Veteran actor Surendranatha Thilakan, popularly known as Thilakan, passed away on Monday morning at KIMS hospital in Thuruvananthapuram. He was 77.
Thilakan was under medication for pneumonia and cardiac issues for over a month and died at 3:30 am on Monday following a heart failure, Asianet reported.
The actor endeared many roles in Malayalam movies and was a part of the film industry for more than 50 years. He essayed various roles in about 200 films, most of which were in Malayalam.
Thilakan started his career as a theatre artist at the age of 19 and made his film debut with P J Antony's movie "Periyyar".
Even at the time when the illness took control of his body, Thilakan was not ready to give up his career. His latest film "Ustaad Hotel" was a hit at the box office. He was also in the news for his difference of opinion with the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA).
In 2009, Thilakan was given the Padma Shri award for his contributions to the film industry. He also won the national award twice for best supporting actor and had bagged the Kerala state award nine times for his various roles.
Thilakan is regarded as one of the finest actors in the Indian film industry. Apart from Malayalam movies, he also acted in several Tamil movies.
Thilakan is survived by his sons Shaji, Shammi, Shibu, Shobi and daughters Sonia and Sophia. Fans and well wishers can pay their last respects to the veteran actor at the Victoria Jubilee Memorial Town Hall at 11 am and his body will be cremated at 4pm, The Hindu reported.