Born in Mangalore, his family moved to Chennai where he did his schooling from The Besant Theosophical High School, Chennai and B.A. in English Literature. His mother, Kesari Chandra, was the Principal of the Ethiraj College for women in Chennai. His father, Susheel Chandra, worked for I.O.C. Chennai. His mother tongue is Tulu. Suman learnt music and Sanskrit from H.A.S. Shastri.
He had the world at his feet. At 26, Suman Thalwar was already at the peak of his career. Tall and handsome, he was one of the top actors of the Tamil and Telugu screens, earning Rs 5 lakh per film and completely booked up to the end of 1988.And then, suddenly, the bubble burst. On the night of May 18, a group of policemen arrived at Suman's house, seized some pornographic video tapes and arrested Suman. The charge against him, of course, was far more serious than the mere illegal possession of a few blue films.Suman was arrested on the basis of far more offensive complaints filed by three young girls claiming that he had abducted, raped and forced them to act in blue films. Overnight, the hero of the film industry became its blackest villain.