Malayalam filmmaker AB Raj passes away
Raj worked on notable films such as Kannur Deluxe, Lottery Ticket, Danger Biscuit, Ezhuthatha Kadha, Shasthram Jayichu Manushyan Thottu, and many others
Veteran Malayalam filmmaker AB Raj (Raj Antony Bhaskar) passed away due to cardiac arrest in Chennai on Sunday. He was 95.
Raj remained active from 1951 to 1986 and enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with actors such as Prem Nazir, Sheela, Adoor Bhasi, Sankaradi, Jayabharathi, and Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair through notable films like Kannur Deluxe, Lottery Ticket, Danger Biscuit, Ezhuthatha Kadha, Shasthram Jayichu Manushyan Thottu, and many others.
A native of Alappuzha, Raj was born in 1929 and lived in various parts of Tamil Nadu. He dropped out of college to pursue a career in cinema in 1947. In 1949, he joined as an apprentice at Salem's Modern Theatres under filmmaker TR Sundaram.
Raj made his directorial debut in 1968 with Kaliyalla Kalyanam, which starred Sathyan, Sharadha, and Sukumari. Between 1951 to 1960, he directed 11 Sinhalese films while he was in Ceylon.
Interestingly, he also served as a second unit assistant director to legendary filmmaker David Lean on the film, The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957), which was filmed in Sri Lanka. He made his Tamil directorial debut in 1971 with Thulli Odum Pullimaan.
Raj was a mentor to filmmakers Hariharan, IV Sasi, P Chandrakumar and Rajashekaran.
His wife Sarojini passed away in 1993. He is survived by his children Saranya Ponvannan (National award-winning actor), Jayapal, and Manoj.