Madhu (actor)

Last updated

Madhu 2008.jpg
Madhu in 2008
Madhavan Nair

(1933-09-23) 23 September 1933 (age 89) [1]
Gowreesapattom, [2] Kingdom of Travancore, British India
(present day Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India)
Alma mater
  • Actor
  • Director
  • Producer
Years active1963 – Present
(died 2014)
Children1 (Dr. Uma)
Awards J. C. Daniel Award (2004)
Padma Shri (2013) [3]

Madhavan Nair, commonly known by his stage name Madhu, is an Indian actor, director, producer, former college lecturer and former film studio owner, who works in Malayalam cinema and a certain number of Hindi and Tamil films. [4] [5] He was a prominent lead actor during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and has acted in more than 400 films. Madhu has also directed 12 films, produced 15 films and at one time owned the Uma Film Studio. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2013 for his contributions towards the arts. He was honored with the J. C. Daniel Award by the Government of Kerala in 2004, for his outstanding contributions to Malayalam films. [6] He is the president of Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) Kerala Unit. [7] [8] [9]


Mini, a children's movie produced by him, bagged the Indira Gandhi National Award for Best Film on Family Welfare, at the 43rd National Film Awards in 1995. He is the inaugural winner of the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Malayalam for his performance in Swayamvaram (1972), and has received three more Filmfare awards and is also the recipient of five Kerala State Film Awards. Madhu starred Chemmeen won the President's Gold Medal for the All India Best Feature Film in 1965, becoming the first Malayalam film to win the title.

Personal life

He was born on 23 September 1933 at Gowreesapattom in the erstwhile Kingdom of Travancore. His father, R. Parameswaran Pillai (hailed from Padmanabhapuram, Thuckalay), [10] was the erstwhile Mayor of Trivandrum and his mother Thankamma was a housewife. [11] He has four sisters. He had his primary schooling up to the fourth standard at Kunnukuzhi L.P School, fifth class (preparatory) at S. M. V. School, 1st form to 3rd form at Pettah Middle School and fourth form to sixth form (SSLC) at St. Joseph's High School. He did pre university degree from Mahatma Gandhi College and graduation in Hindi from University College. He did his post graduation in Hindi from Banaras Hindu University (BHU). [12] [13]

He was married to Jayalakshmi till her death in 2014. They have a daughter Uma. [14] [15]


He started his career as a Hindi lecturer in S. T. Hindu College and then Scott Christian College at Nagercoil. [16] [17] During that time he chanced upon a newspaper advertisement inviting applications for the National School of Drama course. While studying at NSD, he became acquainted with Ramu Kariat, who offered him a role in his forthcoming film Moodupadam . After completing the course, Madhu went to Chennai to screen test for Karyat's film. While there, in 1963, he was offered a role in N. N. Pisharody's film, Ninamaninja Kalpadukal and this became his debut. In the movie, he portrayed Stephen, a brave soldier of the Indian army who sacrifices his life, on the battle field, for his motherland. The role and the movie were well received by the public. Moodupadam, for which he had come to Chennai for the make up test, became his second film. From thereon, there was no looking back. He has expressed all facets of life through his various acting roles. Perhaps his most notable role during his early career, was in Kariat's Chemmeen , which won the President's Gold Medal. Madhu entered Malayalam cinema at a time when lead roles were dominated by actors like Prem Nazir and Sathyan and created a niche for himself. One of his early films where he made a mark was Bhargavi Nilayam , a suspense movie, where he is the only actor on screen during the first half of the movie. Followed by Udhyogastha , Virunnukari , and Veettu Mrugam , by P. Venu. Madhu has brought to life on screen, memorable characters from the works of eminent writers in Malayalam; Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, Thakazhi, P. Kesavadev, Uroob, Ponkunnam Varkey, S. K. Pottekkatt, Changampuzha, M. T. Vasudevan Nair, G. Vivekanandan, N. N. Pisharody and C. Radhakrishnan, to name a few.

In an acting career spanning over five decades, Madhu acted in over 370 films. [18] Although he was a big star in commercial films, he was generous enough to act in parallel movies. He acted in Adoor Gopalakrishnan's Swayamvaram , P. N. Menon's Olavum Theeravum etc.

