Teenage Hero  
       
    Mom, who has given an unlimited amount of knowledge  
       
    Dad, devout and deep-versed in the Vedas and puranas  
       
    Handsome Hero  
     
    One and only sister  
       
BIOGRAPHY

A versatile genius who had enthralled successive generations of filmgoers by the sheer virtuosity of his manifold talent.

For nearly half a century .He was a poet, playwright, scenarist, lyricist, orator, director and above all a thespian in the true sense of the term. Making his debut on the screen way back in 1950, he had appeared in more than 500 films.

In between, he had enacted an astounding variety of roles ranging from the handsome and chivalrous hero to the hardcore and cold-blooded villain, from benevolent god to a malevolent devil, from a prince to a pauper.

Be it profound or profane, earthy or ethereal, each portrayal of his had the hallmark of a perfectionist he truly was. Indeed in the history of cinema no other actor has played such wide and winsome range of roles. And he was never typecast for a particular role like most stars of today. He felt at home in every role! Little wonder, he was lauded as a consummate artiste, who could transform the mundane into the magnificent by the intrinsic quality of his inimitable acting, with commendable ease and élan.

Born in an aristocratic family as the son of Mangat C. Govinda Pillai and N. Lekshmi Amma at Thikkurissi, a serene hamlet in the erstwhile South Travancore, (in the present Kanyakumari district) in 1916, Sukumaran Nair -that was his real name -evinced prodigious talents as a writer and orator even while at school. Endowed with a golden tongue, and handsome to behold, he could win friends and fans both on the public stage and in private gatherings. His parents wanted him to opt for a government job or an academic career. But, so irresistible was the call of the Muse that he took to writing and acting. Incidentally, his sister, L. Omanakkunjamma, was the first magistrate in the country and the first Woman I.A.S officer from the State.

At the age of eight he attempted writing poetry. His poem was first published when he was fourteen in “Dhakshina Bharathi” His earlier poems were romantic in rhyme and spirit. To quote his own words, "heady with the honey-dew of romanticism, whatever I beheld in my youth had a halo of their own l beckoning me to a hazy world of unheard melodies and unknown ecstasies," Compiled in "Kedavilakku" (1940) the pieces were marked by a certain erotic ring reminiscent of Changampuzha.

He wrote two plays 'Mareechika' and 'Kalakaran' which went well with the audience, and followed it up with 'Sthree', 'Maya' and 'Shriyo Thetto'. That was a peculiar brand of musical melodrama in which the hero had to indulge in a singing competition of sorts with the harmonist reigning supreme. Thikkurissy replaced it with a new genre of prose drama surcharged with powerful dialogue and themes of social import. It goes to his credit the plays he improvised were a harbinger of the realistic g drama that took roots and shoots in the subsequent decades.

Marriages are made in heaven...he enjoyed it thrice.... First wife was Sarojini Kunjamma ...hails from a rich and eminent family at Karuvatta near Alleppy district. God blessed them with two children Lekha and Geetha.... but faith departs them... Shyamala Devi Kunjamma is an executive engineer in Ernakulam. Geethambika Kunjamma is a housewife in Pujappura. Then Drama Artist Ambalapuzha Meenakshy Amma got the opportunity to enjoy the eternal love and care of the great Actor had a son from this relationship Rajahamsan lives in Madras...His final lap that was with K. Sulochana Devi, who is known for her music and dance lasted for GOLDEN 41 years…The only Daughter from this marriage 'Golden Girl' Kanakasree who has got an enviable poetic talent died prematurely in an accident.

Quick-witted and adept at repartee, he was a compulsive conversationalist who cheered up his listeners with amusing anecdotes of a personal sort. At ease with both the sublime and the ridiculous, he could compose playful parodies in a trice, which often bordered on ribaldry, but won wide acclaim among the hedonistic youth. There was in fact a touch of theatricality about all he did and uttered. Not only in dress and demeanor, but also in gait, gesture and gesticulation, he compelled attention, as an exuberant extrovert. In the twilight years however, he became mellow and withdrawn, especially after the accidental demise of his daughter, Kanakasree, in the prime of her youth, a budding poetess.

He gave vent to his inconsolable grief in a tear- soaked elegy poignantly titled,

'Ini Ee Kanneer Maathram'.

"Nothing to offer you, my dear, but a shattered father's tear."

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