Born in the Travancore state of Nagercoil, Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair went down in history as the first movie star of Malayalam cinema. Even though he is widely known as an actor, he was also a playwright, lyricist, director, orator and script writer. He has made many remarkable contributions to the Malayalam film industry and is revered as a stalwart in his field. He was born to Mangat Govinda Pillai and Lekshmi Amma, who were a part of the elite class in Nagercoil. Right from his childhood, he was a great writer and orator. He started writing poems at the tender age of eight and achieved his first publication when he was only fourteen. He had an intense, insatiable passion for writing and the arts and that passion made him turn down his parents’ suggestion to settle down as a government employee. Initially, he was a playwright.
He was best known for his plays ‘Kalakaran’, ‘Mareechika’ and ‘Sthree’. His plays were highly praised for their message-oriented and thought-provoking themes. He later tried his hand at acting by playing the protagonist in ‘Sthree’, his play which was adapted into a film. Even though his first attempt at acting didn’t go that well, his second film ‘
’ became a huge commercial success and was the first ever super hit film in Malayalam cinema. There was no looking back after that. He went on to act in many pictures and has a total of 700 movies over a span of 47 years to his credit.
His success in films wasn’t mirrored in his marital life. He married thrice. He first married Sarojini Kunjamma. The marriage didn’t work out, and they had to split. He then married Ambalapuzha Meenakshy Amma, an actor.They split up after a couple of years. He then married Sulochana Devi, a singer, and an actor. As they say “third time’s a charm” this marriage worked out and lasted until his death. He has four children, two daughters from his first marriage, a son from his second and a daughter from his third.
He received the prestigious Padmashri Award in 1973 from the Government of India. He had also previously received many other awards including Kerala State Film Award, Pushpashree Award, Film Critics Association Award and Film Guidance Society Award.
He died in the year 1997 due to kidney failure at the age of 80. Many prominent actors mourned his death. His contribution to Malayalam cinema is massive and will never be forgotten.
Another Version of this Bio…
Thikkurissy, better known as Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair was a Malayali actor, who was also known for his poems. He also worked as a Play Writer, Lyricist, Orator, Director, and Producer. He received Padma Shri award which is known to be one of the highest civilian honor in our country. In 47 years of his career, he acted in about 700 films. He is recognized as a movie star in Malayalam cinema.
Nair was born in a village named Thikkurissy, which is situated in the Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu. He did his schooling from Marthanda Varma School. During his school days too, Nair was fond of writing. Also, he was a great orator since a very young age. At a tender age of 8, he wrote his first poem. Later at the age of 14, his poem got published. When Sukumaran was 20 his poems got collectively published in a book named Kedavilakku. He started off his career in the field of literature even before he completed his studies. He did not fulfill the dream of his parents to secure himself a government job.
Officially, Sukumaran started his career as a Play writer. His initial plays ‘Kalakaran’ and ‘Mareechika’ were very successful. By bringing revolutionary change in the Malayalam industry by replacing the melodramatic musicals by the concept of originality and social importance, Nair started writing plays of genres which had a huge contrast to the mainstream plays. Some of his hit plays were ‘Sthree’, Sariyo Thetto, and ‘
He changed the pattern of the industry and was a pioneer in showcasing concepts which were never thought of in the Malayali cinema. His debut film was an adaptation of his self-written play, Sthree. This movie could not leave a mark at the box office. The next film he did was produced by K and K Productions and was a directorial venture of K.Vembu. This movie, ‘Jeevitha Nouka’, was a critically and commercially acclaimed film. Also, it brought a positive drift in the industry. It was because of this feature film that Thikkurissy became the movie star of Malayalam cinema.
In the film ‘Sariyo Thetto’, Nair did multiple tasks. Besides playing the part of the protagonist in the same, Thikkurissy also handled the story, lyrics, dialogues, screenplay, and direction. With this step, Sukumaran carved an image for himself and became one of the most noted personalities in Malayalam cinema. Thikkurissy also gave his shot in dramatizing in a full-length comedy called ‘Viruthan Shanku’. He continued handling various job positions in movies proving himself to be a great laureate. He also worked on the small screen. Nair did a show on Doordarshan named ‘Lubdhan Lukose’.
For the famous identity that Thikkurissy was, many people took his support for getting launched in movies. He helped various people get established in the industry by providing them with Screen names. He changed Abdul Kader's name as . Later in Nazir's career, he got the opportunity to work on many projects along with Thikkurissy. He helped many people grow in the industry.
Sukumaran belonged to a very pious and religious family of Tamil Nadu. His father's name was Mangat C. Govinda Pillai, and his mother's name was N. Lekshmi Amma. L. Omanakkunjamma, his sister was the first female magistrate in India.
Nair married thrice in his lifetime. He first married Sarojini Kunjamma. She belonged to a much-respected family. They both have two daughters together. Their first daughter is an executive engineer in Ernakulam and their second daughter is a housewife. After being separated from his first wife, he married Ambalapuzha Meenakshy Amma, an actor. They have a son together. He currently stays in Chennai. Unfortunately, his second marriage did not go on for long, and he ended his relationship with his second wife. Thikkurissy then got married to a singer and a dancer, K. Sulochana Devi, by whom he had one daughter. Their daughter, just like her father was a poet. Kanakasree, their daughter, died in a fatal accident leaving behind her father shattered. Thikkurissy died on 11 March 1997 due to Kidney collapse.
Thikkurissy was a master in his work and deserved recognition and honors. In his lifetime, he bagged many awards. The most respected recognition that he received was Padmashri, from the Government of India. In 1986, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Filmfare. He got many awards for being the best actor. He was also a recipient of Prem Nazir Award in the year 1992. He added many feathers in his cap and did great work throughout his career.
Another Version of this Bio…
Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair was a Malayali poet, playwright, scriptwriter, lyricist, orator, film director, and an actor. He was born on 16th October 1916. Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair is regarded as the very first movie star of Malayalam Cinema. He acted in over 700 movies in his 47 years of an acting career. He is the recipient of the Padmashri award from the Government of India. He started is a journey as a playwright and his great work in plays opened the doors of Malayalam Film Industry for him.
He debuted in the industry with one of his own plays “Sthree” as a producer and a protagonist. From there he worked in many films. Thikkurissy accomplished success in every aspect of the industry he touched. He was credited with lyrics, screenplay, and direction in many films. During his final days, he suffered from many diseases. Finally, on 11th March 1997, Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair died due to renal failure