Kalabhavan Mani

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Kalabhavan Mani
Mani in 2010
Born(1971-01-01)1 January 1971
Chalakudy, Kerala, India
Died6 March 2016(2016-03-06) (aged 45)
Kochi, Kerala, India
  • Film actor
  • singer
Years active1995–2016
Nimmi Mani
(m. 1999)
Relatives RLV Ramakrishnan (Brother)

Kunnisseri Veettil Raman Mani (1 January 1971 – 6 March 2016), better known by his stage name Kalabhavan Mani, was an Indian actor and singer. Mani started his career as a mimicry artist with the Kalabhavan comedy troupe. He had starred in over 250 films, including Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, and Telugu films, and was renowned for his humorous characters and villain roles.


Mani won National Film Award – Special Jury Award and Kerala State Film Award for his performance as Ramu in Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum (1999). [1] [2] He was the first actor from kerala who won the National Film Award - Special Jury Award in the history of Malayalam film industry.

Personal life

Kalabhavan Mani was born as Kunnisseri Veettil Raman Mani in Kerala [3] to Chenathunad Kunnisseri Veettil Raman and Ammini at Chalakudy, Thrissur District on New Year's Day in 1971. He had an elder brother, Velayudan (deceased), [4] younger brother, R. L. V. Ramakrishnan (dancer) and four sisters, Thankamani, Leela, Santha and Ammini Jr. He studied at GLPS East School Chalakudy till 4th grade and Government Boys School, Chalakudy till 10th grade. [5]

Mani married Nimmy on 22 September 1999 and has a daughter named Sreelakshmi, born in 2000. He was once an autorickshaw driver from Chalakudy. [6] His brother, R. L. V. Ramakrishnan acted in Bamboo Boys in a cameo role, starring alongside Cochin Haneefa, Harisree Ashokan and Salim Kumar. [7]


Mani during a stage program. Kalabhavan Mani.jpg
Mani during a stage program.

He started his career as a mimicry artist with the drama group Cochin Kalabhavan. [8] His film debut was as a junior artist in Vijayakanth Captain Prabhakaran. He started his acting career in the Malayalam film Aksharam as an auto rickshaw driver. He got his first major breakthrough with the Lohithadas movie Sallapam (1996), which was a hit. [9] After this, he acted in several movies in the comedy roles. He did some notable roles in movies such as Dilliwala Rajakumaran, Manthra Mothiram, Gajaraja Manthram, Katha Nayagan, Mayaponman and Kottappurathe Koottukudumbam. Mani's comic role as Monayi in the 1998 movie Summer in Bethlahem was appreciated among the audience. After portraying several comic characters, his true potential to do the character roles was revealed in the film Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum . He did the role of a blind singer in it which earned him the Special Jury Award at both National Film Awards and Kerala State Film Awards. [10] These awards helped Mani to do the character roles and villain roles in several movies while also doing comedy roles in numerous films. In Vakkalathu Narayanankutty (2001), he played the villain role. However his performance as villain was first noted in the movie Rakshasa Rajavu (2001), where he played the role of a crooked corrupt politician called Gunasekharan. The Guard is unique film as it has only Mani as a star cast in it. His performance as a poor eccentric person called Kuttan in Karumadikuttan received high appreciation. [11] Mani returned to his unique comical role with the Jayaram starrer One man show. Mani was praised for his performance in Valkannadi (2002). The revenge drama had Mani in the role of Appunni, a blacksmith with the history of mental illness. He was also noted for his performance in the character role in Malayali Mamanu Vanakkam. After the comedy movies Kuberan and Bamboo Boys, both of them released in 2002, Mani almost shifted his complete focus on doing character and villain roles. Mani's notable movies in 2003 include Vellithira, Balettan, Pattalam and War and Love. [12] He once again returned to do the comedy role with the 2004 Priyadarshan screwball comedy movie Vettam, which is probabily his last notable movie in a complete comic role. He also had a small appearance in Magic Lamp. Mani's performance as Chemban Gurukkal, the blind master martial artist, in Ananthabhadam (2005) received high appreciation. In Ben Johnson, he played the role of an action hero for the first time. It was one of the highest-grossing movies in 2005. [13] The success of Ben Johnson saw Mani playing the similar hero roles in movies such as Lokanathan IAS, Chacko Randaman, Kisan, Payum Puli, Red Salute etc. He got a lot of praise for his performance as the villain in Chotta Mumbai (2007). In the movie, Mani played the character called Nateshan, which is considered one of the biggest villain characters in Malayalam. [14] [15] Mani played the lead role in the family drama Aayirathil Oruvan (2009), which was critically acclaimed In 2010, Mani acted in several films in the lead roles such as Orange, Pulliman, Black Stallion and Canvas. However, most of these were a huge failure at box office. In 2012, he acted in the multi-starrer crime drama film Bachelor Party. His performance as Looyi Papan in Amen (2013) was acclaimed by both the critics and audience. [16] Mani's last Malayalam movie is Poyi Maranju Parayathe, which was released in 2016 after his death.

