Innocent (actor) Age, Death, Wife, Family, Biography & More

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Death Date: 26/03/2023
Age: 75 Years
Wife: Alice

Malayalam actor Innocent

Full nameInnocent Vareed Thekkethala [1]Deccan Chronicle
Profession(s)Actor, Writer, Politician
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 165 cm
in meters- 1.65 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 5”
Eye ColourDark Brown
Hair ColourBlack
Career (Actor)
Debut (as an actor)Film (Malayalam): Nrithasala (1972) as a news reporter
Nrithasala (1972)
Last FilmKaduva (2022) - a Malayalam film in which he played the role of Fr. Vattasseri
A poster of the Malayalam film Kaduva (2022)
Awards, Honours, Achievements Kerala State Film Awards
• 1989 – Second Best Actor – Mazhavil Kavadi
• 1981 – Second Best Film (Producer) – Vida Parayum Munpe
• 1982 – Second Best Film (Producer) – Ormakkayi

Kerala State Film Critics Award
• 2009 – Best Actor – Patham Nilayile Theevandi

Asianet Film Award
• 2001 – Supporting Actor Award – Ravanaprabhu
• 2004 – Supporting Actor Award – Vesham
• 2006 – Best Actor in a Comic Role – Rasathanthram, Yes Your Honour
• 2008 – Supporting Actor Award – Innathe Chintha Vishayam
• 2010 – Character Actor Award -Kadha Thudarunnu
• 2011 – Character Actor Award -Snehaveedu, Swapna Sanchari
• 2013 – Lifetime Achievement Award

Other Awards
• 2004 – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Malayalam for Manassinakkare
• 2007 – Sathyan Award
• 2008 – Annual Malayalam Movie Award (Dubai) for Outstanding Performance
• 2013 – TTK Prestige-Vanitha Film Awards – Lifetime Achievement Award
• 2019 –He is Distributing Awards Realtors Investors Summit
Political Party• Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) (in the 1970s)
Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP)
• Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) (2019)
Symbol of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Political Journey• Appointed as the Thrissur District Secretary as a candidate of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) in the 1970s
• Served as Municipal Councillor of Irinjalakuda (1979-1982)
• Served as MP from Chalakudy (2014-2019)
• Contested and lost the Chalakudy Lok Sabha seat on CPM’s ticket in 2019

Note: He contested the municipal council elections and 2014 Lok Sabha elections as a CPM-backed independent candidate.
Personal Life
Date of Birth28 February 1948 (Saturday)
BirthplaceIrinjalakuda, Thrissur, Travancore-Cochin (now Kerala), India
Date of Death26 March 2023
Place of DeathVPS Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi, Kerala
Age (at the time of death) 75 Years
Death CauseMulti-organ failure and heart attack

Note: Since 3 March 2023, he had been undergoing treatment at VPS Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi, Kerala after a respiratory infection following Covid infection. [2]The Hindu
Zodiac signPisces
HometownIrinjalakuda, Kerala
School• Little Flower Convent High School, Irinjalakuda
• Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Irinjalakuda
• Sree Sangameswara NSS School, Irinjalakuda
Educational QualificationHe attended school till class eight. [3]The New Indian Express
ReligionChristianity [4]The Times of India
ControversyUnwarranted Remarks on Casting Couch
In 2017, he came under public scrutiny for saying that 'bad' actresses might share 'the bed' at will while talking about the casting couch in the Malayalam film industry during an interaction with the media. [5]The New Indian Express While denying the existence of a casting couch in the Malayalam cinema, he said,
"Those days are long gone. The moment you make an imprudent request to a woman in this day and age, it will be shared with people like you. They will speak about it openly...But if the women are bad, they may share the bed."
Innocent stirred a controversy with his derogatory remarks following which The Women In Cinema Collective (WCC) took to Facebook and criticised the MP saying,
"New artistes face several forms of sexual abuse while entering the film industry. Even our colleagues, like Parvathy and Lakshmi Rai, have spoken about casting couch openly… We cannot accept the statement that the film industry is free from all kinds of sexual exploitation and there should be cautiousness in making statements in public.”
Later, Innocent defended himself via a Facebook post saying that his comments were misinterpreted by the media. A loose translation of his Facebooks post in Malayalam reads,
"I meant to say that compared to earlier years, there has been a healthy and women-friendly change in the environment in the film industry. I never said that there is no anti-woman factor in the film industry. It is a reality that certain social evils are present in the film industry like our society. AMMA will continue to work towards eliminating any kind of anti-woman practice in the industry. Media should refrain from focusing on words that are separated out of context."
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Married
A picture of actor Innocent and Alice
ChildrenSon- Sonnet Parppidam (or Sonnet Innocent)
From left to right, Sonnet Parppidam, Innocent's grandson, Innocent, Innocent's grand-daughter, Alice, Innocent's daughter-in-law
ParentsFather- Vareed Thekkethala
Mother- Margaret
SiblingsInnocent was the fifth among the seven children of his parents - two elder brothers and two elder sisters.
Money Factor
Assets/PropertiesMovable Assets
• Cash: Rs. 10,000
• Deposits in Banks: Rs. 2,31,02,896
• Motor Vehicles: Rs. 57,50,000
• Jewellery: Rs. 2,24,200
• Other assets: Rs. 2,89,167

