Madhu, also known as Madhavan Nair, a luminary of Malayalam cinema, is basking in the glory of nine splendid decades in the film industry. His illustrious career, spanning sixty years, continues to awe and inspire cinephiles. Transitioning from a college educator to a revered film actor, Madhu has left an indelible mark by portraying over four hundred distinctive characters on the silver screen. In addition to acting, he has directed 12 films and produced 15.Born in 1933 to R. Parameswaran Pillai and Thankamma in Gaurishapatta, Thiruvananthapuram, Madhu’s passion for acting was ignited by watching local plays. In 1959, he left his teaching position to pursue acting at the National School of Drama, Delhi, while also teaching Hindi at Scott Christian College, Nagercoil.
In 1964, Madhu tied the knot with M Jayalakshmi, a childhood acquaintance, and they were blessed with a daughter named Uma. Over his six-decade career, Madhu has received numerous awards, including the JC Daniel Award for Outstanding Contribution to Malayalam Cinema in 2004, the Padma Shri Award in 2013, and various other accolades. He also served as the president of Amma, a film actors’ association.Madhu’s journey in cinema commenced with his debut film “Ninamaninnya Kalpatad” in 1963, where he played the role of Stephen, a soldier who sacrifices his life for his country. The lyricist of the film, P Bhaskaran, renamed him Madhu from Madhavan Nair.
The film “Bhargaveenilayam” in 1964, where Madhu portrayed the role of a writer, proved to be a turning point, firmly establishing him as a versatile actor. His pivotal role as Parikutty in Ramukaryat’s “Chemmeen” in 1965 is regarded as one of Indian cinema’s greatest romantic performances.Madhu’s contribution to Malayalam cinema further flourished with roles like Baputti in Olamvum Thiram, Kesavanpilla in Takazhi’s Eripads, and Madanan in Ramanan, showcasing his exceptional acting prowess. His talent transcended boundaries, as he also acted in Hindi and Tamil films, notably playing a football coach in Amitabh Bachchan’s debut film, “Saath Hindustani.”