He was born on July 14th, in Delhi, his traditional abode being a small village called 'Thalakkavoor', near Karaikkudi, south Tamilnadu. His father Mu.Ramanathan was working in All India Radio and in Press Trust of India (P.T.I.).
Ramanathan was also for sometime a practising advocate in Chennai High Court. Sarath was the 3rd son of Ramanathan-Leelavathy couple. From his childhood days onwards he was a staunch fan of cine hero M.G.R. After having finished his Degree course (Maths) in Chennai, New College, Sarath started thinking about his entry into cinefield. He started his cinema career first as a producer. He produced "Kan Simittum Neram" and "Mister Karthik". He acted in the role of a police officer in "Kan Simittum Neram". But before all that, with the cinema name 'Kamalkanth' he first tried his level best to become an actor in cinema and contacted so many film companies but all in vain! Yet he didn't give up his efforts and did not move away from his set goal and ambition to achieve a distinct place for him in the cinema world!
After a great struggle for a long period, he got a different sort of role in the film "Pulan Visaaranai"! In the climax scene of that film, he clashed with Vijayakanth, exhibiting his enviable body build-up and physical valour and thus making the audience exclaim in a much-excited, felicitous tone 'Who this artist is?' When Vijayakanth and Sarath Kumar were actually acting in this scene, both of them were said to have effected an unwritten agreement between themselves---ie. in order to make the fight look realistic, they agreed to really exchange blows at each other in between the course of the long scene. The scene was shot in a specially created set. And they really clashed too! The net result was on the expected line when the film got released. This scene well registered the appearance and get-up of Sarath in the mind's eye of the audience!
Next, after some time, came the film "Suryan". In this Sarath acted with really shaven, and complete baldness of head. He had had willingly removed his total head hair for that role's sake! After this film's terrific success, Sarath's popularity among audience rose to the peak level. So many other films afterwards like "Kattabomman", "Cheran Pandian" and "Naattaamai" earned very great and unique popularity for him among women audience. The film "Surya Vamsam" that came to screen in 1997, created records in revenue collection throughout Tamilnadu.
Sarath Kumar has so far acted in more than 75 films. The way he acts in films in such special roles as well-wishing, good-hearted, public-minded person rendering social service, later came to be materialised in his real life also. Those cinematic concepts are put into reality in actual life.i.e. he has established in real life a trust in the name of his father and through it he is rendering monetory help to the poor for education and is also lending economic help to the needy for medical treatment. Sarath is interested in sports activities and hence has created a separate club for promoting sports.
He has established a hospital in Coimbatore. It has modern amenities and equipments. He has provided facilities for giving free medical treatment for the poor people.
As he does in cinema, in real life too he couldn't bear with social injustices which he wants to eradicate by all means. He also has entered into politics in real life. In 1996 general elections he worked for the D.M.K. - T.M.C. alliance and toured the entire state for it's victory. In the last Parliamentary elections he himself contested as a D.M.K. Parliamentary candidate in Nellai constituency, Tamilnadu but lost his winning chance by a small margin of votes!
When asked, why did he enter into politics so suddenly, he replied that he didn't enter politics suddenly, but it happened as early as when he first got voting right in election! "Moreover, my uncle K.P.K. (K.P.Kandasamy) had been in politics. He also served as Minister in the state. So I have already got a political tradition." So replied Sarath.
M.G.R.'s films had minimum guarantee, they say. Like that Sarath's films also have minimum guarantee.
Sarath Kumar, who in a very short period has accomplished the great achievement of collecting very huge revenue for his films, has also earned a very special place in the hearts of the audience! We could certainly expect that in future also he would definitely continue to give so many great super-hits and they in turn would create new records in revenue collections!
(To be continued).