Malayalam's Big M: Mammootty Turns 63

Updated: September 07, 2014 10:50 IST

Three-time National Award winner Mammootty is a matinee idol in Kerala. The Malayalam movie actor who has acted in more than 300 films, is considered one of the finest actors in the industry. He has proved his acting prowess in not just art movies but also commercial movies. On his 60th birthday, we look back at his life and his immense contribution to Malayalam cinema.

Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Malayalam superstar Mammootty's much-awarded career, spanning three decades, has seen him star in nearly 400 films. A towering presence in both mainstream and art-house cinema down south, Mammootty is the rare actor whose appeal and popularity cuts across state boundaries. He is almost as beloved in Tamil Nadu as he is in his native Kerala. On his 63rd birthday, we look back at his life and his incredible screen journey.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Mammootty, real name P I Mohammed Kutty, was born on September 7, 1951 into a farmer's family in Kerala's Kottayam district. He has two younger brothers and three sisters.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Young Mammootty went to Maharajas College in Kochi and then studied law at Ernakulam Government Law College.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Mammotty married Sulfath in 1980 and the couple have a daughter named Surumi and a son named Dulquer Salman who is also an actor.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Mammootty made an uncredited debut in 1971's Anubhavangal Paalichakal which starred the reigning superstars of the time, Prem Nazir and Sheela. Still a student, Mammotty had only a single scene in the film.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
In 1973, he appeared in his second film, Kaalachakram, under the screen name Sajin. Again, he had just one scene but this time, it was a speaking role. In 1979, Mammotty landed his first leading role in Devalokam, a film that was never completed.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Roles started flowing in only in 1980 and, just like his contemporary Mohanlal, Mammootty began his career playing villains. Mammootty had a small part playing a bad guy in Vilkkanundu Swapnangal, starring Sukumaran. The same year, he starred as the main villain in Mela.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Stardom was now just around the corner. In 1981, his performance in Ahimsa earned him a Kerala State Award for Best Supporting Actor. Ahimsa pitted Mammootty against that other colossus of south cinema, Mohanlal.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Yavanika (1982), an investigative thriller in which Mammootty played a cop, established the actor as a leading man.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Accolades followed with his appearances in films like Aalkkoottathil Thaniye(1984) and Adiyozhukkukal(1984), the latter earning him the Best Actor trophy at the Kerala State Film Awards as well as the Filmfare Awards.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
By 1986, Mammootty had already acted in over 150 films. 1985' Yathra fetched him the State Special Jury Award and Filmfare Best Actor Award.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
In the mid ‘80s, Mammootty's graph slumped somewhat with the actor being typecast into the role of a businessman-father. The hit thriller New Delhi (1987), in which Mammootty played a victimized journalist out for revenge against corrupt politicians, revived his career from the doldrums of sterotyping.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Mammootty followed up New Delhi with an award-winning performance in the drama Thaniyavarthanam and the record-shattering Oru CBI Diary Kurippu(1988), a mystery film that created box-office history in Kerala as well as in Tamil Nadu. His character from the film, Sethurama Iyer, a CBI officer became so famous that a spinoff franchise featuring the character has so far spawned three more films with yet another one in pipeline.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
By now, Mammootty was a force of nature. 1989's Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha and Mathulikal fetched Mammootty the National Award for Best Actor. A second National Award came his way with Adoor Gopalakrishnan's Vidheyan(1993) and Ponthan Mada, and a third with 1999's Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Mammootty notched up big hits with Vatsalyam (1993), The King (1995), Valliettan (2000) and Black (2004), and scored a Filmfare Award with Bhoothakkannadi (1997).
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Over the next few years, Mammooty reigned over Malayalam cinema with big hits. Some of his major blockbusters included No 20 Madras Mail, Hitler, The King, Azhakiya Ravanan, Samrajyam, and Harikrishnans
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
The 2000s, however, were less golden for Mammootty, now trapped in clichéd matinee idol roles. He tried comedy with films like Thuruppu Gulan and Rajamanikyam. But the actor made a real strong comeback with Big B (2007) which became one of the biggest hits ever in Malayalm cinema and is considered a pioneering film in technical brilliance.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Films like Ore Kadal(2007) and Paleri Manikyam: Oru Pathirakolapathakathinte Katha(2009), in which he played three roles, brought him back to his old mould of flawless acting. The latter fetched him a Kerala State Award for Best Actor.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Also in 2009 came his Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja, which was the costliest Malayalm film made till date. The film was a major hit and collected many accolades.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
In 2010, Mammootty dabbled with many styles and won over audiences with films like Pokkiri Raja (Remade in Hindi as Boss), Best Actor and Pranchiyettan & The Saint. The last film became a milestone in his successful career and also earned him a National Award nomination.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
Since 2012, Mammootty has battled a dry spell, delivering 10 flops till the hit Proprietors: Kammath & Kammath in 2013. His next few films also did only average business.
Malayalam\'s Big M: Mammootty Turns 63
22. The actor recently tasted critical and commercial success yet again with Munarriyippu which is doing very well in theatres.

We wish the actor a happy birthday and the very best of luck in his future endeavours.

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