He grabbed everyone's attention in the Tamil film industry as the villain in the movie Gemini (2002), which featured Vikram in the lead role. [17] He acted in more than 30 Tamil films along with numerous Kannada and Telugu films. His last Tamil film is Pudhusa Naan Poranthen released in 2016.

Along with his acting career, Mani established a parallel industry of Nadan Pattu (folk songs), by selling a record number of releases. His first music album was Kannimanga Prayathil. Most of his songs were written and composed by Arumugan Venkidangu. [18] He also released several religious songs and Mappila Pattukal.


Mani is well known for providing humanitarian assistance to people in need. [19] He was approached and was offered a seat in the 2016 Kerala Legislative Assembly election by LDF. He had openly told that he was a Leftist and used to Campaign for CPI(M) and left parties during elections. [20] Mani is known for doing a lot of charity work for the poor people. Reportedly, on an average day, around 20 people from less privileged backgrounds used to come to visit him at his residence. As a fund-raiser and performer, he also had contributed money to the local festivals of the religious organisations and provided funds to the schools in his village. [21] [22]


Kalabhavan Mani died at 7:15 pm on 6 March 2016, aged 45. The day before, he was admitted to Amrita Hospital, Kochi, with haematemesis (vomiting of blood) and was in the ICU. [23] [24] The police registered a case as unnatural death due to the presence of excessive methyl alcohol (a toxic chemical found in illicitly distilled liquor, Arrack) with acetaminophen in Kalabhavan Mani's body. [25]

On 8 March 2016, based on the initial autopsy report and statements of witnesses, the police said that serious alcoholic fatty liver illness along with alcohol consumption may have caused his death and it might have been a suicide attempt. Four months prior to his death, doctors had categorically warned him against drinking alcohol and he was counselled for severe depression. However, Mani in his phase of depression and informed of severe liver damage conditions, ignored the doctors' warnings and continued with alcoholism. Even on the day before he died, he was allegedly reported consuming alcohol (beer) with friends in the outhouse of his house. [26] [27]

His unexpected death led to a case by his friends and family which has been filed for investigation through Kochi City Police. [28] On 18 March 2016, based on the forensic test from the Regional Chemical Examiner's Laboratory, death cause was identified with high probability a highly poisonous chemical, Chlorpyrifos—usually used in insecticides, which is banned in many countries for residential use, it is considered a hazardous substance for general ecology. Presence of chlorpyrifos along with methyl and ethyl alcohol contents were found excessively in the test samples. The report suggests that Mani might have consumed the poison knowingly or unknowingly over the days before his death. Therefore, the Government of Kerala has ordered a comprehensive probe in the death of Mani. The police is rounding the case through whom Mani could have accessed this poisonous concoction for substance abuse. Under RLV Ramakrishnan's suspicion Mani's three close friends have been taken into custody for questioning to rule out activities of vested interest. [29] [30] [31] [32] On 11 June 2016, based on the recommendation of the state DGP, the Government of Kerala has decided the case to be investigated by CBI. [33] In May 2017 CBI took over the case and submitted FIR in which it was stated that the death of Kalabhavan Mani was due to unusual reasons. [34]

His sudden demise led to emotional reactions from his fans and many of his co-stars in the Malayalam Film Industry along with the rest of the South Indian Film Industry. The Mollywood film fraternity and thousands of fans of late actor Kalabhavan Mani paid homage to the versatile artiste during a memorial service on 13 March 2016, at Carmel Higher Secondary School in Chalakudy organised by well-wishers. Tributes were celebrated through the media with 2–3 hours programme special. Mani was cremated with full state honours at his home premises on 7 March. The shopkeepers of Chalakudy paid homage to Mani by closing their shops on the same day.


