Nedumudi Venu, the National Award-winning actor who predominantly works in the Malayalam film industry, passed away on Monday at a private hospital in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.
He was 73.
According to a source, the actor developed uneasiness on Sunday following which he was rushed to the hospital and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“The actor had recently recovered from Covid-19 and later developed post-Covid-19 complications. Following this, he became physically weak. Besides, he was also undergoing treatment for some stomach related ailments for a long time. Though he was said to be stable early on Monday morning, his health condition detoriated and he was declared dead at 1:30 pm,” the source said.
The source added that the actor had recently completed shooting his portions for the upcoming Malayalam film Puzhu, starring Mammootty. Venu’s last day of the shoot for Puzhu was on Saturday in Ernakulam and after that, the actor returned to his home in Thiruvananthapuram.
Venu has acted in over 500 films in a five-decade-long career.
Born as Kesavan Venugopal to PK Kesavan Nair, a schoolmaster and P Kunjikkuttiyamma, in Nedumudi, Alappuzha district on May 22, 1948, Venu was the youngest of five children. He did his schooling at NSS Higher Secondary School, Nedumudi, and St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Champakulam. He graduated from SD college in Alappuzha.
Before entering the film field, the actor worked as a journalist in Kalakamudi. He was also a Mridangam percussionist and a theatre artist. He was part of theatre director Kavalam Narayana Panicker’s dramas. Venu’s journey in films began when he shifted to Thiruvananthapuram and became friends with some ace filmmakers including G Aravindan, Padmarajan and Bharath Gopi.
He made his acting debut in the 1978 film Thambu directed by Aravindan. He later rose to fame with his performance in filmmaker Bharathan’s Aaravam, Padmarajan’s Oridathoru Phayalwan and Kallan Pavithran. Venu had also acted in some television serials.
Besides acting, Venu had also written screenplays for films like Kattathe Kilikkoodu, Theertham, Sruthi, Ambada Njaane!, Oru Katha Oru Nunnakkatha, Savidham and Angane Oru Avadhikkalathu. He also directed the 1989 film Pooram.
Venu is a recipient of three National Film Awards for his performance in His Highness Abdullah (1990), Margam (2003) and his narration in Minukku (2006). He also won six Kerala State Film Awards for films Chamaram (1980), Vidaparayum Munpe (1981), Oru Minnaminungite Nurunguvettam (1987), Bharatham and Santhwanam (1991), Thenmavin Kombath (1994) and Margam(2003).
Venu had also acted in several Tamil films including Sarvam Thaala Mayam, Silambaattam, Poi Solla Porom, Anniyan and Mogamul. He was last seen in the Tamil anthology film Navarasa in the part titled Summer of ‘92, directed by filmmaker Priyadarshan.
Besides Puzhu, The actor will also be seen in Mohanlal’s Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham which is yet to be released. Venu, who had essayed the role of a CBI officer named Krishnaswamy in the Kamal Haasan-starrer Indian (1996), was also said to be part of the film’s sequel Indian 2.
Venu is survived by his wife TR Susheela and sons Unni and Kannan.