Ilavarasu is a Tamil cinematographer who later ventured into acting. He made his movie debut with a small role in Bharathiraja's 1987 film Vedham Pudhidhu. Till date he has acted in over 50 movies, but mostly in supporting roles. The movies which have helped his career as an actor are directed by Bharathiraja and Cheran. As a cinematographer, he has worked on Panchalankurichi, Periya Thambi, Iniyavale, Ninaithen Vandhai, Manam Virumbuthe Unnai and Veeranadai. His work in Manam Virumbuthe Unnai won him the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Cinematographer.