R. Madhavan was born on 1st June, 1970, in Jamshedpur. Maddy, as he is popularly known, is conversant in English, Hindi and Tamil. He is married and has a son, Vedaant.He is a vegetarian, and is brand ambassador of PETA. In addition to PETA, he also supports Banyan, and AIDS eradication with Richard Gere.
Madhavan was a popular face in Indian television even before he made his debut in movies. He has acted in Hindi television serials like Saaya, Sea Hawks, Banegi Apni Baat and Ghar Jamai, of which Banegi Apni Baat and Ghar Jamai were cult soaps and turned Madhavan into a regular small-screen favourite. Some of the serials were also translated into Tamil. He has acted in over 1000 episodes.
His debut in movies came in the form of Shanti Shanti Shanti, a Kannada movie. He got his first big film break when Mani Ratnam introduced him in Kollywood through his film Alaipayuthey (2000), which is even now an all-time Madhavan favourite. His career graph showed an upward graph with his other Tamil movies Ennavale, Minnale, Dumm Dumm Dumm, Parthale Paravasam and more. He then acted in yet another Mani Ratnams film titled Kannathil Muthamittal - a critically acclaimed film. In the meantime, he also played a vital role in the Hindi movie Dil Vil Pyar Vyar.
His next venture was with Kamal Haasan in the movie Anbe Sivam, by Sundar C. This role fetched him the Filmfare award for a Tamil movie. Other films showcasing a range of roles were Priyamana Thozhi, Jay Jay and Aethiree.
Madhavan's tryst with Mani Ratnam continued with Aayitha Ezhuthu in 2004. Changing looks again, Priyasakhi showed him as a caring husband and father and was a hit overseas, being dubbed even in Swahili!
Then came CeeiTV's Thambi, which was a blockbuster, crossing 100 days at theatres.
Madhavan's biggest hit in the last couple of years came with Rang De Basanti, which was entered for the Oscars but did not get the coveted honour. Madhavan's role was a cameo but absolutely pivotal to the film. His next film, Guru, also brought him rave reviews as a sensitive reporter who marries the handicapped Vidya Balan. He has acted in over 30 films in Hindi and all south Indian languages.