Leading Malayalam film and theatre actor Thilakan has died

One of Malayalam cinema’s finest film actor Thilakan has died at the age of 77 after suffering a heart attack on Monday, September 24.

vetaran actor Thilakan from a scene in Kireedam
Image: YouTube

Surendranatha Thilakan, popularly known as Thilakan to Malayalam and Tamilmovie fans, was the recipient of two National Film Awards and nine Kerala State Film Awards.

In 2009, Thilakan was also honoured with the Padma Shri by the Indian government for his outstanding contribution to Indian arts and cinema.

Thilakan started his acting career as a theatre artist and performed at Kerala People’s Arts Club as well as in plays on national All India Radio.

In his film career -- which started in 1973 with a role in Malayalam film Periyar -- Thilakan has acted in more than 200 Malayalam films and several Tamil films.

He is most remembered for his roles in Malayalam super-hit films including Sphadikam, Moonnam Pakkam, Chenkol, Randam Bhavam, Mookkilla Rajyathu and Kireedam among others.

Thilakan had appeared in a majority of films with Malayalam superstar Mohanlal including in Kireedam in 1989 which was a milestone in the careers of both the actors. Chenkol which released in 1993 is a sequel to Kireedam.

When the news about Thilakan’s death broke, Mohanlal paid tribute to the veteran actor on his official Facebook page. “He left us..what a loss for all...” said Mohanlal and uploaded a picture of healthy and cheerful picture of Thilakan. Thilakan was also like a father figure to Mohanlal.

He has also played father to several leading actors including Mammootty, Jayaraman, and Dileep and his death has been mourned by the entire Malayalam film fraternity.

Thilakan was a versatile actor and had essayed a variety of roles including that of a drunkard, a strict father, a villain and a helpless old person. He has also acted in action, drama and comedy films. 

Thilakan is also known for his deep intense voice and has lent his voice for several radio plays.

Thilakan never retired from the film profession. In 2012 alone, six of his films were scheduled for a release. His last prominent film Indian Rupee won the Best Feature Film award of 2011 at Kerala State Awards. Thilakan's role was appreciated by the critics

During the filming of a scene for an upcoming Malayalam film Nammude Veedu, last month, Thilakan fainted and was admitted to a hospital in Thrissur. As his conditions worsened he was shifted to a Trivandrum hospital where he was treated not just for his heart problems but also for pneumonia.

Thilakan suffered a cardiac arrest at 3.35 am on Monday morning and is survived by four sons -- Shaji Thilakan, Shammi Thilakan, Shibu Thilakan, Shobi Thilakan and two daughters Sonia Thilakan and Sophia Thilakan. 

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