Poornam Viswanathan (Tamil: பூர்ணம் விஸ்வநாதன்) (1921 - 2008) was a theater artist and film actor in the Tamil film industry. He started performing on stage at age 18. He worked as a reader for All India Radio. He acted in movies such as Chithram, Varusham 16, Thillu Mullu, Keladi Kanmani, Moondram Pirai, Aasai, Mahanadi' and Varumaiyin Niram Sivappu. He has a son and two daughters. Viswanathan died on 1 October 2008.
Mr. Viswanathan was known for his remarkable performances in Tamil theatre and films. In every role he played, he paid great attention to dialogue delivery and body language.
He started performing on stage when he was 18. He later moved to New Delhi for a few years, where he was part of the ‘South Indian Troupe,’ with renowned critic Subbudu. Viswanathan, who worked as news reader at All India Radio, deemed it a matter of great pride to have announced the news of India, obtaining independence in the first news bulletin broadcast on 15 August 1947.
He was transferred to Chennai in 1964. His portrayal of roles in plays scripted by Marina, such as Thanikuduthanam, Oor Vambu and Kaal Kattu, won him great acclaim. His powerful portrayal of characters in plays such as Kadavul Vandirundar, Adimaigal and Oonja were similarly hailed by audiences. His passion for theatre inspired him to start a troupe of his own, called Poornam New Theatres.
He served the Press Information Bureau in Chennai as assistant information officer and later served as editor of Thittam and senior correspondent of Yojana, magazines brought out by the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry. He penned several plays and short stories. He was very interested in the fine arts and was often spotted at sabhas during the December music festival.
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