Tissa Wijesurendra

Last updated
Tissa Wijesurendra
Don Bhathiyatissa Wijesurendra

3 April 1949
Died11 May 2020 (aged 71)
NationalitySri Lankan
Education Nalanda College Colombo
Occupation Film Actor
Years active1970 – 2016
SpouseSavithri Dias

Don Bhathiyatissa Wijesurendra (තිස්ස විජේසුරේන්ද්‍ර 3 April 1949 – 11 May 2020), popularly as Tissa Wijesurendra, was a Sri Lankan actor. [1] One of the most popular actors of the 1970s, Wijesurendra played many dramatic roles in a career spanning four decades. [2] An innocent lover of Sinhala cinema at one time, Wijesurendra can be described as a symbol of popular cinema. [3]


Personal life

Wijesurendra was born on 3 April 1949 in Sarikkamulla, Panadura as the eldest of the family. [3] His father was an engineer. He was educated at Nalanda College Colombo. [4] He qualified to become a doctor but became an actor instead. [5]

He was married until his death to Savithri Dias Wijesurendra, a retired teacher who formerly worked at Visakha Vidyalaya. The couple had three daughters. Their daughter Surani has been involved with few television serials and has worked as a TV host. [5] Tissa's younger brother Bandula was a photographer for Sarasavi newspaper for a long time. [3]

Wijesurendra died on 11 May 2020, at the age of 71 while receiving treatments at Apeksha Hospital, Maharagama. [6] [7] [8]

Cinema career

During school times, he stayed at an uncle's house in Bambalapitiya because it was easy to attend tuition classes. That uncle worked at Ceylon Theaters where he was selected for a film. [9] His maiden cinema appearance came through the 1971 film Kalana Mithuro directed by Kingsley Rajapakse. [10] It was a remake of popular Hollywood film Dosthi and the reason to cast Tissa is that he and Sudhir Sawant of Dosthi looks similar. Kingsley Rajapaksa edited the name of "Batiyathissa" to suit the cinema. Tissa was allowed to star in a feature film Nim Walalla in 1970 directed by Ranjith Lal [5] shot by a group of students at Ananda College at the same time. This film was his first screened film. It is the only feature film made by a group of school children. In the film, he was the brother of Swarna Mallawarachchi. [3]

From the films he acted in, the first box office record was made by Tissa and Malani in the film Suhada Pethuma. [9] Since then, Tissa-Malani era shaped the seventies. Since then, he acted in several popular film under the renowned directors: K.A.W. Perera, Amarnath Jayatilleke, Neil Rupasinghe and Chandraratne Mapitigama. After the film Suhada Pethuma, the two stars were lovers in the films Sadhana, Nila and Ran Kurullo, [10] he also played the role as lover to many other film actresses like Geetha Kumarasinghe, Nita Fernando, Jenita Samaraweera in films like Sureka, Neela, Niluka, Sudu Paraviyo, Kalana Mithuro and Lasanda. His best contemporaries in the cinema were Vijaya Kumaranatunga, Gamini Fonseka and Tony Ranasinghe. Geetha Kumarasinghe first made her love affair with Wijesurendra with the film Lassana Kella. He is the only Sri Lankan actor to continue playing the protagonist in all films he acted in since the maiden film. He went on to make box office records in the Sinhala cinema history in seventies. [3]

As the 1980s dawned, Wijesurendra's number of films began to decline. In 1983, he acted in the film Senehasaka Kandulu directed by Hemasiri Sellapperuma, where he and Sonia Disa played Veddah characters. The he acted a different role in Nelum Vile Saman Malak directed by Chandraratne Mapitigama. [3] He expected an award for this character and it premiered in India as well. However, he did not receive the award and temporarily quit cinema after frustration. [9] In 1993, he played the older role as Sabeetha's father in the film Bambasara Bisaw. [5]


