Kozhikode: Veteran Malayalam actor Mamukkoya, known for his comic roles in an acting career spanning over four decades, died at a private hospital here on Wednesday, film industry sources said. He was 76. The actor was admitted to the hospital on Monday after suffering a heart attack while attending a football tournament here. He had recently returned to acting after surviving cancer, the sources said.
The veteran actor was known for his sharp comic timing, spontaneity and wit entwined with his Kozhikode slang of Malayalam. Born in 1946, Mamukkoya was a theatre artist from his school days and worked as a wood measurer and a carnival actor before entering the world of films with Nilambur Balan’s movie ‘Anyarude Bhoomi’. Subsequently, he acted in around 500 films, including comedies like ‘Sandesam’, ‘Nadodikkattu’, ‘Innathe Chintha Vishayam’, ‘His Highness Abdullah’, ‘Thalayanamanthram’, ‘Varavelpu’ and ‘Ramji Rao Speaking’.
Phrases in his dialogues, like ‘Nariyal ka pani’ in the film Sandesam and ‘Gafoor ka dost’ in Nadodikkattu, were appreciated by audiences and are still popular among Malayalam film enthusiasts.
As news of Mamukkoya’s death spread, condolences from people from all walks of life, including actors and politicians, poured in on social media.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan condoled the actor’s death and tweeted, “His natural humor, Malabar accent and a rural touch in acting endeared him to viewers. May his soul rest in peace.”
Hon’ble Governor Shri Arif Mohammed Khan said: “Heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of noted actor Sri #Mamukkoya who acted in 450 films. His natural humor, Malabar accent and a
rural touch in acting endeared him to viewers. May his soul rest in peace”:PRO,KeralaRajBhavan pic.twitter.com/b8FReVKSDF
— Kerala Governor (@KeralaGovernor) April 26, 2023
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan termed Mamukkoya’s death as an irreparable loss to Kerala’s cultural scene. The CM said that the veteran comedian’s Kozhikode style of acting, dialogue delivery and his sense of humour were what set him apart. Vijayan said that the actor’s career will be a valuable lesson for students of acting. He also tweeted, “Mamukkoya, with his lively and novel on-screen performances, has enthralled film lovers across Kerala for decades. His sudden demise is a big loss to the industry, the world of art and the state’s public sphere. Joining the grief of family, friends, and the film world.”
Mamukkoya, with his lively and novel on-screen performances, has enthralled film lovers across Kerala for decades. His sudden demise is a big loss to the industry, the world of art and the state’s public sphere. Joining the grief of family, friends, and the film world. pic.twitter.com/nKIzWU6evw
— Pinarayi Vijayan (@pinarayivijayan) April 26, 2023
Leader of Opposition in the state assembly V D Satheesan said that Mamukkoya played comic and character roles in his over four decade long career and yet he was a simple man in real life. Satheesan said that the actor’s many comic roles over the years kept people laughing and will continue to do in future. It was his theatre experience that gave a naturalness to Mamukkoya’s acting, he said in his message condoling the actor’s death.
“He had an undying love for football and that is why he was at Wandoor (in Malappuram district of Kerala) for a soccer tournament inauguration,” the LoP said in his message. From the film industry, actors, directors and producers posted their condolence messages on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
“Rest in Peace,” veteran Malayalam actor Sreenivasan’s son Vineeth tweeted.
“Bye,” actor Jayasurya tweeted along with a photo of Mamukkoya.
Actor Prithiviraj Sukumaran also took to Twitter to express his grief. “Rest in peace Maamukkoya Sir! Had the absolute privilege of sharing screen space with you multiple times. But to see you unleash #Moosa in #KURUTHI at such close quarters will be a memory that I cherish forever! #Legend ,” he tweeted.
Rest in peace Maamukkoya Sir! Had the absolute privilege of sharing screen space with you multiple times. But to see you unleash #Moosa in #KURUTHI at such close quarters will be a memory that I cherish forever! #Legend ____ pic.twitter.com/rU5uOV4TIO
— Prithviraj Sukumaran (@PrithviOfficial) April 26, 2023
“Aadaranjalikal,” actor Tovino Thomas tweeted.
Veteran superstar Mammootty’s son Dulquer Salmaan tweeted broken heart emojis along with Mamukkoya’s photograph to express his grief. Mamukkoya won several awards and honours for his various roles during his extensive career. He received the state government’s best comedian award for his performance in ‘Innathe Chintha Vishayam’, a Special Mention from the State Film Awards Jury for his performance in ‘Perumazhakkalam’ and also won the Abu Dhabi Kala Ratna award.
The actor’s body was brought to the Kozhikode Town Hall for the public to pay their last respects and the last rites are likely to be performed on Thursday. The actor is survived by wife and four children.