In the midst of men of good looks,fine physique and individual acting merits, there came a handsome new comer, looking a bit small in structure and boyish in appearance. No one could erase from their memory, the scene in 'Uyarndha Manidhan' of a young, timid, boyish man being sent out of a huge bungalow on charges of theft and the pitiable voice talking to the spirit of his dead mother, asking her 'they all say I am a thief.Am I a thief ma?' that voice can be heard echoing even now. It was with the same look,but with a recalcitrant mood, did he appear in movies like 'Kannipen' and 'Kavalkaran' raising his voice to be heard now and then.Besides 'Kaavalkaaran' his other M.G.R.film was 'Idhaya Veenai'.One could always notice a kind of shivering in his voice that carried a vibration effect promoting felicity to his dialogue delivery.Those were the starting days of Sivakumar,the ever sweet actor who had his footing in Tamil Cinema through his debut film Kaakkum Karangal.His other budding films were 'Motor Sundaram Pillai' and 'Panamaa Paasamaa'
From that stage, Sivakumar grew by leaps and bounds. He made his passion for acting, as well as his genuine love and admiration for the thespian colossus Siviji Ganesan, well known to all.His growth range as an actor, can be measured in true terms by watching his performance between the two great Balachander movies 'Sollathan Ninaikiren' and 'Sindhu Bairavi' with a time gap of about a decade or so..In the former,as a charming and decent youth ,being loved by all the three daughters of his landlord and himself loving the youngest of the three,and ultimately all the three marrying other men, he accepts the disappointment with dignity and a sense of stoic resignation.The failure of not having revealed his love is surpassed by an exalted feeling of fulfillment to see the happiness of the family that he loved and respected most.
In the latter, as a carnatic music icon, poignantly does he portray the shades of pride, ego and dignity of the character.Caught in between two women, one his wife, who knows his needs and the other who adores his talent, he excellently brings out the plight and predicament of the role he adorns. Thanks to Balachander's thoughtful supervision, and Sivakumar's dedication,the character of the great singer reached the intended levels of delineation. The movie 'Sindu Bairavi',thus became a clear pointer to Sivakumar's progress as an actor of great value.
Sivakumar has always remained a hero without sound and fury but has made a lot of sense by his natural gift of sweetness and refinement From moderate roles to meaty characters his growth has been stable and steady.His movies like 'Ponnukku Thanga Manasu' Annakkili', Badrakali' 'Vandi chakkaram', 'Enipadigal''Pudhu Vellam' 'Paadha Poojai','Vellikizhamai Viradham', 'Aatuukkaara Alamelu' 'Rosaappu Ravikakari' 'Chittukkuruvi' 'Oru Vellaadu Vengaiyaagiradhu'Theerpugal Thiruthapadalaam' 'Manidhanin Marupakkam/'Thandikkappatta Nyaangal' 'Paasa Paravaigal'[from Kalagnar's Pen] and 'Pasumpon' again with Sivaji .Sivakumar was in a compact frame as the local bigwig subject to police surveillance but free from any kind of criminality in P.Vasu's 'Malabar Police.' All these films become a long list of milestones, he reached in his acting career through a slow and steady race.
Sivakumar had a stint with the Motherland Pictures for its films 'Naan Paadum Paadal' and 'Unnai Naan Sandhithen'.He was the favoutie of director A.P.Nagarajan for many releases of Vijayalakshmi Pictures,and his appearance as Lord Muruga in 'Kandan Karunai' and as Lord Vishnu in 'Saraswathi Sabatham/ .Thirumal Perumai' really looked divine.His list with A.P.Nagarajan includes the most talked about film'Mel Naatu Marumagal' with Kamalahasan as the other hero.
Sivakumar's most matching female leads were Lakshmi,Jeyachitra, Vennira Aadai Nirmala Sumithra and Sujatha. Particularly,Lakshmi and Jeyachithra suited him best as co-stars, when compared to others. He did a dual role in 'Pattikkattu Raja' and showed his style and elegance in acting.He has also played negative roles as a selfish,character exploiting the life of women in films like 'Buvana Oru Kelvikkuri'[a movie where he shared screen space with Rajini] and 'Saindadamma Saindadu'[ a film with Sri Devi]..'
In the recent years,Sivakumar has appeared as the affectionate father of Vijay [Kadalukku Mariyadai],Ajith['Poovellam Un Vaasam'] Vikram [Sethu] and Soorya and Raguvaran ['Uyirile Kalandhadhu']. Whichever role he plays,his sweetness remains as an inseparable tag, taking him closer to all sections of people, without any preconceived notions of favour or prejudice .