Veteran comedian Mayilsamy passes away

Mayilsamy had a career spanning 39 years and starred in 200-odd films

Renowned actor Mayilsamy passed away on Sunday morning after suffering from a heart attack. The 57-year-old, who collapsed in the wee hours of Sunday, was taken to a private hospital in Chennai, but the doctors confirmed his demise on arrival. 

Known for his strong comic roles, Mayilsamy was a regular feature alongside some of the biggest stars in Tamil cinema. The actor began his career with Bhagyaraj's Dhavani Kanavugal in 1984 and has since worked in over 200-odd films.  

A striking feature of Mayilsamy's career was how he appeared in just a few scenes in most of his films, and yet made an indelible mark. After his initial films with stalwarts like Kamal Haasan (Aboorva Sagodharargal, Vetri Vizha, Michael Madana Kamarajan) and Rajinikanth (Panakkaran, Uzhaippali), Mayilsamy became a household name with his stint in television where he hosted comedy shows like Comedy Time, and Asathapovadhu Yaaru. He also had a starring role in the popular 90s serial, Marma Desam. His popularity further soared with his collaborations with other comedians like Vadivelu, and the late Vivekh. His roles in Dhool, Ghilli, Winner, Uthamaputhiran, Kanchana, and Veeram cemented his place in Tamil cinema's rich comedy history. In the latter part of his career, Mayilsamy also got serious roles in films like Nenjuku Needhi, and delivered striking performances. 

Another fascinating aspect of Mayilsamy's career was his mimicry talents, and his long-time colleague and noted actor Chinni Jayanth stands testament to the former's talent. "He is my senior in the field of mimicry. When I was in college, they released a cassette of his mimicry compilations, and that was my introduction to his work. In the 80s and 90s, he was the favourite voice for action sequences. His specialty was his sound effects, especially ones involving martial arts. Not many know, but I'd consider him to be the best mimic of Kamal Haasan's voice."

One of the most celebrated comedians of his time, Mayilsamy won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Comedian for his performance in Kangalal Kaidhu Sei (2004). An acclaimed theatre artist and stage performer, Mayilsamy was known not just for his acting but his benevolent nature too. Almost all the condolence messages pouring in from industry insiders, friends, and colleagues of Mayilsamy point out his benevolence and social responsibility. In a statement, Mayilsamy's frequent collaborator and actor-filmmaker Parthiban, said, "In a film's credit, actor Mayilsamy might not get top billing, but in life, the person Mayilsamy will always be right on top." This is a sentiment that is echoed across the messages pouring in for the actor from the likes of Kamal Haasan and Sarath Kumar.

Mayilsamy, who was last in Udanpaal, is survived by his wife and two sons, who are both aspiring actors.

(With inputs from Prashanth Vallavan)

Related Stories

No stories found.
Cinema Express