Jackson Anthony, the Famous Actor from Sri Lanka, on a stage, with an award that he has won
Jackson Anthony, the Famous Actor from Sri Lanka

Jackson Anthony is one of the most popular names in the contemporary Sri Lankan entertainment industry. This acclaimed actor is undoubtedly a versatile asset for Sri Lanka. He has shown flying colors on both big and small screens. In fact, this well-known artist has been a part of Sri Lankan cinema, theatre, and television. Apart from his career as an actor, his contribution to other fields related to media and art is absolutely impressive. Besides, he has shown his talent as a director, producer, singer, screenwriter, television host, novelist, columnist, lyricist, historian, and traveler. Also, his bright career has gained him a great reputation with both local and international audiences. Owing to these factors, he can be easily named one of the most famous personalities and celebrated actors now in Sri Lanka.

There are so many interesting facts about this great personality. Keep reading to learn more about Sri Lanka’s memorable artist, Jackson Anthony!

Early Life of Jackson Anthony

Jackson Anthony’s full name is Conanige Joseph Malsi Jackson Anthony. He was born on the 8th of July in 1958 in the small village of Podiwe Kumbura in Ragama, Sri Lanka. His father is  Conanige Benedict Anthony and his mother is Podivee Kumbure Rolin Perera. His parents lovingly called him ‘Malsi’. Jackson’s parents had been a massive strength behind his journey thus far. This is clear, as he often gives the credit for his immense success to his parents.

As a student, Jackson Anthony received his primary education from the Hapugoda junior school, St. Mary’s College in Bandarawela, and then from Galahitiyawa Central College in Ganemulla. He completed an honors degree in Sinhala and Sinhala literature from the University of Colombo. He also obtained a Master’s degree in mass media from Sri Jayawardenapura University. Meanwhile, he entered the field of entertainment as a youngster and stepped into the golden era of his life with his impeccable talent.

His Career as an Actor

As an undergraduate, Jackson Anthony participated in many stage dramas. Afterward, he was able to gain much reputation by acting in popular stage dramas as follows.

  • Vaaruwen Yana Minissu
  • Manavayo, Marasad
  • Madura Javanika
  • Loma Hansa
  • Dhawala Bheeshana
  • Tharawo Igilethi

He gained the attention of the audience through his striking skills.

He started his film career in 1993. Guru Gedara, Chitti, Ayoma, and Loku Duwa are some of his first movies. Moreover, he proved his talent as an actor in popular movies such as the following.

  • Bawa Duka
  • Bawa Karma
  • Gini Awi Saha Gini Keli
  • Aswesuma
  • Agni Dahaya
  • Sooriya Arana
  • Mille Soya
  • Randiya Dahara

In the meantime, he also proved his abilities in television. Some of his popular television dramas are :

  • Palingu Manike
  • Ella Langa Walawwa
  • Suseema
  • Weda Hamine
  • Kadulla
  • Pitagamkarayo
  • Akala Sandhya

Accordingly, Jackson Anthony gained much recognition for his contrasting roles in the above-mentioned fields.

He is widely acclaimed for this versatility. Some of the most significant characteristics of his actions are his expressionistic and realistic elements. Some of his most known roles are where Jackson Anthony played characters with arrogant, assertive, and impertinent features.

The popular director, Jayantha Chandrasiri was able to showcase the hidden areas of Jackson’s talent in modern Sri Lankan television and cinema. In addition, the famous director Somaratne Dissanayake is also well-known for his contribution to showcasing Jackson’s talent in a different light. He has also participated in a Kerala movie production in 2017. Jackson Anthony received so many awards many times in acclamation of his performances. Many youngsters who are joining the entertainment industry today are looking at him.

His Career as a Director

Jackson Anthony’s knowledge and popularity as a versatile actor paved the way for him to direct several popular plays. He directed his forest teledrama, ‘Esala Kaluwara’ in 1990. Then, ‘Bhumika 7’ is a drama festival where he could stage 7 of his best plays which earned him much appreciation from scholarly critics. ‘Daskon’ is his second teledrama and he directed this in 2014. The drama was a huge hit on Sri Lankan television and it gained many awards from the local award ceremonies.

Jackson Anthony is also the director of several award-winning and also blockbuster movies. The first movie he directed was Julietge Bhumikawa and this earned him the award for being the most promising director. The popular movie ‘Aba’ is also one of his directions and it is one of the most expensive movies made in Sri Lanka. His directions are much loved by the local audience.

Other Careers of Jackson Anthony

Jackson Anthony is a personality who often steps away from his comfort zone to try different and brand-new experiences. Therefore, he has tried out several other careers apart from acting and directing.

For instance, Jackson Anthony was the creative director of the popular Sri Lankan TV channel, Swarnavahini. He is also famous as a presenter in popular documentaries such as Maha Sinhale Wansa Kathawa, Maha Sinhale Yatath Vijitha Wansa Kathawa, Aware Siripa, Ganga Dige, Roma Puranaya, and Salang Hanthe. Some of these documentaries earned him a reputation as a traveler as well. These were all telecasted in Swarnavahini. During his time at Swarnavahini, he also was the producer of the popular children’s program, Hapan Padura. Furthermore, he has worked as a supporting singer in movies as well. Jackson was also a judge in popular reality shows like Sri Lanka’s Got Talent and Ranaviru Real Star.

Personal Life of Jackson Anthony

Jackson Anthony was born into a family of five brothers. Jackson Anthony lived with his parents and siblings in Ragama. His father worked as an overseer in the Ceylon Electricity Board. His elder brother, Senaka Titus Anthony is a popular journalist. He passed away in Singapore in 2017 due to kidney and liver failure. Sudath Anthony, Saman Anthony, and Mohan Anthony are his other brothers.

Jackson Anthony married the acclaimed singer and actress, Kumari Munasinghe. The couple has three children, one daughter, and two sons. They live in the Colombo suburb of Kadawatha. Their three children have followed in the footsteps of their famous parents.

Their elder daughter, Madhavee Wathsala Anthony is a television presenter, singer, and actress. Akhila Dhanuddara, their elder son, also works as a television presenter, model, and actor. Their youngest son, Sajitha Anuththara is an award-winning actor, singer, and television presenter. Sajitha gained much popularity for his role in the blockbuster movie ‘Sooriya Arana’ as a child actor alongside his father.

Likewise, this whole family is very popular in the entertainment industry of Sri Lanka. Even though Jackson Anthony was born a Catholic, he is well-known for his wide understanding and enthusiasm towards Buddhism. He has conducted several discussion programs regarding the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. 

The Accident

As one of the most popular figures in the country, Jackson Anthony was working on many upcoming projects when he faced a tragic accident. Jackson Anthony, his brother Sudath Anthony and another friend of his faced an accident at Thalawa in Anuradhapura as a wild elephant collided with the vehicle they were traveling in. This incident took place on the 2nd July of 2022. All three of them were admitted to the Anuradhapura teaching hospital and Jackson Anthony was soon transferred to the Colombo National hospital as his condition was critical. Soon after, he had to face a seven-hour long surgery and he is still hospitalized in the intensive care unit up to date under medical supervision. This unfortunate incident took place while he was working on a movie Sinhabahu directed by Somaratne Dissanayake.

The Bottom Line

Jackson Anthony is a personality who has a surprising potential as an artist to reach distances within his career. It is really unfortunate that he has to stay bedridden when he could be using his talents for the betterment of Sri Lankan art. Hence, all his fans wish him a speedy recovery so that he can use his time to create more valuable art. Jackson Anthony will always be a memorable artist.