Madhu also proved his talents as a film maker and director. His first directorial venture Priya released in 1970, was a trend setter in Malayalam. The film won the Kerala Government award for the second best film that year. Madhu directed twelve movies including hit films like ‘ Sindooracheppu ’, ‘Manya Shree Vishwamitran’, ‘ Neela Kannukal , ‘ Akkaldama ’, ' Kamam Krodham Moham ’, ‘ Theekanal ’, ‘ Dheerasameere Yamunathere ’, ‘ Aaradhana ’, ‘ Oru Yuga Sandhya ’ and ‘ Udayam Padinjaru ’. He was the producer of most of these films. He produced fifteen movies including ‘ Kaithapoo ’, ‘ Asthamayam ’, ‘Shudhi Kalasham’, ‘ Prabhatha Sandhya ’, ‘ Vaiki Vanna Vasantham ’, ‘ Archana Teacher ’, ‘ Grihalakshmi ’, ‘ Njan Ekananu ’, ‘ Rathilayam ’ and Mini . He also produced and directed a movie in English ‘Sunrise in the West’, which was shot entirely in the USA. He was instrumental in introducing a number of talented actors, directors, lyricists, producers, singers and other technicians to the Malayalam filmdom. He was the owner of once-renowned Uma studio at Puliyarakonam in Thiruvananthapuram. Mini produced by Madhu won the National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare, at the 43rd National Film Awards in 1995. The film focuses on the social issue of alcoholism.

Madhu was one of the lead actors in the Hindi film Saat Hindustani , which was the debut movie of the Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan in 1969. His other Hindi films are ‘Chakachak’ directed by Sai Paranjpye and Maiyya directed by Anil.

Madhu has also done three Tamil films, as Rajinikanth's father in Dharma Dorai , Oru Ponnu Oru Paiyan and Bharatha Vilas .


Madhu has so far acted in more than 400 movies including Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil languages and directed 12 movies. [19]


Civilian Awards
National Film Award
Kerala State Film Award
Kerala Film Critics Association Awards
Filmfare Awards South
Other awards

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Malayalam cinema</span> Malayalam-language filmmaking industry of India

Malayalam cinema, is an Indian film industry of Malayalam-language motion pictures. It is based in Kerala, India. The films produced in Malayalam cinema are known for their cinematography and story-driven plots. In 1982, Elippathayam won the Sutherland Trophy at the London Film Festival, and Most Original Imaginative Film of 1982 by the British Film Institute. Rajiv Anchal's Guru (1997), Salim Ahamed's Adaminte Makan Abu (2011) and Lijo Jose Pellissery's Jallikkattu (2019) were Malayalam films sent by India as its official entries for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">K. G. George</span> Indian film maker and screenwriter (born 1946)

Kulakkattil Geevarghese George is an Indian film maker and screenwriter who worked in the Malayalam cinema. He was the founder of a new school of film making in Malayalam cinema, along with Bharathan and P. Padmarajan, in the 1980s. He was awarded the J. C. Daniel Award, Government of Kerala's highest honour for contributions to the Malayalam cinema.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mammootty</span> Indian actor and film producer

Muhammad Kutty Panaparambil Ismail, known mononymously by the hypocorism Mammootty (/mɐmːuːʈːi/), is an Indian actor and film producer who works predominantly in Malayalam films. He has also appeared in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, and English-language productions. In a career spanning five decades, he has acted in over 400 films. He is the recipient of several accolades, including three National Film Awards, seven Kerala State Film Awards, and thirteen Filmfare Awards South. For his contribution to film, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri in 1998. In 2022, he was honoured with Kerala Prabha Award, the second-highest honour given by the Government of Kerala.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Priyadarshan</span> Indian filmmaker

Priyadarshan is an Indian film director and screenwriter who predominantly works in Malayalam and Hindi cinema. He was one of the first directors in India to introduce rich color grading, clear sound and quality dubbing through his early Malayalam films.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jayaram</span> Indian actor

Jayaram Subramaniam, known mononymously as Jayaram, is an Indian actor who predominantly works in Malayalam cinema. He has also appeared in Tamil and Telugu language films. He is also a chenda percussionist, mimicry artist, and occasional playback singer. Jayaram has acted in more than 200 films and has received several awards, including the Padma Shri, two Kerala State Film Awards, one Tamil Nadu State Film Awards, and four Filmfare Awards South.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Adoor Gopalakrishnan</span> Indian film director (born 1941)

