Cyril Wickramage (born 26 January 1932 in Kurunegala, North Western Province, Sri Lanka) is a critically acclaimed Sri Lankan actor, director and singer. Wickramage is known for participating mainly in artistic Sinhala films.
Wickramage was born in Kurunegala at the Kohila Gedera Hospital; at a young age he joined the army but later trained as a teacher at Peradeniya University. As a teacher, Wickramage received posts at Rathmalane Deaf School and Colombo Veseli School. While completing his diploma at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Wickramage was drawn to acting.
Wickramage gained some prestige with his role in Gunasena Galpaththi’s play “Muhudu Puththu”. He subsequently appeared in “Devatha Eliya”, “Kuveni”, “Thavath Udasanak”, “Dawasak Wenas”, “Elowa Gihin Melowa Awaa”, “Kada Walallu”, “Pabawathi”, “Liyathambara”, “Natukkaraya”, “Wes Muhunu”, “Ahasin Watunu Minissu” and “Idama”.
On Sisira Senaratne’s invitation, Wickramage made his debut as a film actor in 1965 with a supporting role in the film Handapana. His true breakthrough came however in 1967 with the role of Gunadasa in the groundbreaking Sath Samudura. The film was highly praised in Sri Lanka and swept the 1968 Sarasaviya Film Festival. Wickramage rounded up the 1960s with roles in the art film Mokade Vune and the popular Binaramalee (another Sarasaviya favorite).
In the late-60s, Wickramage began a successful collaboration with Vasantha Obeysekera and producer Dr.Linus Dissanayake. 1970 saw the release of the first Vasantha-Cyril-Linus film Ves Gaththo. Dealing with such issues as alienation among rural youth, the film was expanded upon with Walmath Wuvo in 1976. Cyril made his first foray into directing with Dr.Linus in 1972 making Sihina Lowak which he also starred in.The film produced the popular song “Ma Mala Pasu Sohon Kothe” sung by W. D. Amaradeva.
Wickramage was a favorite of Dharmasena Pathiraja, appearing in almost all of his films (Ahas Gauwa, Eya Dan Loku Lamayek, Bambaru Awith, Soldadu Unnahe). The role in Bambaru Awith (1978) in particular was a major role for Wickramage. Other major directors that used Wickramage include Tissa Abeysekera (Karumakkarayo – 1980) and Dharmasiri Bandaranayake (Suddilage Kathaawa – 1985). Wickramage has expanded into television work with roles in Numba Nadana Senehelatha, Palingu Manike, Andukole, Mihikathage Daruwo, Saapa Nokaraw Daruwane (directed by Rodney Widanapathirana , Gauwen Gauwa and Alle Lange Walauwa.