1970Nim Walalla
1971Kalana Mithuro
1971Samanala Kumariyo
1973Suhada PethumaChandana [11]
1973Sinawai Inawai
1974LasandaParakrama Jayawansa
1975Aese Idiripita
1975Pem Kurullo
1975Kohoma KiyannadaJagath
1975Lassana KellaAnura
1975Hadawathaka Wasanthaya
1976Haratha Hathara
1977Sudu ParaviyoRajesh
1977Niwena Ginna
1977Honda Hitha
1978Sithaka SuwandaMahesh
1978Kumara KumariyoUpul
1979Jeewana KanduluChaminda
1979Ran KurulloRajesh
1979Rosa Mal ThunakJanaka Mihindukula 'Deepal Srinath'
1979AnushaSudath Karunaratne 'Wijesinghe'
1980Api DedenaRavindra
1982Kiri SuwandaDuncan
1982Major Sir
1983Senehasaka KanduluNanduna
1983BonikkaPrageeth Wickremasinghe
1984Hadawathaka Wedana
1990Hondin Nathinam Narakin
1990 Christhu Charithaya Simeon [12]
1992Oba Mata WishwasaiVeerabahu
1993Bambasara Bisaw
1993Nelum Saha Samanmali
1993Juriya MamaiDoctor Ratnayake
1996Hitha Honda Nam Waradin Na
1997Ragaye Unusuma
1997Aege Wairaya 2
1997Viyaru Geheniyak
1998Aeye Obata BaraiRobert
2000 Dadabima
2001Oba Magema Wewa
2008 Hathara Denama Soorayo remake Mr. Samarasinghe
2014 Rupantharana Gilbert
2014 Supiri Andare Shahrukh Khan
TBDAdda Lanuwa Damma Kodiya

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Malini Fonseka</span> Sri Lankan actress, filmmaker and politician

Wanniarachchige Malini Senehelatha Fonseka, popularly as Malini Fonseka is an actress in Sri Lankan cinema, theatre and television as well as a director. Often considered as the "Queen of Sinhalese cinema", Fonseka first became widely known when she won the 'Best Actress Award' at the 1969 National State Drama Festival. This was followed by Sarasaviya Best Actress Awards for Hingana Kolla in 1980, Aradhana in 1982 and Yasa Isuru in 1983. Apart from cinema, she is also a former member of Sri Lanka Parliament.

Kumara Vidugalage Dona Geetha Samanmalee Kumarasinghe, popularly known as Geetha Kumarasinghe, is a Sri Lankan film actress and Member of a Parliament. She is the current State Minister of Women and Child Affairs.

Rita Philomina Ratnayake was an actress in Sri Lankan cinema. She became very popular in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s early Sinhala cinema particularly with the role 'Daisy Attanayake' in the blockbuster Kele Handa in 1953.

<i>Supiri Andare</i> 2014 Sri Lankan film

Supiri Andare is a 2014 Sri Lankan Sinhala comedy film directed by Michel Fonseka and co-produced by Krishan Dilipa Perera and Placidus I. Fernando for KPL Baiscope Films. It stars Tennyson Cooray, Sanoja Bibile, and Rodney Warnakula in lead roles along with Wimal Kumara de Costa, Tissa Wijesurendra and Dayasiri Hettiarachchi. It is the 1205th Sri Lankan film in the Sinhala cinema. This film is the acting debut for Lakshika Jayawardana.

Angelina Rachel de Lanerolle, popularly known as Angeline Gunathilake or Anjalin Gunathilaka, was a Sri Lankan singer, primarily working as a playback singer in Sinhala film industry. Considered the Silver bell of Sinhala cinema, Gunathilaka worked on over 5000 playback songs in a musical career that spanned nearly six decades. She was an A-grade singer who graduated from Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation.

Wilson Karunaratne, popularly known as Wilson Karu was an actor in Sri Lankan cinema, and stunt director. Considered one of the best villains in Sinhala cinema, Karunaratne acted in more than 240 films across many genres primarily as main antagonist.

Sampath Tennakoon, was an actor in Sri Lankan cinema, theater and television.

Denipitiya Vithanage Sumana Amarasinghe was an actress in Sri Lankan cinema and television. Highly versatile actress from drama to comedy, she is usually known as the Sweet girl in Sinhala cinema. Apart from acting, she also worked as an assistant director, production manager, costume designer as well as a producer. She was also the only actress to contribute to the production, singing, co-directing and co-editing of Sri Lankan cinema.

