Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Achankunju was a popular actor in Malayalam cinema during the 80's and had acted in over 50 films mostly in
villainous roles.He was perhaps one of the most repulsed character on the screen by the audience because of
the extreme cruelties he performed by his  roles.
He was utilized by award winning eminent directors like Bharathan,Padmarajan,I.V.Sasi etc for several of their
blockbuster movies.
Achankunju was a native of Kottayam in Kerala and he was a 'Porter' at Kottayam boat jetty but during those years also because of his love towards arts he used to act  for  stage dramas.
The 1981 film Parankimala in which Nedumudi Venu,Benny,Soorya,Rani Padmaini etc were the cast he handled an important role.The film was directed by Bharathan.In that same year he had important roles in Bharathan's Blockbuster films 'Lorry' and 'Chatta'.In the film 'Lorry' Balan K.Nair,Pratap Pothen,Nithya etc acted  very nicely and the fantastic screenplay written by Padmarajan and execution by Bharathan made it
a visual treat for the viewers.Achankunju received Kerala Government Best Actor award for the film 'Lorry'.
'Chatta' was also an unusual subject and it was also filmed skilfully by Bharathan in which the character of Achankunju was superb.

When Padmarajan turned as directer in his films 'Thinkalazcha Nalla Divasam' and 'Arappatta Kettiya Gramathil' he gave noted roles to Achankunju.
Achankunju was given important roles in many of I.V.Sasi films like 'Iniyenkilum' 'Ee Nadu'  'Ahimsa'  etc.
The role in Iniyenkilum as the character 'Porinchu' received accolades  for him.In the Mammootty film 'Yatra'
also his role was excellent.
Achankunju died on 16 January 1987 at the age of 56 at Kottayam.
Selected Filmography
Ithile Iniyum Varoo
Ivide thudangunnu
Prem Nazeerine Kanmanilla
Ee Nadu
Kanathaya Penkutty
Swanthamevide Bandhamevide
Itha innu muthal
Sandhya Mayangum Neram

Saturday, March 24, 2012


M.K.Kamalam  was the heroine of the first talkie in Malayalam 'Balan' released in the year 1938  which
was produced by T.R.Sundaram of Modern Theaters,Salem.She made history as the first person who spoke
Malayalam Language in a film for the first time.The first 'speaking person' was Alleppey Vincent who acted in
'Balan' but his first dialogue  was in English which was as "Hello Master".
M.K.Kamalam was born in 1923 at Kumarakom in Kottayam to parents Mangattu Kochu Panicker and
Karthiyayani.Her father was an art loving person and music teacher who used to act in dramas too.Since she had the intrinsic talents in singing and dancing from childhood days itself training in both those items were given to her.Sebastian Kunju Kunju Bhagavathar was initially her music teacher.She learnt music from other famous
'Gurus' also.

M.K. Kamalam acted in a drama 'Alli Rani' at the age of seven Her father was also acting an important character in that drama.During those days acting in dramas and films was considered as a sin for females and so female roles  were also handled by men.Some eminent actors like 'Oachira Velukkutty' were established
female character artists.All the artists had to sing beautifully was compulsory during those days since there was no playback singers employed.The artists were classical singers also mostly.
When the film 'Balan' was being planned there aroused the need of a heroine who could dance well and who
could sing classical songs also skilfully.The director and Producer heard about M.K.Kamalam and with
Alleppey Vincent they went to watch a drama 'Vichitra Vijayam' in which M.K.Kamalam was acting as the
heroine.Kamalam was only 15 years old at that time.Her acting ,dancing and singing skill were highly liked and impressed
to T.R.Sundaram,Director Nottani and Alleppey Vincent and she was cast as the heroine in the first talkie film  of
Malayalam Language 'Balan' in 1938.
There were 23 songs in the film which was scripted and lyrics written by Muthukulam Raghavan Pillai.Some of the songs were sung by Kamalam and a song 'Jagadeeswara Jaya Jaya' became popular which was sung by
After the film she returned to the drama stage itself.Afterwards when there was offer for another Malayalam film 'Bhootharayar' she acted in it as the heroine but it was never released due to the death of Producer
Thrissur Appan Thampuran.That film was the debut film of Comedy actor S.P.Pillai.Since there was no Malayalam film produced consecutively she paved no interest further on to act in films but concentrated on stage dramas only.She retired from acting in 1964 but acted in a film 'Sayahnam' after ten years.After 1964
she was leading a  happy life as  housewife at Kottayam.Her husband was Damodaran.
On April 20, 2010 M.K.Kamalam died at Kottayam.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


