Born In: Alleppey, Travancore, India
Kesavan Venugopal Nair was an Indian actor, director, and screenwriter. He was better known by his stage name, Nedumudi Venu. A native of Kerala, Venu studied at N S S Higher Secondary School and St. Mary's Higher Secondary School before enrolling at Sanatana Dharma College (SD College), Alappuzha. After graduating, he was employed as a journalist for a while. He also worked as a teacher at a tutorial institute. His interest in music and art developed while he was still a student. As an adult, he became friends with several important personalities from the Malayalam film industry, including Aravindan, Padmarajan and Bharath Gopi. This ultimately helped him land roles in films. Venu made his acting debut in 1978 in the drama film ‘Thampu’. In the ensuing years, he established himself as one of the most prominent actors in India. In his career spanning over four decades, he appeared in over five hundred films and won three National Film Awards, six Kerala State Film Awards, and three Filmfare Awards. Several films have been made on his scripts and stories. In 1989, he made his directorial debut with the drama film ‘Pooram’.
Also Known As: Kesavan Venugopal
Died At Age: 73
Spouse/Ex-: T. R. Susheela
father: P. Kunjikkuttiyamma
mother: P. K. Kesavan Nair
children: Kannan Gopal, Unni Gopal
Born Country: India
place of death: Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Notable Alumni: Sanatana Dharma College
Diseases & Disabilities: Liver Cancer
Cause of Death: Kidney Disease
education: Sanatana Dharma College
awards: 2003; 1987; 1981 · Margam
Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam - Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor
2005 - National Film Award – Special Jury Award
1982 · Vida Parayum Munpe - Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Malayalam
1991 · His Highness Abdullah - National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
1994; 1986; 1980 · Thenmavin Kombath; Thalavattam; Chamaram - Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Actor
1991 · Bharatham; Santhwanam - Kerala State Film Award – Special Jury Award
1998 - Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South
2011; 2006 · Kadha Thudarunnu
Best Actor; Thanmathra - Asianet Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
2018 - Asianet Film Award for Lifetime Achievement
Asianet Film Award for Best Script Writer; 2008 · Thaniye
Asianet Film Award for Best Character Actor
2014 · Drishyam
National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film Narration / Voice Over
2008 · Minukku
Asianet Film Award for Best Villain Role
2016 · Oru Second Class Yathra
Born on May 22, 1948, in Nedumudi, Travancore (now in Alleppey, Kerala, India), Venu was the youngest of five sons of P. K. Kesavan Nair and P. Kunjikkuttiyamma. His father was a schoolmaster.
He attended N S S Higher Secondary School, Nedumudi, and St. Mary's Higher Secondary School, Champakulam. During this period, he began harbouring a deep interest in art and music.
He studied at Sanatana Dharma College (SD College), Alappuzha. After he graduated, he started working as a journalist in Kalakaumudi and as a teacher in a tutorial institute. While he was residing in Thiruvananthapuram, he met Aravindan, Padmarajan and Bharath Gopi. This granted him access to the Malayalam film industry.
Nedumudi Venu started his career as an actor on stage. He was a member of the regular cast of Kavalam Narayana Panicker's plays. In 1978, he debuted on the big screen in director Govindan Aravindan’s drama film ‘Thampu’.
He got the chance to showcase his acting skills in the 1978/1980 comedy-drama film ‘Aravam’. Written and directed by Bharathan, the film also stars Bahadur and Prameela.
In 1981, Venu worked with Padmarajan in ‘Oridathoru Phayalwan’ and ‘Kallan Pavithran’. These films marked a significant shift in his career, as he portrayed Karanavar (head of the family) roles. In the ensuing years, he has excelled as a performer whenever he has been cast in such roles.
He received his first Kerala State Film Award (Second Best Actor) in 1980 for ‘Chamaram’. Since then, he has received the award for ‘Vidaparayum Munpe’ (Best Actor) in 1981 and ‘Oru Minnaminunginte Nurunguvettam’ (Best Actor) in 1987.
The first National Film Award Venu received was for Best Supporting Actor for the musical thriller-drama film ‘His Highness Abdullah’ in 1990. Also starring Mohanlal, Gautami, and Sreenivasan, the film was the highest-grossing Malayalam film of the year and garnered another National Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the song ‘Naadaroopini’ (M. G. Sreekumar).
In 1983, the romance drama ‘Kattathe Kilikkoodu’ was released, which was based on a story by Venu. ‘Ambada Njane!’ (1985), ‘Sruthi’ (1987), ‘Pandu Pandoru Rajakumari’ (1992), ‘Oru Kadankatha Pole’ (1993), and ‘Aalavattam’ (1993) were also adapted from his stories.
He penned the screenplay for the film ‘Angene Oru Avadhikkalathu’ (1999) and co-wrote the script and dialogues for the film ‘Thaniye’ (2007).
In 1989, Nedumudi Venu released his first and only movie to date as a director, ‘Pooram’. Set in the backdrop of a village, the film’s cast included Vishnu, Mathu, and Thilakan. Venu was also prominently active in the Tamil film industry, appearing in films like ‘Mogamul’ (1995), ‘Indian’ (1996), and ‘Sarvam Thaala Mayam’ (2019).
In 2007, he shared the screen space with Zeenat Aman, Victor Banerjee, Roopa Ganguly, and Soha Ali Khan in Rajshree Ojha’s English-language film ‘Chaurahen’.
Nedumudi Venu acted in several TV serials. He was part of the cast of Surya TV’s ‘Sreekrishnan’, Asianet’s ‘Kunjalimarakkar’, and Doordarshan’s ‘Verukal’. He acted and served as the director on the Doordarshan show ‘Kairali Vilasam Lodge’.
In 2001, he received the Kerala State Television Award for Best Actor for Kairali TV’s ‘Avasthantharangal’. He is set to star in the upcoming films ‘Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham’ and ‘Indian 2’.
Nedumudi Venu portrayed the doting father-figure to Ranjini’s Kalyani in Priyadarshan’s screwball comedy film ‘Chithram’. Released during the Christmas weekend of 1988, the film was a critical and commercial success. It shattered all existing records in the Malayalam cinema industry and has since become of one of the highest-grossing Malayalam films of all time.
Nedumudi Venu was married to T. R. Susheela. They had two sons together, Unni and Kannan.
He died on 11 October 2021, at a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram due to post-COVID-19 complications.
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