Madhu (actor)

Last updated

Madhavan Nair

(1933-09-23) 23 September 1933 (age 87) [1]
Gowrishapattom, Trivandrum, [2] Kingdom of Travancore
Alma mater National School of Drama
University College Thiruvananthapuram
OccupationFilm actor, director, producer, former film studio owner
Years active1963 – present
Awards J. C. Daniel Award (2004)
Padma Shri (2013) [3]

Madhavan Nair, commonly known by his stage name Madhu, is an Indian film actor, director, producer, and former film studio owner, who works in Malayalam cinema and a certain number of Hindi & Tamil films. [4] [5]


Madhu was a prominent lead actor during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and has acted in more than 400 films. He 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] 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 Gourishapattom, Thiruvananthapuram. His father, R. Parameswaran Pillai, was the erstwhile Mayor of Trivandrum and his mother Thankamma was a housewife. [7] 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). [8] [9]

He was married to Jayalakshmi till her death in 2014. They have a daughter Uma. [10] [11]


He started his career as a Hindi lecturer in S. T. Hindu College and then Scott Christian College at Nagercoil. [12] [13] 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 Karyat, 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 Karyat'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 Naseer 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, an extremely difficult task for an actor and that too a newcomer. Madhu has the good fortune of having 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. Pisharady and C. Radhakrishnan, to name a few.

In an acting career spanning over five decades, Madhu acted in over 370 films. [14] 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. In this movie he dared to experiment by not taking up the main character role and instead, playing an anti-hero. 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 nearly 400 movies including Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil languages and directed 12 movies. [15]

Awards and accolades

Padma Awards
National Film Award
Kerala State Film Award
Filmfare Awards South
Other Awards

Related Research Articles

Malayalam cinema Malayalam language film industry

Malayalam cinema is the Indian film industry based in the southern state of Kerala, dedicated to the production of motion pictures in the Malayalam language. It is also known by the sobriquet Mollywood in various print and online media. Malayalam film industry is the fourth biggest film industry in India. The films produced here are known for their cinematography and story-driven realistic plots. Works such as Marana Simhasanam and Vanaprastham were screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1999 Cannes Film Festival. Marana Simhasanam garnered the coveted Caméra d'Or for that year.

Mammootty Indian actor and film producer

Muhammad Kutty Panaparambil Ismail, better known by his stage name Mammootty, is an Indian film actor and producer who works predominantly in Malayalam-language cinema. In a career spanning four decades, he has acted in over 400 films, mainly in Malayalam, with several in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi and English. He is regarded as one of the greatest actors in Indian cinema.

Nedumudi Venu Indian actor

Kesavan Venugopal, known popularly by his stage name Nedumudi Venu, is an Indian film actor from Kerala, who predominantly works in the Malayalam Cinema. Considered as one of the greatest actors in the history of Indian cinema, he has acted in more than 500 films, primarily in Malayalam and also in Tamil. He has also written screenplays and has directed one film. He has won 3 National Film Awards and six Kerala State Film Awards for his various performances.

Priyadarshan Indian film director

Priyadarshan Soman Nair, better known by the mononym Priyadarshan, is an Indian film director, writer and producer. In a career spanning over three decades, he has directed more than 95 films in various Indian languages, predominantly in Malayalam and Hindi, while also having done six films in Tamil and two in Telugu. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest film makers in Indian cinema of all time, and has done about 27 films in Hindi alone, the highest number of films done by any Hindi film director after David Dhawan. He was one of the first directors in India to introduce rich color grading, clear sound and quality dubbing through his early Malayalam films.

Jayaram Indian actor

Jayaram Subramaniam, known mononymously as Jayaram, is an Indian film actor who predominantly appears in Malayalam cinema along with a few Tamil 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.

Adoor Gopalakrishnan 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 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.

I. V. Sasi Indian film director

Irruppam Veedu Sasidaran, better known as I. V. Sasi, was an Indian film director who made over 150 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.

Hariharan (director)

Hariharan is a veteran 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 Disco (1980), Sharapancharam (1977), Panchagni (1986), Paalazhimadhanam (1980)Yakshipparu (1979), Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha (1989), Padmaraagam (1979), Parinayam (1994) and Pazhassi Raja (2009) 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.