Chalakkudikkaran Changathi is a 2018 Malayalam film directed by Vinayan based on the life of Kalabhavan Mani. [35]


In an interview with journalist John Brittas, Mani stated that the State Government Award could easily have been bought off. [36]

On 14 May 2013, Mani has been accused of assaulting two forest officials during a routine inspection at Athirappilly. However, those who had claimed to be travelling with Mani in the same car, had filed a complaint against the forest officials for abusing them. The police have registered cases against both Mani and the injured forest officials. [37] [38] Later, Mani was arrested and charged when he surrendered to the police. He was granted bail by the High Court of Kerala with conditions on it. [39] Mani and his friends had been on a trip to the tourist place when forest officials intervened and said they wanted to search his vehicle. It was alleged that the officials started having an argument with Mani, allegedly hit the actor, verbally assaulted his Other Backward Class caste and stated Kalabhavan Mani was a "Dalit" and misbehaved with his friends' wives on the car. T. P. Senkumar of then Kerala Police ADGP had said that Mani was unnecessarily harassed by the officials and the actual reason behind the assault case against Mani was that he belonged to a lower caste and that discrimination against the ordinary and lower class exists in the Kerala Police force. [40] However, the High Court criticised ADGP regarding the statement. [41] On the other hand, the officials had alleged that Mani was in a drunk condition and also a main accused in two other assault cases. [42] During an interview at Kairali channel, Mani said that jealousy had caused the officials registering the false case against him and the police officer who beat him had a criminal background of four charges. [43]

Awards and honours

National Film Awards

Kerala State Film Awards

Filmfare Awards

Asianet Film Awards

Vanitha awards

Jaihind TV awards

Other awards


Malayalam films


List of Kalabhavan Mani 1990s Malayalam film credits
1999 Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum Ramu
Aakasha Ganga Fr. Vettikalan
Onnaamvattam Kandappol Rajani Muththu
Independence Murali
James Bond Mathappan
My Dear Karady Manikantan
Captain Veeramani
Pallavur Devanarayanan Vasu
Crime File Ezhuthachan
Saaphalyam Narayanankutty
Kannezhuthi Pottum Thottu Moosakutty's friend
Panchapaandavar Sathyanarayanan
Pranaya Nilavu Moosootty
Onnaamvattam Kandappol Rajani Muthu
1998 Aalibabayum Aarara Kallanmarum Palacharakku Chandi
Kaikudunna Nilavu Lakshmanan
Kudumba Vaarthakal Lonappan
Kattathoru Penpoovu
Malabaril Ninnoru Manimaaran Sashankan
Kottaram Veettile Apputtan Maniyan
ChitrashalabhamBakkar Parappanangadi
Meenakshi Kalyanam Pushkaran
Achamakuttiyude Achayan Sibi
Oru Maravathoor Kanavu O.C. Antappan
Oro Viliyum KathorthuVarunni
Summer in Bethlahem Monai
British Market SI Hameed (Double Role)
Ilamura Thamburan Kumaran
Manthri Maalikayil Manasammatham Philip
Meenathil Thalikettu Achootty
1997 Mayaponman Fredy Lopez
Katha Nayagan Kuttan
Aaram Thamburan Younger Namboothiri
The Car Cheriyan
RajathanthramAdv. P.K. Sivakumar
Bharatheeyam Mani
My Dear Kuttichathan Magician
Shibiram Thomaskutty
Bhoothakkannadi Ayyappan
Sammanam Moideen
Siamese Irattakal Sunil
Guru SishyanSugunan
Newspaper Boy Peasa
Ikkareyanente ManasamUthaman
Gajaraja ManthramParaman
The Good Boys Gopalakrishnan
Kottappurathe Koottukudumbam Vamadevan
Karunyam Rajan
Kudamattom as Jeevan
Manthra Mothiram Pappachan
Ullasappoonkattu Musthafa
Vaachalam Appukuttan
Mannadiar Penninu Chenkotta Checkan Madhavan
1996 Dilliwala Rajakumaran Mani
Padanayakan Komalan
Udhyanapalakan Joseph
Excuse Me Ethu CollegilaAppukuttan
Naalamkettile Nalla Thampimar
Kaathil Oru Kinnaram Babu
Kalyanasougandhikam Balagopalan
Kireedamillatha RajakkanmarSuperfast Chandren
Manthrika Kuthira Philip
Swarna KireedamManiyan
Saamoohya Paadam K.K. Karunan
Sallapam Rajappan
1995 The Porter Xavi
Samudayam Fishmonger
Aksharam Auto Rickshaw driver


