Manobala, also known as Balachander, was a beloved Indian artist who excelled in a variety of creative fields, including acting, production, direction, comedy, and YouTube content creation. He was a prominent figure in Tamil cinema and was widely regarded for his exceptional talent.
Born on December 8th, 1953, in Marungur, Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India, Manobala had a remarkable career in the entertainment industry. He was a versatile performer who left an indelible mark on Tamil-language films.
Sadly, Manobala passed away on May 3rd, 2023, in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, at the age of 69 due to liver complications.  Despite his untimely demise, his legacy as a brilliant artist and entertainer lives on.
Manobala, also known as Balachander, was a popular Indian film personality who made significant contributions as an actor, producer, film director, comedian, and YouTuber. He was best known for his work in Tamil cinema.
Manobala’s career in the Tamil film industry began in the early 1970s when he started working as an assistant director on Bharathiraja’s 1979 film, Puthiya Vaarpugal, with the assistance of Kamal Haasan. 
Although his directorial debut with Agaya Gangai (1982) wasn’t a box office success, his second directorial venture, Pillai Nila (1985), became a hit, establishing him as a director.
Manobala directed several critically acclaimed and commercially successful films like Oorkavalan (1987), En Purushanthaan Enakku Mattumthaan (1989), and Dhoorathu Pachai (1987). He often collaborated with leading actors of his generation, including Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, and Karthik.
Career as an Actor
Manobala’s focus shifted from directing to acting over time. He featured in over 700 films, mostly in supporting roles, often sharing screens with other renowned comedians like Vadivelu and Vivek. His unique body language, dialogue delivery, and intonation became his trademark.
Manobala is popularly known for his comedic roles in various blockbuster movies such as Ice, Nanban, Chandramukhi, Pithamagan, Thamizh Padam, Kavalai Vendam, Kalakalappu, Siruthai, Alex Pandian, Aranmanai, Aambala, and Yaaradi Nee Mohini.
In 2014, he made his debut as a film producer with the movie Sathuranga Vettai, directed by H. Vinoth, which received the Best Debut Film Producer award at the South Indian International Movie Awards.
Manobala was a versatile artist who had his fingers in multiple pies. In addition to his success in the film industry, he launched his own YouTube channel called ‘Waste Paper,’ where he interviewed a range of directors and actors.
He was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Southwestern American University in 2022 in recognition of his contributions to the film industry.
Manobala’s achievements did not go unnoticed, and he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Global Achievers Council. His talent and versatility were not limited to film alone, and he appeared as a contestant on the popular reality TV show Cooku with Comali in 2022.
Manobala’s contribution to the Tamil film industry is irreplaceable. His comic timing and sense of humor were unmatched, making him one of the most adored comedians in South Indian cinema.
Throughout his career, he directed 24 films and acted in over 700, leaving an indelible mark on Tamil cinema. His exceptional performances will always be remembered, and his contribution to the industry will never be forgotten.
Manobala was a married man and had one child with his wife, Usha Mahadevan. During the peak of his career as a film director, he was a heavy smoker. In January 2023, he underwent angio treatment after experiencing chest pain.
Manobala was an iconic personality in the Tamil film industry who left an indelible mark as an actor, director, producer, and YouTuber. His unique sense of humor and remarkable performances made him a legend in his field.
His contribution to Tamil cinema is unparalleled and he will always be remembered as one of the most talented and beloved personalities in the industry.
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