Saturday, March 24, 2012

M.K.KAMALAM

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
M.K.Kamalam.
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.

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