Malayalam film actor Nedumudi Venu has died aged 73. He was reportedly undergoing treatment at a private hospital after recovering from Covid-19 at the time of his death on Monday.
Venu began his career as a theatre artist and entered the Malayalam film industry in 1978 by debuting in G Aravindan’s Thambu. In his nearly five-decade career, he acted in more than 500 films, primarily in Malayalam and also in Tamil. He also wrote screenplays and directed one film.
He won numerous accolades for his acting, including at the National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards, Asianet Film Awards and Kerala State Film Awards.
Since news of his death, a number of fellow celebrities have taken to social media to praise Venu and his long film career.
Tributes paid to the actor on social media
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Venu a “versatile actor” and said “his passing away is a loss to the world of films and culture".
Actor Prithviraj Sukumaran said that Venu's “body of work and expertise over the craft will forever be research material for generations to come”.
Tamil composer and actor G V Prakash Kumar called Venu “a kind person and a great teacher”.
Actor Siddharth Suryanarayan, known mononymously as Siddharth, also shared his condolonces by calling Venu “one of my favourite actors of all time”.
Tamil actor Karthik Sivakumar tweeted about the actor’s “legendary craftsmanship and body of work”, which he called “a culmination of decades of dedication to the art of acting”.
Indian filmmaker Shankar Shanmugham, who is credited as S Shankar, wrote that Venu was “a great and excellent actor. So dedicated and disciplined. Most humble & wonderful human being. Huge loss for the film industry.”
Indian politician and author Shashi Tharoor said that he was “deeply saddened” to hear news of Venu’s death.
Even the Netflix India South Twitter account praised Venu and called him “a master of his craft, a legend of his field”.