Legendary actor Nedumudi Venu passes away; The actor who became an integral part of Malayalam cinema’s golden era

Indian actor and screenwriter from Kerala, Nedumudi Venu died at the age of 73. He was an actor who entertained the audience with his impeccable acting skills and versatile roles. The talented and gifted actor inspired and influenced the entire Malayalam film industry. Being an integral element through the golden era, the 1980s and ‘90s, he played older characters even at the peak of his stardom.

Venu was a three-time National Award winner. He was known for his roles in “His Highness Abdullah” and “Margam,” among others. Venu was admitted to the hospital on October 5 with tiredness and weakness, later he was treated in the intensive care unit as he had earlier been affected by Covid-19.

 Early Life and career

Hailing from Nedumudi of Alappuzha district in Kerala, Venu completed his graduation from S D College Alappuzha. During his academic period, Venu was involved in art and music. Before his entrance to the film industry, he worked as a journalist in Kalakaumudi and as a teacher in a tutorial institute.  His friendship with prominent figures like Arvaindan, Padmarajan, and Bharath Gopi ultimately paved the way for his film career. 

A trained theater artiste his film debut was in 1978 with Aravindan’s ‘Thumpu’ and there was no looking back since then. He was known as much for his various dialogue delivery styles as for his portraying different characters in over 500 films. Apart from the three National Film Awards, he also received six Kerala State Film Awards for his various performances.

Venu also wrote scripts for movies. He wrote the stories for the films Kattathe Kilikkoodu, Theertham, Sruthi, Ambada Njaane!, Oru Katha Oru Nunnakkatha, Savidham, and Angane Oru Avadhikalath. He also tried his hand in direction with Pooram. He acted in a few Tamil films with director Shankar, such as Kamal Hasan’s Indian and Vikram’s Anniyan. He also had a number of upcoming releases, including Malayalam movies “Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea” and “Aarattu.”

He recently contributed his voice to a 90-second video song in which he urged everyone to get together and battle the coronavirus by following the rules. After being posted on the Kerala Police’s Facebook and Twitter pages, the song quickly went viral. Netizens and Malayalis all over the world sharing it within hours.

Leading figures from the South Indian film industry paid tribute on social media. Many took Twitter to talk about experiences with the actor and expressing condolences to the great actor. “He is one of the finest actors in Malayalam/Indian cinema. His profound knowledge of traditional art forms and Indian style of acting reflected in his unique performances,” Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan said in his condolence message.

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Though he was not a superstar or he has not done a covet superstardom, he will forever be remembered for his fine performances and the way he approached his craft with honesty, bereft of artificiality and props.