Santo Krishnan, who had acted in about 1,000 films, died in his wife’s house in Lakkidi, near Ottappalam, at 1.30 pm on Saturday. He was 96. The cremation will be held at the Ivor Madom in Thiruvilwamala at 8 am on Sunday. Santo Krishnan was known for the Baktha Hanuman’s role in the Telungu and Tamil films. He had worked with the yesteryear superstars of almost all languages in South India such as Prem Nazir (Punapuram Kotta), NTR (Sathi Sulochana) and MGR. He had also worked as a stunt master in films.
“He had not been taking food properly for two weeks. As his left leg got paralysed, Krishnan was not able to walk,” said Haneefa, who,along with his wife Laila and daughter Ashida, had been looking after Santo Krishnan for few years . His wife Kochukutty Amma predeceased him nine months ago. They had no children together. ‘Even during the time of Kochukutty Amma who was paralysed five years before her death, Santo Krishnan led a lonely life . The only source of income was the ‘kaineetam’ provided by AMMA,” Haneefa said. Though he had a son named Sukumaran in his first marriage, the latter never visited his father. Santo Krishnan had acted in many languages including Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Sinhala.
”He had made his debut in the film Mahaveera Bhiman in Tamil in 1935, said Ananthapadmanabhan, son of the late director Padmarajan.
“I had gone to do a programme on Santo Krishnan along with Lal Jose . Santo Krishnan was a regular in the films of Lal Jose, including Mesa Madhavan, Chandranudhikunnadikhil,” he said.
“Krishnan was a weightlifter and wrestler and the preface to his name ‘Santo’ came from this,” Ananthapadmanabhan said, adding that he was one of the two persons who were known as ‘Santo’ in the South Indian film industry. The other was Santo Chinappa Thevar of Thevar films. Noted stunt master Thyagarajan was his disciple.