Marudur Gopala Chakrapani was born on January 13, 1911. He is popularly known as Yettan or M.G. Chakrapani. He was born in Kerala (earlier known as the Kingdom of Cochin) in Vadavannur. Gopala Menon and Sathyabhama were his parents. His father was a Judge in Kandy. They first called him as Neelakantan. But due to his father’s spiritual beliefs, they changed as Chakrapani. Chakrapani’s family shifted to Ceylon after he was born. In Ceylon his younger brother M.G. Ramachandran and his younger sister were born.
His father died early. His sister also died in Ceylon. So, his mother Sathyabama moved to Kumbakonam to be near her brother. Chakrapani went to Yanaiadi school but dropped at seventh grade. Sathyabama then joined both in MOBC (Madurai Original Boys Company). It was a Professional Tamil Theatre Company. Chakrapani did not shine there but Ramachandran created success. In 1936 Chakrapani acted in his first Tamil film IruSahodarargal. He then acted in the films TamizhariyumPerumal and
Maya Machindra. He was identified as a character actor. In 1944 he acted in the film Mahamaya which was a quantum leap in his career. He played the role of Neelan in that film.
The character was designed after Kautilya, The Indian Philosopher. But the movie Mahamaya was a huge loss. But Chakrapani’s acting was spoken by everyone. After a gap of 15 years, he then acted a powerful role in the film ThaaiMagalukuKattiyaThaali. He played the role of an antagonist in the film. That was a big success for Chakrapani. Later he transformed into a director from an actor. He also became a producer and looked after his brother’s progress. He worked in a lot of projects with his brother M.G. Ramachandran. But they weren’t successful and everything turned a failure. Bhavani is a film in this category. It was directed by Masthan and written by A.K. Velan.
M.G. Ramachandran played the lead role and Chakrapani was the producer. After many years Chakrapani directed the film ArasaKattalai. It was a huge hit. Chakrapani has acted in a lot of films. He acted as a minister in Raja Mukthi and as a Tribal Chief in Ponmudi. He enacted as M.G. R’s uncle in EnThangai. He was featured in the role of a Police Inspector in Malaikallan. He played as Nawab of Arcot in
Raja Desingu. He was also starred as M.G. R’s father in IdhayaVeenai.
His other films include Sri Murugan, VanaSundari, Naama, Kalyani, NaalaiNamadhe, NetruIndruNaalai and lots more. Chakrapani died at the age of 75 on August 17, 1986. He was living with Meenakshi Chakrapani, his second wife at his death. He had ten children which include three daughters and seven sons.