P.N.Menon was an eminent film director of Malayalam cinema and well remembered and appreciated for
his artistic touch and real like frames.The intellectual quality of his films are well  known and actually it was
Menon who made  the foundation for a new school of film making which was better flourished during the
time of Director Bharathan.Director P.N. Menon was the uncle of Bharathan and the nephew was following
the path lead by his uncle in all ways.Both of them were diploma holders  from School of arts and since they
were having the artistic  inborn talents their films differed in quality and beauty.
P.N.Menon was born in Vadakkancherry of Kerala in the year 1928.He had his studies at Thrissur and then
at School of Arts in Chennai.He was a  highly talented painter on canvas.Before entering films P.N.Menon
Scene from 'Olavum Theeravum'
worked as Magazine cover designer.
He entered film field as art director for the film 'Ninamaninja Kalpadukal'.His debut film as a director was in

1965 with the film 'Rosie' in which P.J.Antony was the hero.P.N.Menon entered in to the hearts of the audience with his maiden venture itself.His film 'Olavum Theeravum' based on the story of M.T.Vasudevan Nair and scripted by M.T. itself was a fantastic film and Menon received accolades for his artistic touch.Madhu
excelled in that film as the hero.The film earned Kerala Government best film award also.
Another film based on a short story of M.T.Vasudevan Nair 'Kuttiyedathy' is one of the best films in Malayalam and P.N. Menon got established as an intellectual director.
Another film  which was well acclaimed by critics and also a big commercial success was 'Chembarathy'.It
was a film made based on the story written by  'Malayattoor Ramakrishnan'.It was produced by Malayalanadu
weekly editor S.K.Nair.Sudheer and Raghavan entered Malayalam cinema by that film and child artist Baby
Roja Ramani was upgraded as the heroine in that film.Madhu and Rani Chandra also handled key roles in the
film which was superbly directed by P.N.Menon.
Yet another film 'Gayathri'  also helped boost the enthusiasm of Menon since the film received President's
Medal for National Integration.In the film Gayathri, M.G.Soman debuted as an actor in Malayalam Cinema.
The beautiful songs and song sequences of Gayathri is still remembered.Another artistic film 'Malamukalile
Daivam' earned National award too.
His films 'Chayam', 'Udayam Kizhakku Thanne' ,  'Kadampa' , 'Panimudakku' etc all earned good opinion
from viewers and critics.
After a long gap he directed a film 'Nerkkunere' in 2004.He used to design posters for films also which
were  beautiful and outstanding.
P.N.Menon died on 9 September 2008 at Kochi in a Private hospital.
Selected Filmography
Olavum Theeravum
Udayam Kizhakku Thanne
Taxi Driver
Archana Teacher
Mala Mukalile Daivam

