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Thilakan passes away

C. Gouridasan Nair
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Thilakan, a colossus on stage and screen, dead

Thilakan, Malayalam cinema’s acting powerhouse, is no more.

After battling multiple organ failures for over a fortnight now, he breathed his last in a private hospital here at 3.35 a.m. on Monday. He was 77. He has left behind a rich oeuvre of films, almost every one of them epitomising his powerful histrionic capabilities.

Thilakan, who had suffered a stroke some years ago, had returned to the stage and cinema after treatment, but his health deteriorated some weeks ago. He is survived by his wife and six children.

Thilakan’s body was kept at Victoria Jubilee Town Hall in the city from 11 a.m. to enable the public to pay their last respects to the thespian. Wreaths were placed on behalf of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Defence Minister A.K. Antony. The cremation was held with state honours at the electric crematorium in the city.

Surendranath Thilakan, a man of rough edges on and off screen, but whose courage and convictions prevailed even in the face of ostracism from his chosen vocation, acted in nearly 200 films during his four-decade-long film career and won accolades and several awards on the way. He was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2009.

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