – Doctor

Sivakarthikeyan is an South Indian film actor, playback singer and producer best known for his Tamil movie. He began his media career as a participant on Vijay TV’s “Kalakka Povathu Yaaru”, a comedy reality show, and he win title of “Kalakka Povadhu Yaarru”. 
After this the channel shows him as the regular presenter for their regular shows upon witnessing his sense of humor. He has hosted a number of shows on Vijay TV, including the third and fifth seasons of Jodi No. 1, Adhu Idhu Edhu, Boys vs. Girls and Super Singer Junior while also conducting special film-promotional interviews. 
He made his acting debut in Marina (2012), 3 (2012), and Manam Kothi Paravai (2012). He went on to performing lead roles in other acclaimed films, such as Ethir Neechal (2013), Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam (2013), Maan Karate (2014).

7 Arya – Sarpatta

Jamshad Cethirakath, known by his stage name Arya, is an Indian film actor and producer, who mainly appears in Tamil films besides appearing in a number of Malayalam productions. Arya is an Indian Tamil film actor born as Jamshad Cethirakath on 11 Dec, 1980.  Arya was born in Trikarpur, Kerala, into a Malayali Tamil family. His younger brother Sathya also is an actor. He did his schooling at SBOA, Chennai, and completed his graduation from Crescent Engineering College, Chennai.
Arya has won the Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut – South and received two nominations each for Filmfare Awards and Vijay Awards.
Family Arya was born in Trikaripur, Kerala in 1980. He did his schooling in Chennai and then graduated with an engineering degree from Crescent Engineering College in Vandalur, Chennai. 
His younger brother Sathya has also appeared in Tamil films. Arya married his Gajinikanth movie co-star actress Sayyeshaa on 10 March 2019.
Arya started off as a computer engineer, his passion for filming brought him to modelling before debuting in Jeeva’s Ullam Ketkumae, which also marked the debut of Asin Thottumkal and Pooja Umashankar. The film also starred Laila and Shaam, but the film was delayed only releasing after Arinthum Ariyamalum.

In Arinthum Ariyamalum, Arya played as son to Prakash Raj in a critically acclaimed role, which won him the Filmfare Best Debut Award South and Best New Male Face Award at the Filmfare Awards. Arinthum Ariyamalum and Ullam Ketkumae both made it large at the box office.

Oru Kalluriyin Kathai also made it big at the box office and Arya was touted as the next pin-up boy of Kollywood. His next, Kalabha Kadhalan was an average grosser in Kollywood, as it shared a striking resemblance with the Kollywood’s all-time best thriller, Vaali. Pattiyal with Bharath broke records in B and C centres all over Tamil Nadu. He played the role of a rogue in the film.

In Aug 2015, Arya’s 25th film Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga directed by Boss Engira Bhaskaran fame Rajesh produced by this home banner The Show People got released and met with positive response at the box office.  Arya has more interest on cycling, he participated in the Vätternrundan Motala cycle race and won a medal

8 Vijay Sethupathi – Master

Vijay Sethupathi is an South Indian film actor, who has worked predominantly in Tamil movie industry. He was working as a background actor and playing minor supporting roles for over five years, before playing his first lead role in Seenu Ramasamy’s Thenmerku Paruvakaatru. He went on to star in Pizza and Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom, both of which emerged successful and turned Vijay Sethupathi into a popular name in Tamil cinema.
Sethupathi was born in Rajapalayam, Virudhunagar district and did his education in Chennai. He graduated with a B.Com degree, following which he worked for three years as an accountant in Dubai, UAE. Unhappy with his job, he returned to India in 2003 and he himself motivated to pursue an acting career. He started acting in several short films as part of the television show Nalaya Iyakunar for Kalaignar TV.
He worked with Karthik Subbaraj on many short films, who would later cast him in his first feature film, and won the Best Actor award for one his films at the Norway Tamil Film Festival short film competition.
Sethupathi landed his first lead role in Ramasamy’s drama film Thenmerku Paruvakaatru (2011), in which he portrayed a shepherd. Although initial reviews were mixed, the film went on to win three National Film Awards including the prize for the Best Tamil Feature Film of that year. He was first seen in a negative role in Sundarapandian which featured Sasikumar in the lead role, and then essayed the lead roles in the directorial debuts of Karthik Subbaraj and Balaji Tharaneetharan, the thriller movie Pizza and the comedy entertainer Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom, respectively.

9 Vijay Antony – Kodiyil Oruvan

Vijay Antony is an Indian music composer, playback singer, producer and actor. Initially, he worked as a sound engineer and later became a music director. Antony, who joined Loyola College in 1998, started, after finishing college, his own studio named ‘Audiophiles’, where he first did sound engineering and later composed jingles for TV and documentaries.

It was then when Aascar Ravichandran approached Antony to compose music for the film Dishyum and he eventually entered the Tamil film industry. However, the soundtrack of the film Sukran, directed by S. A. Chandrasekhar, was released first and became his debut album.

Subsequently other directors, too, gave him the opportunity to compose for their films. He is the “most sought after” (Next to A.R. Rahman) music director after his great hits in Tamil movies like “Naaku Mukka” in Kadhalil Vizhunthen and “Aathichudi” from TN 07 AL 4777, which tremendously increased his fame.

Vijay Anthony has also given music to Kannada movie Budhivanta starring Upendra, which was actually a remake of the Tamil film Naan Avanillai.

As a music director, Vijay also holds the credit of winning the 2009 Cannes Golden Lion for the ‘nakka mukka’ commercial (for Times of India) in the Best of Music category.

He was accused of plagiarism for the song “Unakena Naan” from the film Kadhalil Vizhunthen, although the CD mentions that the song’s composer is the director himself.

His debut as an actor was in the Tamil movie Naan. He is the first music director to venture out as an actor.

10 Karthi – Sulthan

Karthik Sivakumar (Karthi) is an Indian Tamil film actor, famously called as Karthi. He is the Son of actor Sivakumar and younger brother of actor Surya Sivakumar. He born in Chennai on 25 May 1977.He did his schoolings at St. Bede’s Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School, he completed his graduation in Mechanical Engineering from Crescent Engineering College, Chennai. Later, he studied Industrial Engineering from Binghamton University in New York. He also worked as an graphic designer.

Karthi is married to Ranjani (daughter of Chinna Saamy) on July 3, 2011 at coimbatore.


He worked with director Mani Ratnam as an Assistant director for the film Aayutha Ezhuthu but earlier mani ratnam offered him a role in the same film but karthi rejects it and he continued as an assistant. In 2006, director Ameer approached karthi to play a lead role in his third film Paruthiveeran. After receiving few suggestions from his father & brother, karthi starts his acting career with Ameer for Paruthiveeran.

Paruthiveeran released in 2007, and it becomes a blockbuster. Karthi earned many awards like Filmfare Best Debut & Best Actor. Then he did a movie Aayirathil Oruvan with Selvaraghvan, its a fantasy movie so it took some time to get release mean while he also acted in a romantic movie Payya with Lingusamy. Both released in 2010 and went on to become hugely successful at the box office.

In the same year, his Naan Mahaan Alla directed by Suseendran released and received some mixed reviews but it did’nt fail in Box office. All his movies subsequently dubbed into telugu and commercialy got succeeded. His next venture Siruthai which is an Telugu remake of Vikramakoodu released for pongal 2011. 

He potrayed a dual role for first time, a rowdy & strict police officer and it becomes a huge hit in C centres because of the commercial aspects in the movie.

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