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Narendra Prasad was an intellectual personality who was loved and respected by all film workers of Malayalam Cinema.He earned name and fame as an Actor,Playwright,Director,Teacher and Literary Critic.
He was born in Mavelikkara of Alleppey District in Kerala  on 26 December 1946 to parents Raghava Kurup and Janaki Amma.
Narendra Prasad studied at Bishop Moore College,Mavelikkara for Pre-Degree Course,Pandalam N.S.S. College for Degree Course, and Institute of English,University of Kerala for Post Graduation Course in English
Language and Literature.After passing out he joined Chengannur Christian College as a Junior Lecturer.He got
 in to Government Service in 1968 and worked at Govt.Victoria College Palakkad,Govt Arts College Trivandrum,Govt.University College Trivandrum etc.While working as Professor in University College Trivandrum he was selected as the Director of School of Letters,Mahatma Gandhi University,Kottayam.
From the College days, as a student itself he was famous as a man of letters by writing articles and got  it published
in News Papers,Magazines etc.He used to participate in debates and got several prizes also.He was equally
good in English and Malayalam and  had won competitions in both languages.He used to act in dramas at
College functions and got appreciation from students and teachers.The acting skill was in his blood that while
taking classes in Colleges when teaching Shakespeare Dramas he used to act while reading the dialogues in it.
The students liked his way of teaching and was much fond of it so that students of other classes also used
to attend it to view his fantastic acting.His masculine voice, gestures and expressions were unparalleled and
the spectators will not  forget him.
Due to his intrinsic acting interests he formed a Drama troupe, by the name 'Natya Griham'  in the 80's and
presented dramas written and directed by Narendra Prasad himself.He used to handle an important character
in his plays.Actor Bharat Murali,Gopakumar,Aliyar Kunju,Rashid etc were some of the actors worked in that troupe.
They have traveled all over India to present their plays as per the invitations  and  request of several arts societies.'Souparnika'

a play written and directed by Narendra Prasad had won 'Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award'.
Before entering in to films Narendra Prasad had given voice for the Character acted as 'Kalyani's(Ranjini)
father in the film 'Chitram' which was presented by Tamil actor Poornam Viswanathan.The majestic dialogue
rendition of Narendra Prasad  had helped a lot for that character to be a favorite for the spectators.
He had published several books also.'Alanjavar Anweshichavar' is a novel, where as 'Nishedhikale Manassilakkoo, and 'Ente Sahithya Niroopanangal' are Literary critical works.'Jathi paranjal Entha' and
'Souparnika' are dramas.
He got into acting field  in cinema while working in School of Letters of Mahatma Gandhi University.
His presentation of Villainous type of characters excelled very well and liked by all.He was able to act in
more than 150 films and all his characters were manifested fantastically well by him.
He died in P.V.S. hospital Kozhikkodu due to Cardiac-respiratory arrest on3 Nov. 2003.
Selected Filmography
Aaram Thampuran
Meleparambil Aan Veedu
Aniyan Vava Chettan Vava
Ulsava Melam
Sthalathe Pradhana Payyans
Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranaya Kalathu
Mangalya Suthram
Mayoora Nritham
Sarga Vasantham
Udayapuram Sulthan
Deepangal Sakshi
Inspector Garud
Njangal Santhushtaranu
Bandhukkal Sathrukkal
Kottaram Veettil Appoottan
Kerala House
Nakshatrangal Parayathirunnathu
Thiruvithamkur Thirumanassu
Asura Vamsam
Megha Sandesam
Vardhakya Puranam
Videsi Nair Swadesi Nair
Kottaram Veettil Appoottan
One Man Show
Mangalamveettil Manaseswari Guptha
Alancherry Thamprakkal

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


John Abraham was an exceptionally talented and genius director who became immortal by directing just
a few films in Tamil and Malayalam.He was a prodigy who possessed unparalleled  and intrinsic percipience
so that his films were always well noted and received the acclaim of critics.
John Abraham was born in Changanacherry of Kottayam District  in 1937 and after getting a
University Degree he joined  'Pune Film and T.V. Institute of India'. In that prestigious Institute only very few
people from Kerala were lucky enough to get trained in the various aspects of cinema making and acting.
Adoor Gopalakrishnan,Rasool Pookkutty,K.G.George,Actor Mohan Sharma,Ravi Menon,John Abraham
etc got trained from Pune Film Institute.
After the completion of the course he could assist the famous film director Mani Kaul for his film 'Uski Roti' and afterwards he proceeded to Chennai.
His directional debut  was a Malayalam film 'Vidyarthikale Ithile Ithile'.That film was not a film made as per his wish and was
a nicely portrayed film but it did not give him much satisfaction.His next venture was a Tamil film 'Agraharathil
Kazhuthai' which  was an art film and drew great attention from viewers and critics alike.The film was well acclaimed and holds a
position of prominence still.This film earned National film award for Best feature film in Tamil for the year 1977.

