Mammootty, one of the icons of Malayalam cinema, has survived for over two decades in an industry where hits and misses at the box-office seal your fate every Friday. It hasnít been easy for Mammootty though he can be slotted with the best in the World.
He has done more characters than any other actor in India and has won international acclaim and three National Awards. No matter what the quality of films he selects, whatever he touches always comes out right. In person Mammootty is a journalistís delight, easygoing and has no hang-ups of a superstar. He attends to telephone calls himself, as he has no secretaries. He is passionate about cinema and is perhaps one of the most well informed stars on the nuances of film making.
Mammootty is an actor in all senses of the word. It was his childhood dream to act in films, become a great star and earn the love and respect of the people of his country. He is widely considered in Southern film circles as a talented actor with profound looks and baritone voice and this had won him wide appreciation and recognition.
A lawyer by profession, Mammootty's entry into filmdom was rather late. His first film Devalokam, never saw the light of the day till M T Vasudevan Nair discovered him. But it was films like Yavanika, Anubandham and Ahimsa which made him a star.
His career saw a spectacular rise after the release of director Joshiís New Delhi. His performance as a victimized journalist, who takes revenge on those politicians who beguiled him caught the imagination of many in the film world. Thereafter he gave series of superhits and became the undisputed number one star in Malayalam.
His roles in M T Vasudevan Nairís Aalkootathil Thaniye and Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha (his first National Award) catapulted him to a new realm of stardom. His controlled acting, dialogue delivery and manliness attracted the classes and the masses alike. Oru CBI Diary Kurippu, Yathra and Nirakoottu were landmarks in his career. These films went on to create box-office history in Kerala.
Along with commercial films he also did offbeat films like Adoor Gopalakrishnanís Anantharam, Mathilukkal and Vidheyan. The easiness with which he illustrated on screen the protagonist in Mathilukkal won him the National Award for best acting for the second time. It was again in an art house film Ponthan Mada that he won the third National Award.
In between he had crossed the boundaries of Malayalam cinema and acted in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi movies. He proved himself in Tamil with Mani Ratnamís Dalapati, Kandukondein Kandukondein and Aanandam. Though his maiden Hindi film, Dhartiputra went unnoticed, he made Malayalees proud in Jabbar Patelís Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar. His performance was so realistic that he bagged the coveted Rajat Kamal for the Best Actor.
Some of his memorable films are Adiyozhukkukal, Inspector Balram, Amaram, Thaniyavarthanam, Suryamanasam, Arayannangalude Veedu, Valliyettan...the list goes on till the recent Chronic Bachelor. In his latest Onam release Pattalam directed by Lal Jose, Mammootty plays an Army officer.