Vikram is an Indian film actor, voice actor and a playback singer. He made his debut in the 1990 film En Kadhal Kanmani, which was followed by a series of Tamil and Telugu films and supporting roles in few Malayalam films throughout the early decade. After the critical and commercial success of Sethu (1999) he has been part of numerous other commercially successful films and has earned major critical acclaim for many of his performances. During his years in the Indian film industry, he has won five Filmfare Awards as well as one National Film Award for Best Actor. He is also popularly referred to as "Chiyaan" Vikram, derived from his character name in Sethu. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by People's University of Milan (Universita Popolare Degli Studi Di Milano) on 29 May 2011. While some of Vikram's best-known films, Dhill (2001), Gemini (2002), Dhool (2003), Saamy (2003), Anniyan (2005) and Kanthaswamy (2009) remain some of Tamil cinema's biggest hits, performances in films like Sethu (1999), Kasi (2002), Pithamagan (2003), Anniyan (2005), Raavanan (2010) and Deiva Thirumagal (2011) have won him critical acclaim and awards, making Vikram one of the more successful actors of Tamil cinema, both critically and commercially. He established himself as one of leading contemporary actors in the film industry.
Vikram was born to Vinod Raj and Rajeshwari in Chennai on 17 April 1966. His father was from Paramakudi, Ramanathapuram district. Vikram did his schooling at Montfort School, Yercaud. While in school, his love of drama and pursuit of his dream were nurtured. With his parents wanting him to finish college, he graduated in English from Loyola College, Chennai, and followed it up with an M.B.A degree. His father is also a film actor. Vikram and his father starred together in the movie Kanthaswamy. His mother is a retired sub-collector. Vikram married Shylaja, a psychology teacher from Kannur, Kerala, in 1992. They have two children, a daughter Akshita and a son Dhruv.