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October 9, 2001

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Sankaradi passes away

Sankaradi Veteran Malayalam comedian and character artiste Sankaradi, who had over 700 Malayalam films to his credit, died at his hometown Cherayi, about 30 km from Kochi, on October 9.

Sankaradi, 77, dominated the Malayalam film scene in the 1970s and 1980s as comedian along with Adoor Bhasi and Bahadur. Later, he switched to character roles. His notable films were Kaboliwallah, Godfather, Kireedom and Chenkolu.

Before entering films, Sankaradi briefly dabbled in politics, journalism and theatre. He had earlier joined the Congress Party, but later became a cardholder of the undivided Communist Party of India (CPI). However, he returned his party card after the CPI split in 1962 and turned to theatre.

Sankaradi joined the trade union movement at Baroda Railways while he was studying marine engineering at Baroda. He abandoned his studies to pursue journalism in Bombay.

A stint in theatre in the mid-1960s in Kerala prepared Sankaradi for his foray into films. Since his debut in Kunchacko's Kadalamma, he remained an integral part of Malayalam cinema till his death.

Sankaradi won the state's best character artiste award in 1969-71. He also holds the record for featuring in over 300 films with evergreen hero Prem Naseer.

Sankaradi married Sharada in the late 1980s; the couple had no children.

Indo-Asian News Service

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