Immovable Assets
• Non-Agricultural Land: Rs. 1,72,00,000
• Residential Buildings: Rs. 60,00,000

Note: The given estimates of moveable and immovable assets are as per the financial year 2018-2019. It does not include the assets owned by his wife and dependents. [6]MyNeta
Net Worth (as of 2019)Rs. 5,19,06,263

Note: His net worth does not include the net worth of his wife and dependents. [7]MyNeta

Innocent (actor) attending a function

Some Lesser Known Facts About Innocent

  • Innocent was an Indian actor, writer, and politician who predominantly worked in the Malayalam film industry. He was known for playing comedic roles in various Malayalam films like Ramji Rao Speaking (1989), Kilukkam (1991), and Devasuram (1993). Besides Malayalam, he also worked in Hindi, English, Tamil, and Kannada films. He was elected as the MP from Chalakudy in 2014. He served as the president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) from 2003 to 2018. He died of multi-organ failure and a heart attack on 26 March 2023 in Kochi, Kerala.
  • He was born into a Catholic family from Irinjalakuda, where he grew up with seven siblings.
  • He took to the stage for the first time when he was in Class 1, studying at Little Flower Convent High School, Irinjalakuda. He recalled the same in an interview and said,

    I wore a small towel and there was makeup on my face…I played the drums.”

  • Growing up, he actively participated in several skits at school. A popular student at school, he would often mimic people to make his friends laugh. He joined a cultural organisation, which staged plays when he was in class 6. His parents did not approve of his participation in the plays of the cultural organisation as its rehearsal began at 10 pm, leading to Innocent returning home late in the night, around 2 am. Also, the rehearsals were held at some distance from the house. While recalling the same in an interview, he said,

    When I got up in the morning, I would hear statements like: ‘At what time did he come? Who knows? He had not come in till 1 am. In a family of eight children, there will always be one bad apple. Nothing can be done about it.”

    Furthermore, his poor academic performance fueled the anger of his parents. He failed in Classes 6, 7, and 8. In an interview, he said,

    While classmates of mine were doing their MA, I was still at school.”

  • As a child, he had a voracious appetite for reading and Vallathol Narayana Menon was his favourite poet.
  • He moved to Madras (now Chennai) in 1969, seeking an opportunity to work in films. Although he started getting minor roles after his debut film, Nrithasala, his meagre earnings led him to return to Irinjalakuda in 1971.
  • During his struggling days, he tried running a match-box manufacturing factory in Davangere, established a leather business in 1974, and then tried his hands at a cycle renting business to make a living, but all of them were unsuccessful.

