THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Film and TV actor Jagannatha Varma died at a private hospital in Neyyattinkara here on Tuesday. He was 77. Varma was admitted to the hospital the other day after he had been diagnosed with pneumonia.
His body was kept at Kalabhavan Theatre here from 2 pm to 5 pm for the public to pay homage. Noted personalities from film and political fields offered tributes. The body was later taken to Cherthala for the cremation which is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Varma, who retired as Superintendent of Police, began his acting career with ‘Mattoli’ in 1978. In a career spanning 27 years, his roles in 190 films such as ‘New Delhi’, ‘CBI Diarykkurippu’, ‘Sukhamo Devi’, ‘Parinayam’, ‘Lelam’, ‘Sallapam’, ‘Aaram Thampuran’ and ‘Pathram’ and many serials were notable.
He had training in kathakali when he was 14 years old and rubbed shoulders with noted proponents of the art form. He also practised ‘chenda’ under Kandalloor Unnikrishnan and had ‘arangettam’ three years ago. He is married to Santha Varma. Varma’s son Manu Varma also is an actor while his daughter Priya is married to noted director Viji Thampi.
Cremation at Kattunkal Kovilakom
Cherthala: The cremation of actor Jagannatha Varma will take place at Kattunkal Kovilakom in Varanad, near here. The relatives and neighbours of Varma have made elaborate arrangements for the funeral. Varma’s body will be cremated on the premises of the Kovilakam on Wednesday at 11 am with full state honours. Varma’s sister Prabhavathi Varma, 65, and her husband Venugopal, 68, now live in the Kovilakom. Jagannantha Varma was born and brought up here. Venugopal said that the Kovilakam is an ‘ettukettu’. One room which is known as ‘nadakassala’ belonged to Varma. In that room, he had started his drama practise with friends. He also learned Kathakali there. Several leading Kathakali artistes have visited our house along with Varma, said Venugopal. K C Venugopal MP condoled in the death of Varma. He paid tributes at Thiruvananthapuram.
CM mourns death
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan mourned the death of actor Jagannatha Varma. He said that Varma had etched out several different characters on the silver screen which created unforgettable acting moments. He is always in the hearts of Malayalam cinema lovers with his adorable acting skills. His experience in Kathakali had helped his acting career and he had also excelled as a police officer. His demise is a big loss for the artistic scene of the state, said Vijayan.