Kala Suri Koddul Arachchige Wilson Perera [Sinhala]), popularly known as K.A.W. Perera, was a director in Sri Lankan cinema. Considered as the pioneer of Sri Lankan public cinema, Perera was also a screenwriter, dialogue writer, lyricist and producer who contributed to Sri Lankan drama career for more than five decades.

Balasuriyage Steven Perera [Sinhala]), popularly as B. S. Perera, was an actor in Sri Lankan cinema and theater as well as a director and singer. One of the earliest pillars and popular comedy artists ever in Sri Lankan film history, Perera had a career spanned about three decades. He holds the record for the highest number of films acted by a Sri Lankan well over 180 films.

Don Sirisena [Sinhala]), was an actor in Sri Lankan cinema and theater. One of the most popular comedy artists ever in Sri Lankan film history, Sirisena had a career spanned about three decades acted more than 150 films.

Joseph Manuel Alexander Fernando was a Sri Lankan actor and stunt director in Sinhala cinema. Considered one of the best villains in Sinhala cinema, Fernando acted in over 120 Sinhala films, six Tamil films, and one English film.

Wanniarachchige Damayanthi Priyalatha Fonseka [Sinhala]), popularly as Damayanthi Fonseka, is an actress in Sri Lankan cinema, theater and television as well as a director and producer.

Daya Wimalaweera [Sinhala]), was a director in Sri Lankan cinema and stage drama. He was also a cinematographer, producer, screenwriter and editor.

Lionel Danthanarayana [Sinhala]), popularly as stage name Lionel Deraniyagala, was an actor in Sri Lankan cinema and theater. One of the most popular villain artists ever in Sri Lankan film history, he had a career for more than three decades as the antagonist.

Damitha Turlin Fernando [Sinhala]), popularly as Damitha Saluwadana, was an actress in Sri Lankan cinema, stage drama and television. She played "Asilin" in the television serial Kopi Kade. She had acted in more than 300 stage plays, 200 television serials and 25 films.

Sarath Namalgama [Sinhala]), was an actor in Sri Lankan cinema, stage drama and television as well as a television producer and philanthropist. He has contributed in various fields of art as a drama film voice actor, commercial presenter, TV presenter and organizer of local and foreign musical shows.

Kumarasinghe Rajapakse, popularly known as Kingsley Rajapakse was a film director and actor in Sri Lankan cinema.

Tissa Mahanama Nagodavithana [Sinhala]), popularly known as Tissa Nagodavithana and Ti. Na., was a renowned film preservationist, film director, film producer and a singer. Considered as the leading film preservationist in Sri Lankan cinema, Nagodavithana contributed to preserve many rare Sinhala, Hindi, Tamil and English films of early cinema.

Mukthagara Adhikari Muidayanse Ralahaminalage Vishaka Siriwardana, popularly known as Vishaka Siriwardana, was an actress in Sri Lankan cinema and television. In a career spanning more than three decades, she was known for her breakthrough roles in Saaranga, Sasara Chethana and Sura Duthiyo. At 5 feet 9 inches tall, she was the tallest actress in Sri Lanka.


  1. "Actors of Sri Lankan cinema - Tissa Wijesurendra". Sinhala Cinema Database. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  2. "Tissa Wijesurendra films". IMDb. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "The golden age star was extinguished". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  4. "Tissa: The yesteryear heartthrob". life.dailymirror.lk. 12 March 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Even though technology has improved, cinema has not progressed - Tissa Wijesurendra". Divaina. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  6. "Veteran Sri Lankan actor Tissa Wijesurendra passed away". menafn.com. May 11, 2020.
  7. "Veteran actor Tissa Wijesurendra passed away". Daily News. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  8. "Veteran film actor Tissa Wijesurendra has passed away". Hiru News. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  9. 1 2 3 "Become a doctor and become a box office actor". Aruna. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  10. 1 2 "Tissa Malani era shaped the seventies". Resa. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  11. "All about Suhada Pathuma". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
  12. "All about Kristhu Charithaya". Sarasaviya. Retrieved 22 February 2020.