Ranjith (director) Indian film director, screen writer, producer and actor

Ranjith Balakrishnan is a veteran Indian film director, screenwriter, producer, and actor who works in Malayalam cinema. Ranjith made his directorial debut in 2001 with Ravanaprabhu, a 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.

Shoba Indian actress

Mahalakshmi Menon, best known by her stagename Shobha, was an Indian actress best known for her work in Malayalam and Tamil films. At the age of 17, she won the National Film Award for Best Actress for her role in the 1979 Tamil film Pasi. She also received three Kerala State Film Awards: for Best Actress (1978), Best Supporting Actress (1977) and Best Child Artist (1971); and two Filmfare Awards South for Best Actress in Kannada (1978) and Tamil (1979) films. Considered one of the finest talents to have emerged in the Indian film world, her promising career was unexpectedly cut short as she committed suicide in 1980, due to unknown reasons. Her popularity resulted in considerable public scrutiny of the events that led to her death and also various conspiracy theories. The 1983 Malayalam film Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback is supposedly based on her life and death.

Bharat Gopy

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

S. Janaki Indian singer

Sistla Janaki, popularly known as S. Janaki, is an Indian playback singer and occasional music-composer from Andhra Pradesh. She is referred to respectfully as "Janakiamma" and is one of the greatest and best-known playback singers in India. She has recorded 48,000 songs in films, albums, TV and Radio including solos, duets and chorus songs in 17 languages including Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi, Odia, Bengali, Marathi, Tulu, Urdu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Konkani, Assamese, Sindhi and also in languages such as English, Japanese, Arabic, German, and Sinhala, however the highest number of songs in her career were in Kannada followed by Malayalam. Starting in 1957 with the Tamil film Vidhiyin Vilayattu, her career has spanned over six decades.

Geetha Kadambee 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.

Shweta Menon Indian model, actress and television anchor

Shweta Menon is an Indian model, actress and television anchor. She won Femina Miss India Asia Pacific 1994. She has predominantly acted in Malayalam and Hindi language films, besides appearing in a number of Telugu and Tamil productions.She won two Kerala State Film Awards for Best Actress.She participated in Bigg Boss Malayalam Season 1.

Sharada is an Indian actress and politician. Known for her work predominantly in Telugu and Malayalam films, Sharada is the recipient of three National Awards. She is also known as Urvasi Sharada as National Film Award for Best Actress was officially designated the Urvasi Award. She won three National Awards for her roles in Thulabharam (1968), Swayamvaram (1972), and Nimajjanam (1977). Sharada has garnered the NTR National Award by the Government of Andhra Pradesh for her contributions to Indian cinema.

Mullamangalath Parameshwaran Bhattathiripad, commonly known as M. P. Bhatathirippad or Premji, was a social reformer, cultural leader and actor from Kerala state, India. Premji joined Yogakshema Sabha and worked with V. T. Bhattathiripad, E. M. S. Namboodiripad and his brother M. R. Bhattathiripad in the fight against the casteism and conservatism that existed in the Nambudiri community. Premji was also a noted stage and film actor who won the National Film Award for Best Actor for the film Piravi.

Ramachandra Babu Indian cinematographer

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).

Pratap Pothen, is an Indian actor, director, writer and producer who has acted in about 100 films. He has acted in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu as well as Hindi films.

Santha Devi Indian actress

Damayanthi, better known by her stage name Kozhikode Santha Devi, was an Indian Malayalam film and stage actress. In a career spanning about sixty years, she acted in more than 1000 plays and about 480 films.

Madhu filmography 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 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. "Kannammoola-Tvpm". Archived from the original on 29 March 2008. Retrieved 8 November 2006.
  8. "JB Junction with Madhu". Retrieved 31 March 2015.
  9. "CINIDIARY - A Complete Online Malayalam Cinema News Portal".
  10. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. "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.
  12. "Technology For All".
  14. 1 2 "Kerala News : J.C. Daniel Award for Madhu". The Hindu . 23 April 2005. Archived from the original on 12 April 2016.
  15. "Madhu - Biography" . Retrieved 5 November 2020.