Adoor Gopalakrishnan is an Indian film director, script writer, and producer and is regarded as one of the most notable and renowned filmmakers in India. With the release of his first feature film Swayamvaram (1972), Gopalakrishnan pioneered the new wave in Malayalam cinema during the 1970s. In a career spanning over five decades, Gopalakrishnan has made only 12 feature films to date. His films are made in the Malayalam language and often depict the society and culture of his native state Kerala. Nearly all of his films premiered at Venice, Cannes and Toronto International Film Festival. Along with Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen, Gopalakrishnan is one of the most recognized Indian film directors in world cinema.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">I. V. Sasi</span> Indian film director

Irruppam Veedu Sasidaran was an Indian film director who made over 110 films predominantly in Malayalam, in addition to Tamil and Hindi languages. In 2015, he was awarded the J. C. Daniel Award, the highest award in Malayalam cinema. Often described as a pathbreaker, Sasi made his mark during Malayalam cinema’s transformative period from the 1970s to 1990s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hariharan (director)</span> Indian film director

Hariharan is an Indian film director who has directed over 50 Malayalam films. His movies mainly revolve around the cultural and relational aspects of a typical Keralite society. His most notable works include Sharapancharam (1979), Panchagni (1986), Idavazhiyile Poocha Mindappoocha (1979), Amrutham Gamaya (1987), Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha (1989), Sargam (1992), Parinayam (1994) and Pazhassi Raja (2009) which has won him wide critical acclaim. In 2019, he was awarded the J. C. Daniel Award, Kerala government's highest honour for contributions to Malayalam cinema.

<i>Chemmeen</i> 1965 Indian film

Chemmeen is a 1965 Indian Malayalam-language romance film, based on the novel of the same name by Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai. It was adapted into a screenplay by S. L. Puram Sadanandan, directed by Ramu Kariat, and produced by Babu Ismail Sait under the banner Kanmani Films. The film stars Sheela as Karuthamma, Madhu as Pareekutty, Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair as Chembankunju, and Sathyan as Palani. The film tells the story of a pre-marital and later extra-marital relationship between Karuthamma, the daughter of an ambitious fisherman, and Pareekutty, the son of an affluent trader.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ranjith (director)</span> Indian film director, screen writer, producer and actor

Ranjith Balakrishnan is an Indian film director, screenwriter, lyricist, producer, and actor who works in Malayalam cinema. Ranjith made his directorial debut in 2001 with Ravanaprabhu, the sequel to Devaasuram. His films Thirakkatha and Indian Rupee won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Malayalam in 2008 and 2011 respectively. He is also the current chairman of Kerala State Chalachitra Academy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bharat Gopy</span> Indian actor (1937–2008)

Gopynathan Velayudhan Nair, popularly known by the stage name Bharat Gopy, was an Indian actor, producer, and director. Considered one of the greatest actors in the history of Indian cinema, Gopy was one of the first actors to be associated with the New Wave cinema movement in Kerala during the 1970s.

Geetha is an Indian actress who appears in Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu and Hindi films. She debuted in the Tamil film Bairavi. Since then she has acted in over 200 films in all major South Indian languages, and in a few Hindi films. She also appears in South Indian television serials. Geetha has won two Filmfare Awards South and a Karnataka State Film Awards and Kerala State Film Awards each.

<i>Swayamvaram</i> (1972 film) 1972 Indian film

Swayamvaram is a 1972 Indian Malayalam-language drama film co-written and directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan, starring Madhu and Sharada in the lead roles. Notable smaller roles were played by Thikkurisi Sukumaran Nair, Adoor Bhavani, K. P. A. C. Lalitha, and Bharath Gopi. The film depicts the life of a couple—Vishwam (Madhu) and Sita (Sharada)—who have married against their parents' wishes and want to start a new life at a new place. The title is an allusion to the ancient Indian practice of a girl of marriageable age choosing a husband from among a list of suitors.

