Mollywood’s King of Comedy, Jagathy Sreekumar turns 70 today amidst rumours that he will be acting in a film directed by his son Rajkumar under the banner of Jagathy Sreekumar Entertainments. According to sources, his character has been tailored to suit his current limitations. The actor, who has acted in over 1,500 films, took a hiatus from cinema after meeting with a deadly accident near Malappuram on March 9, 2012. He has not fully recovered from a head injury following the accident.
While the actor has appeared in a few commercials post the accident, he was scheduled to make a comeback last year in a movie titled Kabeerinte Divasangal that is directed and produced by J Sarathchandran. Shooting for the film is, however, said to have hit a pause due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The film, which features Murali Chand and Rachel David in the lead, sees Jagathy playing a Hindu priest, who is wheel-chair bound.
Born Sreekumar PK, Jagathy is the son of Malayalam dramatist and writer Jagathy NK Achary. Better known by his stage name Jagathy, or Ambili chettan, he grew up amidst theatre and films. The actor took his first bow on stage while performing a school play at Model School, Thiruvananthapuram, in class five. He went on to act in plays written by his father.
Jagathy, who started his career as a child artist in 1956 with the film Achchanum Makanum written and directed by his father, made his debut as an adult with Chattambi Kalyani in 1975. He then went on to star in a host of evergreen movies such as Yodha, Kilukam, Mookila Rajyathu, Oru CBI Diary Kurippu, Paradesi, Meesa Madhavan, Urumi, and Palunku.
Although Jagathy is known for his ability to handle comic roles, the actor has proved that he is versatile by playing diverse characters, be it the competitive Appukuttan in Yodha or the villainous Chenichery Kurup in Urumi. In fact, scenes from his movies have inspired numerous memes.
A perfectionist, Jagathy has not only ensured to play the characters that come his way with conviction but that no two characters of his are similar. The actor who has won several Kerala State and Kerala Film Critics Award has also acted in television serials such as Ellam Mayajalam, Swami Ayyappan and Devimahatymyam. He donned the director’s cap with Kalyana Unnikal (1998) and Annakutty Kodambakkam Vilikkunnu (1989). The septuagenarian has also tried his hand at singing and has recorded songs for several movies.
The actor has always been controversy’s child. Not only has the actor married twice, but he also has a child out of wedlock, Sreelakshmi. He was also accused in the Vithura gang rape case, for which he was proved innocent later.
Meanwhile, wishes rush in for the actor on his birthday today, right from politicians Ramesh Chennithala and Shashi Tharoor to actors Kunchacko Boban and Suraj Venjaramoodu. Even fans took to social media to wish the actor on his birthday. One fan posted “Perhaps the most underrated quality of an actor is knowing how to look in front of the camera in the passive most scene – sans any counter dialogue. A feat even difficult to do in a comedy film where you need a certain degree of exaggeration. But a cakewalk for Jagathy. HBD! (SIC)”
According to Jagathy’s family, celebrations this year will be low key due to the Covid pandemic, and that the actor will be spending the day with them at their house in Peyad, Thiruvananthapuram.