Jackson Anthony is one of the most celebrated actors in Sri Lankan cinema (refer to Cinema of Sri Lanka). Though he has won greater reputation from his bright career as an actor (in Television, Stage and Cinema) his competence in other fields related to media and arts is impressive. He has appeared before the public in versatile forms; as an actor, director, producer, singer, screenwriter, novelist, lyricist, etc.
His full name is Konganige Joseph Malsi Jackson Anthony. Although he's "Jackson" to the entire world, his parents used to call him "Malsi". He received his primary education at Hapugoda Junior School and St. Mary's College in Bandarawela and later entered Galahitiyawa Central College in Ganemulla. For higher education he attended the University of Colombo where he first obtained an honors degree in Sinhala Language and Literature and did his Master’s degree in Mass Media at Sri Jayawardanapura University. Afterwards he started to win recognition throughout Sri Lanka with his versatile performances in a variety of fields. It was his entry into the field of acting which marked the dawn of his life’s golden era.
Jackson Anthony is married to Kumari Munasinghe, an acclaimed singer. They have two sons and a daughter and the family is settled in Kadawatha, a Colombo suburb. His youngest son, Sajitha Anuththara has already become a famous figure in media after playing the role of the hunter’s son in “Sooriya Arana”. He is also playing the title role in his father’s upcoming big-budget film ‘Aba’.
He often remembers his father, Late Mr. Konganige Benedict Anthony as the mammoth pillar of his success. Jackson's mother lives in his hometown Podiweekumbura, Ragama. He hails from a family of 5 brothers. Elder Brother is Senaka Titus Anthony who is a journalist for several medias.
Career as an Actor
Although a talented artist while at school, the stage which was a haven for his youthful capacity brought Jackson Anthony to the threshold of maturity as an artist. Soon after he began his career as a stage actor he was able to captivate the hearts of the public through his striking skill. His performances in stage plays such as Marsad, Madura Jawanika, Loma Hansa, Dhawala Beeshana, Ath, Mora and Tharawo Igilethi brought him islandwide recognition. In this background he was highly recognized in the field of cinema. As a result he invaded the big screen in 1993. Having acted in Guru Gedara, Chitti, Ayoma and Loku Duwa, in his initial days, Jackson went on to prove his mega status in films like Bawa Duka, Bawa Karma, Gini Awi Saha Gini Keli, Aswesuma, Agni Dahaya, Sooriya Arana, Mille Soya and Randiya Dahara. In the mean time he came to terms with television as well. These fields helped him establish his own identity as an actor. Critics have acclaimed him for the versatility he displays through various contrasting performances. His performances have attracted the critics immensely due to expressionistic and realistic elements exhibited in them. He is also admired for his memorable performances in the roles of arrogant, assertive and impertinent characters. His collaboration with Jayantha Chandrasiri, a pioneering avant-garde director in modern Sri Lankan cinema and television, witnessed new facets of Jackson’s talent. In 2004, under the direction of the famous Sri Lankan director and writer, Somaratne Dissanayanke, he took up a leading role in the blockbuster film, Sooriya Arana in which he brought to life the role of an egocentric hunter who is compelled to vainly battle with the subtlety of Buddhist tradition both socially and spiritually. This bagged him awards at many of the local Award ceremonies. Apart from that, during his acting career he has garnered more than 20 Best Actor Awards at local award ceremonies such as Sarasavi Awards,Presidential Awards and OCIC Awards.