Yesteryear theatre artist and first cousin of the legendary N N Pillai, G Omana, 80, died at the residence of actor Vijayaraghavan, at Olassa, here on Tuesday. Celebrated in the theatre world for her power-packed portrayal of several fascinating characters, for more than three-and-a-half decades, from 1954. She was cremated on the premises of Vijayaraghavan’s house in the evening. G Omana had won the prestigious state award for best theatre actor in 1977.
Born on May 18, 1932 as the lone daughter of Velayudhan Pillai, a retired school headmaster and his wife Gouri, of Ayyarukulangara, Vaikom, Omana had stepped onto the stage in 1954 as a substitute artist in ‘Asslamum Alaikkum’. After the death of her father, she had been staying with N N Pillai at Olassa, and later with Pillai’s son Vijayaraghavan.
She breathed life into several dazzling characters as an artist of the Viswa Kerala Kalasamithi, Olassa. She played versatile roles in 32 plays and also worked in two movies. Pattalam Bhavani of Cross Belt, Kadaykkavoor Attha of Kapalika and Arthunkal Karthiyayani of Prethalokam are some her most memorable roles. Besides the state award, Omana also won the Sangeet Nataka Academy award for extensive and outstanding contribution to her field, in 2008.
She played a significant role in the 2008 film Anandabhairavi, directed by Jayaraj. Her other celluloid outing happened when the play ‘Kapalika’ was made into a film. She reprised the same part which she had played in the drama. Her introduction to the theatre world had been of high quality, by copy writing the plays scripted by N N Pillai.