THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Gifted actor Nedumudi Venu, 73, who appeared in more than 500 Malayalam films and won two national awards and over a half a dozen Kerala film awards, passed away here on Monday. He was undergoing treatment for various ailments after recovering from COVID-19 and breathed his last by noon.
Born to P K Kesavan Pillai and P Kunjikkuttiyamma in Nedumudi, Alappuzha, as one of their five children, Venu made his debut in the film industry as an actor in 1978 in the drama film ‘Thampu’, directed by G Aravindan.
Kesavan Venugopal Nair, fondly known as Nedumudi Venu, started his career in theatre and went on to act in films besides making his presence felt as a director and screenwriter as well.
Recently he lent his voice to a 90-second video song in which he sang that all should stand together and fight the coronavirus by listening to the guidelines. The song had gone viral after it was uploaded on the Kerala Police’s Facebook and Twitter page, with netizens and Malayalis across the globe sharing it within hours.
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After graduating from Sanatana Dharma College, Alappuzha, he worked as a journalist in Kalakaumudi for some time and as a teacher in a tutorial institute.
He penned scripts for films like Kattathe Kilikkoodu, Theertham, Sruthi, Ambada Njane, Oru Katha Oru Nunnakkatha, Savidham and Angane Oru Avadhikkalathu. He also directed a movie named Pooram.
His Tamil movie Indian with Kamal Haasan and Vikram's Anniyan earned him laurels in Kollywood as well. Other Tamil films in which he appeared include Mogamul (1995) and Sarvam Thaala Mayam (2019)
He was also part of the English language film Chaurahen sharing screen space with Zeenat Aman, Victor Banerjee and Roopa Ganguly.
He also won the Best Actor award for his role in Saira at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival in September 2007.
He received his first Kerala State Film Award (Second Best Actor) in 1980 for Chamaram. Since then, he has received the award for Vidaparayum Munpe (Best Actor) in 1981 and Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam (Best Actor) in 1987.
"Nedumudi Venu's passing away is a loss to Indian cinema. There won't be any artist to replace Nedumudi in Malayalam. Having him on the film sets gave a special energy," said actor Maniyan Pillai Raju.
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