Veteran stage and film actor ‘Typist’ Gopu, known for making the audience erupt in laughter, died due to age-related ailments in Chennai on Wednesday evening. He was 85, and had been unwell for sometime.
‘Typist’ Gopu was originally named Gopalarathinam. He played the role of a typist in T.S.Seshadri’s stage play Nenje Nee Vazhga, which remained etched in everyone’s minds and gave him the ‘typist’ tag. Hailing from Manakkal in Trichy district, he made his stage debut in his friend Nagesh’s troupe in the year 1959. He was best known for his comedy and supporting roles, and acted in over 600 stage plays and 400 movies.
Speaking to Silverscreen, actor, comedian, writer Crazy Mohan said about him, “He has acted in Mahendran’s troupe. Though he is a good actor, he did not shine much in the industry. He acted in my film Michael Mathana Kama Rajan, where, in fact, a comedy dialogue by Usilaimani was added by him. I used to meet him at Vethala Jeevapala (a place that sold beetle) before getting to know him at the troupe. He is a very good friend of mine and the loss is unbearable. In the troupe, actor Neelu would often be mistaken for Gopu as both looked similar; sometimes, even I got confused between them.”
Speaking about their bond and travel experience to The Hindu, actor Y Gee Mahendran said, “It is a great loss to our family and troupe members. He was like a family figure to us. He has been with us from 1976 and has acted in hundreds of plays and films. I have taken him thrice to the US. In fact in an interview to The Hindu he recalled how he had been around the globe with a bank balance of just ₹200. I spoke to him on Saturday and he said he was bored and wanted to act on stage.”
Gopu was an actor with expressive eyes and body language. He could easily make the audience fall for his humor, and even played small cameo roles after he left acting and theatre. He acted in Kasedhaan Kadavulada, Adhe Kangal, Paritchaiku Neramachu, Aalayam and Michael Mathana Kama Rajan. He is survived by his wife Rajalakshmi, two sons and a daughter.
Image Courtesy: Vikatan