    Malayalam actor Innocent in his younger days

    Innocent in his younger days

  • His friends urged him to contest the 1979 municipal elections in Irinjalakuda, which he won as an independent candidate. However, his passion for acting led him to continue trying his luck in showbiz.
  • Innocent pledged his wife’s gold ornaments to finance the film Vida Parayum Munpe (1981).
  • He gained recognition with the Malayalam film Ilakkangal (1982) in which he played the role of Devassikutty. The film was written by Malayalam storywriter M Raghavan.
  • While he struggled to make ends meet, his family lived in a quaint one-room house. During those days, he would often sleep on a mat, like many others struggling artists, on the floor of Uma Lodge in Kodambakkam. Sometimes, he even took his wife and son there so that he could spend some time with them.
  • He was immensely appreciated for his comedic acting in the film Avidathe Pole Ivideyum (1985) in which he played the role of an obsessed businessman who enquires a man about the death of his mother. However, when the man narrates the incident, Innocent’s character shows a complete lack of interest. Despite the film’s failure at the box office, it gave a boost to Innocent’s career.
  • He came into the limelight with the 1989 Malayalam comedy film Ramji Rao Speaking in which he played the role of Mannar Mathai, the owner of Urvasi Theatre. The film was a commercial hit in Malayalam cinema.

    Malayalam actor Innocent as Mannar Mathai (center) in the film Ramji Rao Speaking (1989)

    Malayalam actor Innocent as Mannar Mathai (centre) in the film Ramji Rao Speaking (1989)

  • His unique Thrissur dialect and trademark mannerisms became popular among the Malayalam audience.
  • Apart from comedic roles, he also played negative roles in various Malayalam films like Mazhavilkavadi (1989), Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu (1988), and Ganamela (1991).
  • Some of his notable Malayalam films include Kathodu Kathoram (1985), Nadodikattu (1987), Kilukkam (1991), Godfather (1991), Vietnam Colony (1992), and Devaasuram (1993).

    Kilukkam - Innocent lottery Scene on Make a GIF

    Malayalam actor Innocent as Kittunni in the film Kilukkam (1991)

  • In 1998, he appeared as Colonel Vincent in the Bollywood film Doli Saja Ke Rakhna, starring Akshaye Khanna and Jyothika.
    Poster of Doli Saja Ke Rakhna (1998)
  • He starred in the Tamil films Lesa Lesa (2003) and Naan Avalai Sandhitha Pothu (2019).
  • He starred in the bilingual English and Malayalam film Nothing but Life (2004) in which he played the role of Professor Ponnachan PhD.
  • In the 2006 Hindi comedy film Malamaal Weekly, Innocent played the role of a drunkard named Anthony, who dies of happiness after winning a lottery.

    A picture of Innocent as Anthony in Malamaal Weekly (2006)

    A picture of Innocent as Anthony in Malamaal Weekly (2006)

  • He played the role of Labrador bhai in the Telugu film Swagatam (2008)
  • In 2012, he played the role of Sitharam Setu in the bilingual Kannada and Malayalam film Shikari.
  • Innocent penned five books, Njan Innocent, Cancer Wardile Chiri, Irinjalakudakku Chuttum, Mazha Kannadi and Chirrikku Pinnil. While Cancer Wardile Chiri (Laughter in the Cancer Ward) narrates his experience as a cancer patient, Mazha Kannadi is a collection of short stories, and Chirrikku Pinnil is his autobiography.
    Cover picture of the book Njan Innocent
  • In 2013, Innocent was diagnosed with throat cancer, and his wife, Alice, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • In 2020, his book Irinjalakudakku Chuttum was awarded the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Humour.
  • He was given writing credits for the Malayalam films Pavam I.A. Ivachan (1994) and Keerthanam (1995).
  • He held the post of president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) from 2003 to 2018; he stepped down from the post citing his busy schedule and his deteriorating health. Besides acting, Innocent co-produced various Malayalam films Ormakkai (1982) and Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback (1983). As a playback singer, Innocent lent his voice to various Malayalam songs like Aanachandam from Gajakesariyogam (1990), Kandallo from Sandram (1990), Kunukupenmaniye from Mr Butler (2000), Onnam Malakeri from Kalyanaraman (2002), and Sundarakeralam from Doctor Innocentanu (2012).
  • His grandson is named Innocent after him.
  • Once, during his tenure as an MP, Innocent asked Vijay Mallya to get him three cups of coffee in the parliament as he confused him for a Coffee Board waiter, owing to Mallya’s white and black outfit, similar to those worn by the waiters.