John Abraham's film 'Cheriyachante Kroora Krithyangal' was a Malayalam film in which Malayalam Comedy/Character actor Adoor Bhasi acted in the mainstream role.The film received Special Jury award from Kerala Government and Best actor award for Adoor Bhasi.
Then he took initiative to form a  society in the name 'Odessa' by a group of enthusiastic people who loved
good  cinema.By their efforts  he was able to produce and direct another well acclaimed film 'Amma Ariyan' The film received National special jury award in 1987.For all his films the scripts were also written by John Abraham himself.
Each and every frame of his films are still appreciated and considered as a brilliant vision.But the director in his personal life was totally indifferent and spoiled his life because of his personal reasons.
He was a typical person who loved freedom and had the habit of strolling without caring about his own image.
He was not bothered about what others would tell about him and wandered and lived  a nomadic kind of life.He did  not try to earn prestige,fame or money even though he had the qualifications,quality and ability
much more than the average film makers of those period who were all earning huge amounts and living
lavishly.John Abraham made others act according to his instructions but never tried to "act" himself.He lead
a life in a way he loved to live up to his last breath.
Several years back when Director Kamal was living in a lodge room in Chennai,  John Abraham came to that room.Mohan Lal was at that time in the room.Mohan Lal  had heard about John Abraham but was meeting him  for
the first time.Kamal and Mohan Lal understood that John had not taken bath for several days as usual since he
was being  stinking of sweat.Mohan Lal forcefully took him to the bath room and  John Abraham had to obey and took bath.John Abraham but came out of the bathroom quite happily in an action of playing an imaginary guitar.
When the shooting of 'Cheriyachante Kroora Krityangal' was in progress Adoor Bhasi, the hero of the film
was asked to climb and  sit on the top of a coconut tree for the sequence. He got to the top of the tree by the aid of a long
ladder.When the scene was just finished a procession was going along the nearby road and John Abraham
went to see that procession and the film unit members also followed him.The great actor  Adoor Bhasi  who was respected
by all the Malayalam cinema members had  to sit on the coconut tree quite neglected  for another one hour since nobody
was there to provide the ladder and to  help him to climb down.
John Abraham  fell down from the terrace of a building and died on 31 May 1987.

Sunday, March 4, 2012


Kumari Thankam was a beautiful actress of Malayalam silver screen  during 50's and appeared in more than
20 films either as heroine or in other important roles.She was known as the glamour girl of Malayalam cinema
at that time.
Kumari Thankam entered in to Malayalam Cinema field with the film 'Athmasakhi' of 1952.
It was the first film made by Neela Productions Trivandrum in the new film Studio of Producer P.Subramanyam.The hero of that
film was Sathyan and it was the debut released film of Sathyan.Before Aathmasakhi Sathyan  acted in a movie
S.P.Pillai and Kumari Thankam
by name 'Thyagaseema' but it was not released.Thirunayanar Kurichi wrote lyrics for the songs and Brother Lakshmanan  gave music for the first time in Malayalam for that film.Sathyan,B.S.Saroja,M.N.Nambiar,T.S.Muthaiah,Kumari Thankam etc acted in that film which was a success by all means.
That same year Kumari Thankam acted in 'Kanchana' another Malayalam film in which she appeared as a lady Doctor.
She was in the main role of first CID genre film named as 'CID' itself and directional debut of M.Krishnan Nair.
In the film of 1956 'Koodapirappu'  she was in the cast in which Prem Nawas entered Malayalam cinema as a new hero and Ambika was promoted as a heroine.It was the first film of director J.D.Thottan.
'Kidappadam' was a good sentimental melo drama and 'Mantravadi' was a fiction  film of Kumari Thankam.
She married P.K.Sathyapal who was the Cousin brother of Lalitha,Padmini,Ragini and was settled in Chennai.
Sathyapal was a business man and film producer.Kumari Thankam died at her residence on March 8,2011
at the age of 80.She will be remembered for her contributions to Malayalam Cinema with love.