List of Kalabhavan Mani 2000s Malayalam film credits
2009 Keralotsavam 2009 Jacob Isaac
Katha Parayum Theruvoram
PramukhanTomy Sebastian
Malayali Nanthileththu Madhavan
Currency Iruttu
Shudharil Shudhan Mani
Aayirathil Oruvan Aravindan
Oru Black and White Kudumbam Antony
2008 Twenty:20 Karinkal Pappachan
Bullet C I Wahid Abdul Rahman Haji
Mayabazar Bhadran
Kabadi Kabadi Madhavankutty
Aandavan Aandavan
Shakespeare M.A. Malayalam Kottayam Gopalan
Parthan Kanda Paralokam Veerabhadran / Musafir
Kerala Police Satyanath
Swarnam Divakaran
2007 Chotta Mumbai Nadeshan
Nagaram Ponnayaya Thevar
Indrajith 'Changoottam' Bhasi
Nanma Muthu Chettiyar
Nasrani Sukumaran
Payum Puli Saravanan
Rakshakan Mukundhan
Abraham & Lincoln Abraham
2006 Kali Rajagopalan Nair
Red Salute Vasu
Chacko Randaman Arakkalveetil Chacko Mathai (Ottachavittu Chacko), Chacko Randaman and Johnny Kutty
Kisan Velu
Chinthamani Kolacase Ayyappadas
Ravanan Ravanan/Varghese Antony
2005 Mayookham
Ananthabhadram Chemban
Lokanathan IAS Lokanathan
Udayon Mathan
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson and Amarakaran Pathrose
Ponmudipuzhayorathu Police officer
Pauran Komalan
Iruvattam Manavaatti Korathu Raghavan
2004 Magic Lamp Chalakkudy Manikandan (an impersonation of himself)
Mampazhakkalam George
Natturajavu Manikuttan
Vettam Mani
Kusruthi Ezhumangalam Panan Gurukkal
Maratha NaaduBharathan
Thalamelam Ramakrishnan
Kanninum Kannadikkum Praav / Maniyan
C.I. Mahadevan 5 Adi 4 Inchu Karimpuli Antony
Sethurama Iyer CBI Isow Alex
2003 War and Love Basheer
Shingari Bolona Classy Kariyachan
MalsaramKuppikandam Hamsa
Relax Muthu
Pattalam Moythu Pilakkandi
Balettan Musthafa
Vellithira Vakkathi Vasu
2002 Nakshathrakkannulla Rajakumaran Avanundoru Rajakumari Kochu Kurup
House owner
Bamboo Boys Olanga
Jagathy Jagadeesh in Town Malleswaran
Kuberan Ramanujan
Malayali Mamanu Vanakkam Thiruppathy Perumal / Muniyandi
Savithriyude Aranjanam Phayaalvan Phalgunan
Nandanam Mahadevan
Valkannadi Appunni
2001 The Guard Appu Kuttan Nair, Thomachan
One Man Show Ponnappan
Achaneyanenikkishtam Bhaskaran
Bharthavudyogam BBC Ramji
Fort Kochi
Ee Naadu Innale Vare Seyad
Akashathile Paravakal Udumbu Vasu
Nariman Thief
Antholanam Thankappan
Karumadikkuttan Kuttan, 'Karumadi'
Dhosth V.Jayan
Rakshasa Rajavu Gunashekharan
Vakkalathu Narayanankutty
Soothradharan Ramesan's brother in law
Nalacharitham Naalam Divasam Maina
2000 Dada Sahib Thankachan
Daivathinte Makan Eeshwar
Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal Sudhakaran
Mr. Butler 'Major' Kuttan
Valyettan Kattipalli Pappan
Ingane Oru Nilapakshi Moideen
Rapid Action Force SI Arjun
Narasimham Bharathan
Ival Draupadi
The Gang
Millennium Stars


