Sreenivasan was born to Unni and Lakshmi in Patyam, a village near Thalassery in Kannur, North Malabar region of Kerala State in India. He has two brothers, Raveendran, Rajagopal and a sister Vanaja. His father was a school teacher and mother was a housewife. He completed his formal education in Koothuparamb middle School, Government High School, Kathiroor and received a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Pazhassi Raja N.S.S. College Mattannur. He got a diploma in film acting from the Madras Film Institute, Chennai in 1977.
Sreenivasan is married to Vimala and they have two sons. His elder son, Vineeth Sreenivasan, is a director, lyricist, singer, dubbing artist and actor. His younger son, Dhyan Sreenivasan, made his debut in Thira, a thriller movie directed by Vineeth Sreenivasan.