© Provided by NDTV Kalabhavan Mani, So Long and Thanks For The Laughs Mani Raman, more famous by his stage name ‘Kalabhavan Mani’, could play comic roles with as much ease as the cruel villain.
A National award winning actor, the popular Malayalam actor acted in more than 200 films before succumbing to liver and kidney-related ailments at a Kochi hospital at the age of 45.
Born on January 1, 1971, Mr Mani started his career as a mimicry artiste at the famous Kalabhavan centre for performing arts two decades ago. His first role was an auto-rickshaw driver in the Malayalam film Aksharam. Comic roles in Malayalam films followed.
1996’s Sallapam in which he played Rajappan, the wicked toddy tapper, established him as a villain to reckon with. But it was his award-winning portrayal of a blind man in 1999’s Vasantiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum that fetched Mr Mani widespread acclaim and a National Film Award.
Known his political leanings, philanthropic work and ‘daily durbars,’ there had been reports that the Communist Party of India-Marxist would field him from an assembly constituency from his home district Thrissur.
Mani is survived by wife and daughter. His death remains a mystery and is being investigated by Kochi City Police after registering a case of ‘unnatural death’ on the basis of a complaint.