Kerala

Malayalam cinema’s 'jovial grandpa' Unnikrishnan Namboothiri no more

Unnikrishnan Namboothiri  

Actor Unnikrishnan Namboothiri, the humorous grandfather of Malayalam cinema, passed away here on Wednesday. He was 98. Namboothiri, who was admitted to a hospital in Kannur a few days ago as he was suffering from pneumonia, had also tested positive for COVID-19. He was discharged from the hospital on Sunday after he tested negative. On Wednesday, he complained of breathlessness and was taken to the Payyannur Cooperative Hospital, where he died at 6 p.m. In his hugely popular role as Thekkedathu Gopalakrishnan in Kalyanaraman, he had the audience in splits with his attempts to hide his ‘love affair’.

Debut in his 70s

Though remembered more for his humour, he had made his film debut in his 70s with a sombre role in Jayaraj’s Deshadanam in 1996. Over the next two decades, he acted in several films, standing out even in the smaller roles with his facial expressions.

He made his foray into Tamil in Rajiv Menon’s Kandukondain Kandukondain in 2000. Two years later, he played the character of Kamal Haasan’s grandfather in Pammal K Sambandam. Some of his major films in Malayalam are Kaikkudanna Nilavu, Rappakal, Loudspeaker, Photographer, Madhuranombarakattu, Pokkiri Raja and Vasanthathinte Kanal Vazhikalil.

Born in a family of temple priests in Kannur, he had worked as the manager of a local school for several years. He had maintained a close relationship with Communist leaders.

CM condoles death

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who condoled his death, said it was also a personal loss for him. He had a unique place in the film field, said Mr. Vijayan.

The actor’s mortal remains will be cremated at 11 a.m. on the premises of his house at Korom on Thursday by adhering to COVID-19 protocol.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 1:32:44 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/malayalam-cinemas-jovial-grandpa-no-more/article33620740.ece

Next Story