Chennai, Nov 19: Veteran south Indian actor MN Nambiar, who acted in Tamil Malayalam and Telugu films, passed away after a brief illness Wednesday at the age of 89, family sources said.
Known for his on-screen villainy, the thespian had worked in over 1,000 films in a career spanning more than 60 years. In his personal life, Nambiar was known to be a simple, devout, family man. His last rites will be performed Thursday, the family sources added.
Nambiar had been the `Guru` for most in the film industry, including superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikant for initiating them to undertake the annual pilgrimage to Sabarimala, the hill shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa in Kerala. A deeply religious person, Nambiar made it a point to visit the temple for more than 65 years,
Born March 7, 1919 in Kannur, Kerala, he began acting since the age of 13 in a drama troupe owned by Nawab Rajamanickam known as the Boys` Company. The actor made his debut in a costume drama "Bhaktha Ramadas" in 1935.
On screen, he troubled heroes right from the black and white era in the 1940s till recently, spanning seven generations.
Though he acted mostly in Tamil films, he had starred in Hindi, Malayalam and Telugu movies. He even starred in the 1952 English film "Jungle".
Some of his memorable performances include "Aayirathil Oruvan", "Missiyamma", "Nenjam Marappathillai", "Thooral Ninnu Pochchu", "Ambikapathy" and "Digambarasamiyar" in which he essayed 11 roles.
He had acted with almost all top stars of Tamil cinema like MG. Ramachandran, Sivaji Ganesan, Gemini Ganesan, Rajnikanth and Kamal Haasan.
Nambiar is survived by his wife, son Sukumaran Nambiar who is Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and daughter.