He was awarded with 'Dato-ship' in Malaysia.
Radha Ravi was born on 29 July 1952 to the well-known actor M. R. Radha (Mohan Rajagopala Radhakrishnan Naidu) and Dhanalakshmiammal. He has one brother, M. R. R. Vasu, and three sisters: Rashya, Rani and Rathikala. Having started his career as a theatre artiste, he still associates himself with plays. He is a man with diverse interests. He played the role of Julius Caesar in a Tamil drama when he was in the ninth standard. During his New College days, both his friends, Jailani and Rafee helped him to pursue his passion for theatre. He performed for actor V. K. Ramasamy troupe, M. R. R. Vasu troupe, T. K. Chandran troupe and the UAA troupe. In 1980, he started his own troupe Nadikavel Theatres. His first time before the camera was for a Kannada film, Ragasiya Rathiri, produced by actor Bharathi's father for BNK Pictures in 1975. His first Tamil film was Manmathalelai, after Kamal Haasan recommended his name to K. Balachandar.
Director Ramanarayanan gave his career a boost while T. Rajender was instrumental in casting him as a villain in Uyurullavarai Usha. But it was actor S. S. Chandran who made him speak like his father in that film and made the world sit up and take notice. He later modified himself into one of the versatile character-actors Tamil industry has ever produced. He made notable performances in films like Vaidegi Kaathirunthal, Uyarntha Ullam, Chinna Thambi, Poo Veli, Uzhaipalli, Guru Sishyan, etc. He has acted in about 280 films in all the South Indian languages – four in Telugu, three in Kannada, three in Malayalam and the others in Tamil. He tried his hands in production with films like Thai Maasam Poo Vasam, Idhu Namma Bhoomi, Chinnamuthu and Ilaignar Ani and Ruthrathandavam. Apart from being a renowned actor, he is an eminent leader and a great personality in society. He heads the Lions Club of Chennai and holds the post of secretary in Nadigar Sangam, which he headed efficiently a few years ago. Years of working towards perfection in acting and being at the helm of everything due to his sense of responsibility has instilled tons of creativity and leadership qualities in him. He has worked in all the four South Indian languages and is still going strong with his versatile performance.
Radha Ravi became known for his vocal criticism of the actions of other film personalities. On a few occasions, he has spoken out against the actions of several artistes. He has also spoken out against larger organizations, such as the Film Employees Federation of South India. His comments were widely reported in the media and became controversial.
He criticised Asin Thottumkal on her visit to the war-ravaged island nation of Sri Lanka in 2010 for the filming of Ready. He was quoted as saying, "Sangam won’t spare actress Asin's recent visit to Sri Lanka to take part in the shooting of her upcoming Hindi film Ready opposite Salman Khan". However, Sarathkumar, president of the Nadigar Sangam, stated that "it’s the prerogative of the artiste to go to whichever country they wanted".
He faced controversy over his criticism against Academy Award-winner A. R. Rahman for being involved in more Bollywood productions and composing film scores in foreign studios, rather than in Tamil Nadu, saying, "I would like to make it clear that Rahman's debut was Roja and not Slumdog Millionaire. He was introduced by Kavithalaya Productions, a Tamil film production company. But today, he has declined to acknowledge it by giving priorities merely to Hindi films".
Between 1987 and 2015, Radha Ravi was heavily involved in the Nadigar Sangam. He served as President until 2002, when he was criticized for mismanagement and replaced by Vijayakanth. In 2006, he was appointed as the association's General Secretary, while his brother-in-law R. Sarathkumar became President. In 2015, Ravi and Sarathkumar were defeated in a historic election by Vishal and Nassar respectively after both were accused for being involved in a conflict of interest in the Nadigar Sangam building controversy. Radha Ravi was commonly accused of using unparliamentary language against actors.
In March 2017, Radha Ravi was involved in an controversy where he mocked the DMK's political rivals MDMK's Vaiko and PMK's S Ramadoss and compared them to differently-abled children. Kanimozhi accused him for his insensitive speech.Thiruvilayadal
Ranga Vilas (Jaya TV)