Nagesh (Tamil: நாகேஷ்) (born C. Krishna Rao Gundu Rao; 27 September 1933 – 31 January 2009), was a Tamil film actor, mostly remembered for his roles as a comedian during the 1960s. He is regarded as one of the most prolific comedians in Tamil cinema.
Nagesh was born in a Kannada family from Dharapuram, Erode. He was educated in Madras and worked as a clerk in the Indian Railways before entering Tamil film industry. He acted in over 1,000 Indian films from 1958 to 2008, performing in variety of roles as comedian, lead roles, supporting actor and antagonist. He died on 31 January 2009.
In a stark contrast to the comic roles he performed, Nagesh's personal life was wrought with suffering. After losing his father at an early age, Nagesh had to endure a weak financial situation and family ostracism which plagued him throughout his life. The film Server Sundaram, a rags to riches story in which Nagesh plays the lead role, is believed to be roughly based on the real life story of the actor.
Despite being primarily a comedian, Nagesh was rated highly as a character actor by his peers. Nagesh's style of comedy was largely inspired by Hollywood actor Jerry Lewis. Similarities between Nagesh and Lewis earned Nagesh the sobriquet "Jerry Lewis of India".
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