Goundamani was born as Subramani in Valagundapuram, a village near Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India. His father is Karuppaiya and mother is Annam (Kaliamma).He is married to Shanthi and has 2 children.
He gained entry into the Tamil film industry due to his strong theatrical background. He is popular of giving counter to the co- actors during stage performance which garnered him the name " Counter Mani". This in Tamil polyglot became as stage name "Goundamani". Goundamani has played lead roles in a few films during his career, but is predominantly a supporting actor playing comedy roles. While performing roles of a solo comedian in films, he often co-starred with Senthil to form a comedy duo. The pair was described as "Tamil cinema's Laurel and Hardy" and have performed slapstick humour in several Tamil films since the mid-1980s until the early 2000s. After recuperating from diabetes and respiratory illnesses during the late 2000s, he is about to feature in Vaaimai and also play the lead role in 49-O, which began productions in 2013. It is being directed by debutant Arokiadoss, a former assistant of Gautham Vasudev Menon.
The Film 49-O was released on 17 September 2015 and most of the critics gave positive reviews.