Unnikrishnan Namboothiri, who won Malayalis’ hearts portraying the grandfather in Desadanam, survived Covid-19 at the age of 98. He had been undergoing treatment for Covid at a private hospital in Kannur for the past one week. The actor, who handles mostly comedic roles, was discharged on Sunday after testing negative for the virus.
Unnikrishnan made his acting debut with Jayaraj’s Desadanam (1997) at the age of 76. The film, which revolves around the personal turmoil faced by the parents of a child who is to be inducted into the priesthood by a monastery, won the National Award for Best Regional film. He went on to act in popular films such as Kalyanaraman, Rappakkal, Udayon and Oral Mathram. He has shared screen space with Tamil superstars Rajinikanth (Chandramukhi) and Kamal Haasan (Pammal K Sambandam) as well.
He was last seen in Mazhavillinattam Vare, a film about the life-changing journey of a young Pakistani cricketer and a college student who is the cricketer’s ardent admirer. Unnikrishnan’s son-in-law Kaithapram Damodaran Namboothiri, who is also a lyricist and music director, helmed the film.
The actor, who resides at his ancestral house at Payyanur, turned 98 on October 2020.