In heartbreaking news, veteran Malayalam actor Rizabawa passed away due to kidney-related ailments on Monday. He was 55. The actor had been undergoing treatment for renal diseases at a private hospital in Kochi where he breathed his last. Rizabawa is best known among fans for playing the character John Honai in the smash hit 1990 Malayalam film, In Harihar Nagar, under the duo Siddique-Lal’s direction. His performance as the villain in the film continues to be memorable and is regarded as one of his finest in Malayalam cinema. Leading Malayalam actor-director-producer Prithviraj Sukumaran paid his tribute to Rizabawa by sharing a photo, while offering his prayers. 

In a career that spanned over three decades, Rizabawa made his acting debut in films in director Shaji Kailas’ Dr Pasupathy and went on to act in more than 120 ventures. Known primarily for his portrayal of villain characters, the actor’s other prominent roles include films like Vakkeel Vasudev, Thiruthalvaadi, and Malappuram Haji Mahanaya Joji to name a notable few, while also making appearances on several television shows and serials. Starting out as a theater actor, Rizabawa became a highly-sought after performer in Malayalam cinema after the success of films like Dr Pasupathy and In Harihar Nagar. However, the actor made a transition to television roles from films and his last notable big screen appearances was when he played a minister in the Mammootty and Prithviraj Sukumaran-starrer Pokkiri Raja released in 2010. He also went on to win the state award in the best dubbing actor category for the Indrajith and Nithya Menen-starrer Karmayogi in 2011.