Selected Filmography
Loka Neethi
Avan Varunnu
Balya Kala Sakhi
A scene from Kidappadam
Minnunnathellam Ponnalla
Achanum Makanum

Sathyan and Kumari Thankam

Thursday, March 1, 2012


S.P.Pillai was the first Comedian of Malayalam Films who was lucky to join the film field in its initial stage itself.
After the release of the first talkie of Malayalam, 'Balan' in 1938 works were progress for another film 'Bhootharayar' produced by Appan Thampuran but the production was ceased and picture was not released.In that picture S.P.Pillai also  had acted.His released debut film was  the second talkie of Malayalam 'Njanambika' which
was released in 1940.In that film with Sebastian Kunju Kunju Bhagavathar,Alleppey Vincent,K.K.Aroor etc
S.P.Pillai was also in the cast.But as a comedy actor he earned fame from the hit movie 'Nalla Thanka' of
1951.There was no Malayalam films released in between 1940 and 1948.In the year 1948 'Nirmala' was released and there upon consecutively Malayalam films were produced every year.
S.P.Pillai was born in Ettumanoor of Kottayam District in 1913.He lost his parents at an young age,His father
was a police constable.S.P.Pillai got trained in 'Ottan Thullal' from Kerala Kalamandalam after studying there
for several years and thus making expressions on his face to display emotions and feelings  was easy for him.This quality and also the ability to sing  helped him to act in dramas
and so before getting engaged in films he was famed  a stage actor.Snehaseema and Nayaru Pidicha Pulival boosted his acting career as a comedian.There were songs like 'Halu Pidichoru Nayarachan..... ' and  'Kaathu Sookshichoru Kasthuri mampazham Kakka kothi pokum ...' sung by Mehboob and  by acting wonderfully well
in those comedy sequences he received accolades.That film was the story  about a touring circus group and was a super hit movie which contained many songs which are still popular.The film was released  in 1958.
Like that in the film  'Doctor' which was released in 1963 there was a song sequence in which  S.P.Pillai singing a  song
trying to get the attention  and to earn the love of a village girl.The song 'Keladi ninne njaan.....' created much comedy and was well received.In all the vadakkan pattu films of Udaya Studios
S.P.Paiilai usually appeared in the role of 'Pananar' singing songs praising 'Puthooram veedu and the family
members there.'The song and song sequence of film 'Aromalaunni' of 1972 'Puthooram veettil janichorellam
poo polazhakullorayirinnu...... ' was very well presented by him.S.P.Pillai and Adoor Pankajam were superb

in the award winning film 'Chemmen' and acted as couple being neighbours of heroine 'Karuthamma', Sheela's character..In several films like 'Sabarimala Sree Ayyappan' of 1961 they had acted as couples and presented nice comedy sequences.In the film 'Bharya'  S.P.Pillai acted as the father
of the girl 'Gracy' who loved the married man Sunny, the character of Sathyan.   S.P.Pillai  earned accolades
for his character by name 'Paalathinkal Uthuppu'. That character used to call Sathyan as 'Saarooo' only in a typical slang which was loved by the audience and created nice comedy also.In the comedy film 'Bobanum Moliyum' of 1971 he was excellent.He presented Ottan Thullal in the film "Ollathu Mathi' singing a comedy song 'Ollathu mathiye ..Ollathu mathiye...'.
Even though mostly acted in comedy roles he had acted in  character roles and supporting roles also.
He was equally good in manipulating sentimental character roles which he proved in many films.
S.P.Pillai got Kerala Government second Best actor award for film 'Taxi Driver' in 1977.
He was given 'Kala Ratnam' award by Travancore Devaswom Board.
S.P.Pillai died  on 12 June 1985.Film/T.V. actress Manju Pillai is his grand daughter.
Selected Filmography
Visappinte Vili
Padatha Painkili
Njana Sundari
Nayarupidicha pulivaal
School Master
Vidyarthikale Ithile Ithile
Sariyo Thetto
Paalattu Koman
Odayil Ninnu
Oral Koodi Kallanayi
Veluthampi Dalawa
Sabarimala Sreeayyappan
Ningalenne Communistakki
Bhakta Kuchela
Puthiya Akasam Puthiya Bhoomi
Othenante Makan
Paalattu Kunjikkannan
Kunjali Marakkar
Jeevitha Nouka
Acharam Ammini Osaram Omana
Nalla Thanka