| Karunanidhi Sethu|
2001 – present
| 21 February 1970 (age 45) (1970-02-21) Peravurani, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India|
Actor, comedian, musician
Vettiveru Vaasam, Salem Mambazhame
Darling, Ambasamudram Ambani, Ragalaipuram, Rajadhi Raja, Yaaradi Nee Mohini
Karunas (born 21 February 1970 as Karunanidhi Sethu) is an Indian actor, politician and comedian in the Tamil film industry. Appearing mostly in supporting roles, he has also played lead roles in films including Dindigul Sarathy (2008) and Ambasamudram Ambani (2008). Apart from acting, Karunas has also been credited in films as a producer, music composer and a singer, while he continues to serve as the Vice-President of the Nadigar Sangam, after being elected in October 2015.
Karunas was born as Karunanidhi in Tirunelveli Tamil Nadu, India. He did his schooling at Palangudi Bharathi School and later studied at Nandanam Arts, Presidency College. Karunas began his career as pop singer and dancer, working extensively on Tamil folk music. He then gradually appeared in films as a comedian.
Karunas began work as a gaana singer aged 12, earning the moniker "Gaana" Karunas, and made his television debut through Yuhi Sethu's Naiyaandi Darbar show in the late 1990s as a musician. Director Bala heard one of his songs and subsequently signed Karunas on for an acting role in his second directorial venture, the drama film Nandha (2001). He was cast as the comedian and his role as 'Lodukku' Pandi won him critical acclaim, prompting him to accept further film offers. He subsequently went on to appear in notable films including Baba (2002), Pithamagan (2003), Vasool Raja MBBS (2004) and Polladhavan (2007) in supporting comedy roles. Karunas has also distributed two films, Pori (2007) and Kattradhu Thamizh (2007), but the failure of both films has prompted him to stay away from distributing any further ventures.
Karunas first appeared in the lead role in the comedy drama, Dindigul Sarathy (2008), portraying an insecure man with an inferior complex. With heavy promotions by Sun Pictures, the film became a surprise success at the box office and prompted Karunas to appear in further lead roles in the comedy films Ambasamudram Ambani (2010), Chandhamama (2013), Ragalaipuram (2013) and Lodukku Pandi (2015). In between the films, he also trialled serious performances, and was briefly involved in the making of Thanga Meengal (2013) before it underwent a change of cast, while he won acclaim for his role in Santosh Sivan's war drama film, Ceylon (2014). His films as the lead hero, gradually had lower key promotions than the previous ones, and in 2015, Karunas announced he would not appear in any further lead roles. He subsequently made a return to starring supporting roles thereafter, winning critical acclaim for his performance of a suicidal man in Darling (2015) and as a villager in Komban (2015), which became his hundredth film. He subsequently changed his mind about not appearing in leading roles, and began work on the sequel to Dindigul Sarathy in September 2016.
He is the leader of "Mukkulathor PuliPadai", a state political party. He contested for the Tamil Nadu State Legislative Assembly from Thiruvadanai assembly in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election 2016 with AIADMK's Twin Leaf (Irratai Ilai) as his election symbol. He won it with a margin of over 10,000 votes.
On 25 February 2017, an unidentified person threw footwear at Karunas' car while out to garland a statue of freedom fighter U. Muthuramalingam Thevar. It is believed that the incident could be connected to his support of AIADMK leader V. K. Sasikala.
Karunas is married to Grace, a playback singer in the Tamil film industry. The pair had met when Karunas was the guest judge at an inter-collegiate singing competition, and after being impressed, Karunas asked her to sing in his personal music album.