Bombay Gnanam

Bombay Gnanam

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Category: Art

Bombay Gnanam Profile

  • Name:
  • Bombay Gnanam
  • Other Name:
  • Gnanam Balasubramanian

Bombay Gnanam Biography

Bombay Gnanam is a noted film, television, and theatre actress associated with Tamil. She has acted in over 20 Tamil television serials including Premi and Kolangal and has appeared in a few films in character roles – Aahaa, Yai Nee Romba Azhaga Irukey, Nala Damayanthi, Oru Naal Oru Kanavu and Jigarthanda to name a few. She is a recipient of Kalaimamani in 2005, given by Tamil Nadu government for her outstanding contributions to Tamil theater and cinema. Balachander’s Premi was her debut television serial.


With determination and self-confidence Bombay Gnanam has carved a niche for herself in Tamil theatre and today a household name in Chennai. She is the founder of Mahalakshmi Ladies Drama Group and often enacts male characters. She is also a recipient of Nataka Choodamani award from the Krishna Gana Sabha. She had absolutely no formal training in acting, direction or playwriting. Yet people love to watch her and hear her voice, whenever she appears on television or stage. She is concentrated most on writing and directing plays, than acting. She took up writing and acting in plays as a challenge, though she doesn’t have any formal training in any. The scripts written by Gnanam mostly revolve round problems faced by women.


Her real name is Gnanam Balasubramanian. She got married at the age of 15 and became a mother at the age of 19. She had interest in theatre since her younger days. During 1980s while she stayed in Mumbai, then known by the name Bombay, she happened to read a comment by leading theatre artistes that there are no women in the field of Tamil drama to write plays or direct them.  That’s she took the challenge to write and direct plays and ‘Bombay’ tag got added to her name. She started Mahalakshmi Ladies Group and staged its first play at Bombay Sabha.

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Updated: January 18, 2016

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