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Veteran Malayalam actor GK Pillai passes away- Cinema express

Veteran Malayalam actor GK Pillai passes away

GK Pillai, a veteran of over 300 films, is mostly known for his portrayal of negative roles

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Published: 31st December 2021
GK Pillai

Senior Malayalam actor GK Pillai passed away on Friday after battling with age-related ailments. The 97-year-old breathed his last at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College.

Born to Govinda Pillai and Janaki in Varkala, Thiruvananthapuram, Pillai made his entry into films after serving in the Army and Navy. A veteran of over 300 films and is also a familiar face in TV serials. He is mostly known for his portrayal of negative roles.

Pillai made his debut in the 1954 film Snehaseema opposite leading man Sathyan. He was known for his long association with actor Prem Nazir, who also happened to be his schoolmate. After having played a villain for a better part of his life, Pillai later got to prove his mettle as a character actor, playing roles of family patriarchs and authoritative figures.

Also notable is his dominating presence in films based on the vadakkan paattukal, such as  Kadathanaattu Maakkam, Thumbolarcha, and Thacholi Ambu. He also made notable appearances in IV Sasi's Ee Naadu, Jijo Punnoose's Padayottam, and Sibi Malayali's August 1.

He also enjoyed a brief stint behind the camera when he assisted in the direction and editing departments of Adoor Gopalakrishnan's Swayamvaram. After making his television debut in 2005 with Kadamattathu Kathanar, he remained active in numerous serials throughout the late 2000s.

G Kesavan Pillai was born to Govinda Pillai and Saraswathiamma at Chirayinkeezhu in 1924. His schooling was at Sree Chithiravilasom School, Chirayinkeezhu. His wife Ulapalakshi Amma had predeceased him. He is survived by his sons Prathapachandran, Priyadarshan, Chandramohan, and daughters Sreekala, Sreelekha and Sreekumari.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the death of Pillai. "Pillai endeared himself to generations through his varied acting style. His acting career spanning over six decades covered black and white films to TV serials," he said in a message.

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