List of Kalabhavan Mani 2010s Malayalam film credits
2016Poyi Maranju ParayatheRahul
Yathra Chodikkathe Balan
Turning Point
Mayapuri 3D
2015 Mythri Kaala Pratapan (Malayalam version)
Moonam NaalBalachandran
Wonderful Journey
Elinjikkavu PO
Iruvazhi Thiriyunidam
Loka SamasthaChinthal Rajan
Kerala Today
Ayal Njaanalla
Alif Chandran
2014 Onnum Onnum Moonu Ambulance Driver
ChakkaramampazhamSekhara Menon
Konthayum Poonoolum Police officer
2013 Olipporu Kumaran
Careebeyans Vishwanathan, Charlie and Charles
Crocodile Love Story Sharp Shooter Suresh
Rebecca Uthup Kizhakkemala Gabriel
Amen Looyi Pappan
Tourist Home Sugunan
Oru Kudumba Chithram Arunagiri
2012 120 Minutes Balaji
Prabhuvinte Makkal
Ayalum Njanum Thammil ASI Purushothaman
Husbands in Goa Sub Inspector Imran Khalid
Bachelor Party Ayyappan
MLA Mani: Patham Classum Gusthiyum Mani
Face 2 Face C.I. Abdul Latheef
Snake & LadderViswanathan
Madirasi Johny
2011 Veeraputhran Undakakka
Priyappetta Nattukare Sakhav Dasan
Manushyamrugam Circle Inspector Rajeev
The Filmstaar Sooryakiran (Kannan)
AazhakadalVazhapilly Kunjumon Tharakan
Adaminte Makan Abu Johnson
Baktha Janangalude Sradhakku Uncle
2010 Oru Small Family C I Bhargavan
Chekavar Garudan Raghavan
Shikkar Mani
Orange Yakobi
Yugapurushan Koran
Pulliman Kunjunni
Canvas Manaf Hussain
Annarakannanum Thannalayathu Changampuzha Pavithran
Holidays Vinod
Oridathoru Postman SI Shahul Hameed
3 Char Sau Bees Raghavan
Black Stallion Black

Tamil films

List of Kalabhavan Mani Tamil film credits
1991 Captain Prabhakaran Junior artist
1998 Marumalarchi Velu
2001 Vaanchinathan Maya
2002 Gemini Teja
2003 Thennavan
Naam Police officer
Jay Jay KTM
Thathi Thavadhu Manasu
Banda Paramasivam Sivam
Pudhiya Geethai Reddiyar
Kadhal Kisu Kisu Karunakaran
2004 Kuthu Veerabahu
Singara Chennai Kumar
Sema Ragalai
Bose Kottaiperumal
Aai Mani
2005 Sevvel Parasuram
Jithan Singampuli
Anniyan Ponnambalam
Mazhai Sundaramoorthy
Aaru ACP Rajavelu
2006 Pasa Kiligal Alakalan
Something Something Unakkum Enakkum "Mark" Mayandi
2007 Vel Sakkara Pandi
2009 Modhi Vilayadu Rajan Vasudev
2010 Enthiran Pachaimuthu
2012 Yaarukku Theriyum Balaji
Madha Gaja Raja
2015 Kangaroo Ticket
Papanasam Constable Perumal
Kalai Vendhan
2016Pudhusa Naan Poranthen

Telugu films

List of Kalabhavan Mani Telugu film credits
2002 Gemini Ladda
2003 Aayudham Special Officer
2004 Arjun Doranna
2005 Narasimhudu Pothuraju
2007 Evadaithe Nakenti DNK
2008 Nagaram Police Inspector

Kannada films

List of Kalabhavan Mani Kannada film credits
2004 Durgi Marigudi
2012 Challenge Balaji

As playback singer

As music director

List of Kalabhavan Mani film music direcctor credits
2011Mani Muzhagunnathu ArkkuvendiAlbum Song
2012 MLA Mani Pathaam Classum Gusthiyum



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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gautham P. Krishna</span> Indian actor

Gautham P. Krishna is an Indian actor who has appeared in lead roles of Malayalam as well as Tamil language films. He was introduced by director Vinayan with his 2010 surprise hit Yakshiyum Njanum.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kalabhavan Haneef</span> Indian actor (died 2023)

Kalabhavan Haneef was an Indian actor and impressionist in Malayalam cinema. He made his debut with the film Cheppukilukkana Changathi (1991).


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