Thilakan Age, Death, Wife, Children, Family, Biography & More

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Age: 77 Years
Hometown: Thiruvananthapuram
Death Cause: Cardiac Arrest


Full namePalappurathu Kesavan Surendranatha Thilakan
Other nameP. K. Surendranatha Thilakan
Profession Actor, Retired Army Personnel
Famous forBeing one of the most renowned actors in the South Indian film industries
Physical Stats & More
Height (approx.)in centimeters- 173 cm
in meters- 1.73 m
in feet & inches- 5’8”
Eye ColourBlack
Hair ColourGrey (semi-bald)
DebutMalayalam Film: Periyar (1973)
Periyar film
Tamil Film: Chatriyan (1990) as Arumai Nayagam alias Annachi
Kannada Film: Mother India (1995)
Mother India Kannada film
Telugu Film: Samarasimha Reddy (1999) as Narasimha Reddy
Samarasimha Reddy
Last FilmUstad Hotel (2012) as the character Kareemikka
Thilakan on the poster of the film Ustad Hotel
Awards & Honours Civilian Awards
• Padma Shri in 2009

National Awards
• Best Supporting Actor Award for the film Rithubhedam in 1987
• Special Jury Mention Award for the film Eakantham in 2006
Thilakan receiving the National Film Award
• Special Jury Mention Award for the film Ustad Hotel in 2012

Kerala State Awards
• Second Best Actor Award for the film Yavanika in 1981
• Second Best Actor Award for the film Yathra in 1985
• Second Best Actor Award for the film Panchagni in 1986
• Second Best Actor Award for the film Thaniyavarthanam in 1987
• Second Best Actor Award for the films Mukthi and Dhwani in 1988
• Special Jury Award for various films in 1989
• Best Actor Award for the film Perumthachan in 1990
• Second Best Actor Award for the film Kattathoru Penpoovu in 1991
• Best Actor Award for the film Perumthachan in 1994
• Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi Fellowship in 2007

Filmfare Award South
• Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the Malayalam film industry in 2006
• Best Supporting Actor Male Award for the film Indian Rupee in 2011

Other Awards
• Asianet Film Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions in the Malayalam film industry in 2001
• Bharat Gopy Award instituted by the Manavaseva Welfare Society for his contributions in the Malayalam film industry in 2010
Personal Life
Date of Birth15 July 1935 (Monday)
BirthplaceAyiroor, Travancore, British India (now Pathanamthitta District, Kerala, India)
Date of Death24 September 2012
Place of DeathThiruvananthapuram
Age (at the time of death) 77 Years
Death CauseCardiac Arrest [1]BBC
Zodiac signCancer
SignatureThilakan's signature
Nationality• British Indian (1935-1947)
• Indian (1947-2012)
School• St Louis L. P. School, Mundakayam
• CMS High School, Mundakayam
• MD Seminary Higher Secondary School, Kottayam
College/UniversitySree Narayana College, Kollam
Educational Qualification12th pass
Religious ViewsAtheist
Food HabitNon-vegetarian
Political InclinationCommunist Party of India [2]Malayala Manorama
ControversyDifference of opinions with film associations: Thilakan alleged that his role in the film Christian Brothers was changed because of the intervention of Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA). Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) issued a show cause notice for his public outburst for which he never replied. He was suspended regarding this issue. [3]The Hindu
Relationships & More
Marital Status (at the time of death)Unmarried
Wife/Spouse• Santha
• Sarojam
Thilakan with his partner, Sarojam
ChildrenSon(s)- 4
• Shaji Thilakan (deceased; actor)
Shaji Thilakan
• Shammi Thilakan (actor)
Shammi Thilakan
• Shobi Thilakan (actor, dubbing artiste)
Shobi Thilakan
• Shibu Thilakan (politician)
Shibu Thilakan
Daughter(s)- 2
• Sonia Thilakan (dentist)
Sonia Thilakan
• Sofia Thilakan (physiotherapist)
Sofia Thilakan
ParentsFather- Palappurath T. S. Kesavan (1904-1972; ex-tea estate employee)
Mother- P. S. Devayani (1912-2010; homemaker)
Thilakan's mother
SiblingsBrother- 1
• Sasi
Sasi, Thilakan's brother
Sister(s)- 4
Other relativesGrandson- Abhimanyu S. Thilakan (actor)
Thilakan's grandson, Abhimanyu

Thilakan 1

Some Lesser Known Facts About Thilakan

  • In an interview, he revealed that his second-grade school teacher, Mariyakutty, was the first to realise his artistic talent. Thilakan first appeared on stage as an actor in a play written by the teacher titled Kittunnathil Pathi, for a school annual function.
  • Thilakan dropped out of college and joined the Indian Army, for a brief period.
  • His army career came to an end after he met with a fatal accident and the army doctors decided to amputate his leg for which consent was not required during that time. It was an official visit by the prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, that helped him. He appealed to the Prime Minister for a mandatory consent form for such surgeries after which the rules were amended and his legs were saved.
  • After his return, he and his friends, started a drama troupe called the Mundakayam Nataka Samithi.
  • As a professional theatre artist, he was part of several leading theatre groups such as Kerala People’s Arts Club (KPAC), Kalidasa Kalakendram in Kollam, Changanasserry Geedha, and P. J. Antony’s drama troupe.

    Thilakan with the drama troupe

    Thilakan with the drama troupe

  • His mother did not like the profession he chose, and they were not on talking terms with each other for a very long period.
  • He considered the legendary actor and director, P. J. Antony, his guru and mentor. His debut film Periyar (1973) was P. J. Antony’s directorial.
  • He also performed various plays for the All India Radio (AIR).
  • Some of his evergreen characters apart from the award-winning roles are the grandfather in the film Moonnam Pakkam (1988), Ananthan Nambiar in the films Nadodikkattu (1987) and the sequel Pattanapravesham (1988), Paul Pailokkaran in Namukku Parkkan Munthirithoppukal (1986), Kochuvava in Kattukuthira (1990), and the retired station master, Raghavan Nair, in Sandesham (1991).

    Thilakan in the film Kattukuthira

    Thilakan in the film Kattukuthira

  • In an interview, he alleged that his role in Perumthachan (1990) was considered for the Best actor, but it was changed at the last minute by a politician for some political gains. [4]Rediff
  • His combination with Mohanlal was always well-appreciated by the audience, some of their notable films are Kireedam (1989), Chenkol (1993), Pavithram (1994), Spadikam (1995), and Evidam Swargamanu (2009).

    Thilakan with Mohanlal in the film Spadikam

    Thilakan with Mohanlal in the film Spadikam

  • In an interview, he said that his popular character Chacko Maash in Spadikam had shades of his strict disciplinarian father.
  • Thilakan acted in every South Indian film industry. He acted in over 200 films.
  • He favoured the political party, Communist Party of India (CPI).
  • He alleged that a Nair lobby was prevalent in the Malayalam film industry that worked behind the scenes to pass on prominent roles to the Savarna people. [5]The Quint
  • Thilakan suffered from various ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease for quite a long time. He was hospitalised after he fainted while shooting for the film Scene Onnu Nammude Veedu. He was later shifted to KIMSHEALTH Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram for further treatment. His health deteriorated due to pneumonia and multiple heart attacks. [6]BBC
  • His cremation was held at Santhi Kavadam Electric Crematorium at Thycaud with full State honours.
  • He had a particular liking for driving long distances.