Veteran actor Unnikrishnan Namboothiri passed away on Wednesday in Kannur. He was 98. The acclaimed actor, known for his roles predominantly in Malayalam and Tamil films, had recently tested positive for COVID-19 and had undergone treatment after he was admitted to the ICU in a private hospital. He had been discharged and sent home on Tuesday after his COVID-19 test had come back negative. However, Unnikrishnan's health had deteriorated on Wednesday and was once again taken to the hospital, where he breathed his last. His funeral will be taking place on Thursday. 

Unnikrishnan Namboothiri came to be known among fans after starring in comedy and grandfather roles and made his debut in 1996 in the Malayalam film Desadanam. He went on to become a household name across Kerala after he delivered a rib-tickling performance as a witty grandfather in Kalyanaraman in 2002. The popular South Indian actor also played a vital role in 'Ulaganayagan' Kamal Haasan's smash hit Tamil comedy drama, Pammal K. Sambandam, in 2002. 

Remembering Unnikrishnan, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan paid his tributes on Facebook. His statement in Malayalam is translated as "Unnikrishnan Namboothiri was an actor who was skilled and talented in expressive acting. He came to be known as a well-defined personality in cinema for his age-old interest and confidence for the same. A fellow Leftist, he associated with the CPI(M) over the years. His passing away is a great loss to the performance and arts fraternity. This is a personal loss for me as well. The void left by his demise in the cultural space cannot easily be filled." 

ഭാവാഭിനയ പ്രധാനമായ റോളുകളില്‍ തിളങ്ങിയിരുന്ന നടനായിരുന്നു ഉണ്ണികൃഷ്ണന്‍ നമ്പൂതിരി. പ്രായത്തെ കടന്നു നില്‍ക്കുന്ന അഭിനയ...

Posted by Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Having also starred in Tamil films like the Ajith Kumar, Mammootty, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Tabu starrer Kandukondain Kandukondain in 2000 and 'Superstar' Rajinikanth's Chandramukhi, Unnikrishnan Namboothiri's performance in Pammal K. Sambandam continues to remain etched in the minds of the fans. Actor-politician Kamal Haasan expressed his sorrow on his social media pages over Unnikrishnan's death. His tweet in Tamil is translated as follows: "Unnikrishnan Namboothiri came to act at the age of 73 and made Malayalees laugh for 18 years. He was celebrated for his infectious energy. The person who was supposed to be a centenarian in another 2 years has left us today. My heartfelt condolences." 

Likewise, Malayalam superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal posted a smiling photo of the reputed veteran actor on their social media pages and paid their tributes. Dulquer Salmaan too expressed his sorrow at Unnikrishnan's demise and wrote on his Facebook page that he thought he was one of the most adorable actors and distinctly remembered him from Desadanam and Kalyanaraman. Unnikrishnan was also known for his roles in Malayalam films like Kaikudunna Nilavu (1998), Kaliyattam (1997), Sadanandante Samayam (2003), Madhuranombarakattu (2000), Rappakal (2005), and Pokkiri Raja (2010). A native of Payyanur, Unnikrishnan is survived by two sons Bhavadasan and PV Kunjikrishnan and two daughters Devi and Yamuna. 


Posted by Mammootty on Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Always thought he was one of the most adorable actors ! Distinctly remember him from Deshadanam and Kalyanaraman. #RIP

Posted by Dulquer Salmaan on Wednesday, January 20, 2021