Saigal Joseph, who has acted in almost five hundred movies in South India used to sing songs in ferry boats for his daily bread at the age of twelve.
It was Augustine Joseph Bhagavathar (Yesudas' father) who asked Saigal to shift to Chennai after listening to him singing in a boat. Saigal reached Madurai and joined Sree Sakthi Drama troup in which Sivaji Ganeshan was one of the artistes.
Saigal Joseph, who was known to be very confident and an extremely energetic person soon began getting many offers. It was Sivaji who gave him the name Saigal Joseph. In Tamil films, he acted with MGR, Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan. He also handled important roles with Malayalam actors Sathyan, Prem Nazeer, Madhu, Jayan, Bahadur and Mamootty.
In Telugu, Joseph acted with N.T. Rama Rao and Nageshwar Rao and in Kannada with Raj Kumar and Udaya Kumar. Mammootty, Innocent, Union mininster K.V. Thomas, minister K. Babu, music director M.K Arjunan and many others from film field and other walks of life paid their tribute at his house.