Ramu Kariat was an Indian film director for almost three decades from the 1950s to the 1970s, who directed many acclaimed films in the Malayalam cinema. His noted films include Neelakkuyil (1954), Minnaminungu (1957), Mudiyanaya Puthran (1961), Moodupadam (1963) and the National Award winning Chemmeen (1965).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Adoor Bhavani</span> Indian actress

Adoor Bhavani was an Indian actress in Malayalam cinema, best known for her appearance in the National Award-winning film Chemmeen (1965), directed by Ramu Kariat. She had acted in about 450 films, including Mudiyanaya Puthran, Thulabharam, Kallichellamma, and Anubhavangal Paalichakal. Her last film was K. Madhu-directed Sethurama Iyer CBI. She was also a stage actress and was associated with popular theatre group KPAC.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair</span>

N. Sreedharan Nair, popularly known as Kottarakkara Sreedharan Nair or just Kottarakkara, was an Indian actor who appeared Malayalam movies. He hailed from Kottarakkara in Kollam district of Kerala.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Shyamaprasad</span> Indian filmmaker

Shyamaprasad is an Indian filmmaker, screenwriter and actor from Kerala.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ramachandra Babu</span> Indian cinematographer (1947–2019)

K. Ramachandra Babu was an Indian cinematographer of over 125 films, out of which most are Malayalam films. He also worked for films in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Arabic and English languages. He served as the cinematographer for several documentaries and advertisement films as well. He was the founder of the Indian Society of Cinematographers (ISC).

Kedamangalam Ali was an Indian actor in Malayalam movies during the 1960s and 1970s. Born in 1932 in Kedamangalam near North Paravur in Ernakulam District, Kerala, his popular movies are Mudiyanaaya Puthran (1961), Ninamaninja Kaalppaadukal (1963), Moodupadam (1963), Ammaye Kaanaan (1963) and Bhargaveenilayam (1964). He died on 26 April 1986.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Madhu filmography</span> List of performances by Indian Actor Madhu

Madhavan Nair, commonly known by his stage name Madhu, is an Veteran Indian film actor, director, producer, and former film studio owner, who works in Malayalam cinema.


  1. "J.C. Daniel Award for Madhu". The Hindu . 23 April 2005. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  2. "Madhu makes Kerala proud". The Hindu . 26 January 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  3. "Winners of Padma awards function 2013 - 2 Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 42 Padma Shree awards presented". The Economic Times . 5 April 2013. Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  4. Venkiteswaran, C. S. (13 September 2012). "Madhavan Nair: An actor for all. Ninamaninja Kalpadukal was Madhu's first movie. seasons". The Hindu . Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  5. Kurian, Vinson (17 February 2013). "Actor Madhu counts a lot more than two syllables". Business Line . Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  6. "Technology For All".
  7. "കലാകാരന്മാര്‍ നോക്കുകുത്തികളാകരുത്: നടന്‍ മധു". Deshabhimani.
  8. "സമാന്തര സിനിമകളെ തള്ളിപ്പറയാനില്ല". Samakalika Malayalam.
  9. Pattannur, Radhakrishnan. "Bhagyalakshmi eyeing foray into politics?". Mathrubhumi.
  10. "Veteran Malayalam Actor Madhu talks about his Kanyakumari Life | Interview". YouTube .
  11. "Kannammoola-Tvpm". Archived from the original on 29 March 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2006.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  12. "JB Junction with Madhu". Archived from the original on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  13. "CINIDIARY - A Complete Online Malayalam Cinema News Portal".
  14. "മധുരം ജീവിതം , Interview - Mathrubhumi Movies". Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
  15. "Game again for arc lights, but its got to be different: Thespian Madhu (Where Are They Now?)". Outlook . 28 July 2019. Retrieved 17 August 2019.
  16. "Technology For All".
  17. "Veteran Malayalam Actor Madhu talks about his Kanyakumari Life | Interview". YouTube .
  18. 1 2 "Kerala News : J.C. Daniel Award for Madhu". The Hindu . 23 April 2005. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016.
  19. "Madhu - Biography" . Retrieved 5 November 2020.
  20. "ചലച്ചിത്ര രത്‌നം പുരസ്‌കാരം 1993-2018". Kerala Film Critics Association. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  21. 1 2 "കേരള ഫിലിം ക്രിട്ടിക്‌സ് അവാര്‍ഡ് 1977 - 2012". Kerala Film Critics Association. Retrieved 29 January 2023.