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Dennis Joseph, Veteran Malayalam Screenwriter, Dies of Cardiac Arrest

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Dennis Joseph, the veteran Malayalam screenwriter, died of a cardiac arrest on Monday at a private hospital in Kottayam in Kerala.

He was 63.

Dennis collapsed following a cardiac arrest at his residence in Ettumanoor and was rushed to the hospital.

Dennis, who had written over 45 Malayalam films, was born on October 20, 1957, in Ettumanoor. He held a degree in chemistry from Devamatha College in Kurivilangadu.

He initially worked as a journalist in a Malayalam magazine. He made his debut as a story writer in Eeran Sandhya and screenwriter in Nirakkoottu in 1985. Both the films starred Mammootty in the lead role.

After the success of Nirakkoottu, Dennis wrote many more super hit films such as Rajavinte Makan starring Mohanlal, New Delhi starring Mammootty, Bhoomiyile Rajakkanmaar, Vazhiyorakkazhchakal, Indrajalam, Nair Saab, No. 20 Madras Mail, and Kottayam Kunjachan.

Dennis had collaborated with directors Joshiy and TS Suresh Babu several times and had also written many hit films for Mammootty and Mohanlal.

He had also directed films such as Manu Uncle, Adharvam, Appu, Thudar Katha and Agrajan. Dennis’s directorial Manu Uncle won the National Award and Kerala State Award for the best children’s film category. 

Dennis last penned the script for Geethanjali (2013), which was directed by Priyadarshan. In 2020, Dennis had planned to make a comeback with Power Star, directed by Omar Lulu starring Antony Babu.

Dennis is survived by his wife, Leena, and children Elizabeth, Rossy and Jose.

Mohanlal took to social media to share his memories of Dennis. Calling him the “king of scriptwriting”, Mohanlal said that he was fortunate to portray some of the characters written by Dennis.

“I can never say enough about my bond with Dennis. I stop midway, with shivering hands… Adieu, Dennis,” he wrote.

In a social media post, Mammootty said, “The untimely demise of Dennis Joseph makes me so sad. The brother-like friend who was with me through growth and exhaustion is no more, he will be remembered through all the films written and directed. Wishing you eternal peace.”

Actors Prithviraj Sukumaran, Joju George, Omar Lulu and others mourned the loss of the veteran screenwriter.


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