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National Award Winning Malayalam Actors

Malayalam movie industry is considered as one of the most finest movie industry of Indian cinema. Malayalam movies has got huge recognition in the world movie platform due to the brilliant movie makers, classic movies and last but not least, extremely fantastic actors. Unlike the actors from other Indian languages, the Malayalam actors are known for their extremely natural acting and the versatility of the roles they choose.

National Film Awards is the most prestigious platform of recognition for the movies. For an Indian actor, the National Film Award for Best Actor is the most prestigious coin of appreciation which he can ever get. The Best Award was won by 12 fantastic actors of Malayalam film industry. The first Malayalam actor who won the National Film Award for Best Actor was P J Antony for the movie, Nirmalyam, in year 1973.

P J Antony, Bharath Gopi, Balan K Nair, Premji, Mammootty, Mohanlal, Balachandra Menon, Suresh Gopi, Murali, Salim Kumar and Suraj Venjarammoodu are the 11 talented actors who won the National Film Award for Best Actor award from the Malayalam industry. Mammootty has made a record for winning the maximum number of awards in the same category. He has won the National Film Award for Best Actor thrice.  

P J Antony

The first actor from Malayalam who won the National Film Award for Best Actor, in 1973. The veteran actor won the award for his extra-ordinary performance as Velichappadu in the classic movie Nirmalyam, written and directed by veteran writer M T Vasudevan Nair.

Bharath Gopi

The super-talented actor won the award in 1977 for his electrifying performance as Shankaran Kutty in the movie Kodiyettam, directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan. He has also won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor for the same.

Balan K Nair

The veteran actor, who has proved his mettle in antagonist roles, went on a complete image makeover with his performance in Oppol, directed by K S Sethumadhavan. His performance as ex-military officer Govindan won him the Best Actor award in 1980.


Premji aka M P Bhattathiripad, won the Best Actor award for his performance as Chakyar, for the Shaji N Karun directed movie, Piravi in 1988. The actor, who was a social reformer and writer, is the brother of famous social reformer M R Bhattathiripad. He also won the Best Actor awards in Kerala State Film Awards and Filmfare awards for his performance in Piravi.


Mammootty has made a record by receiving maximum number of National Awards in Best Actor category. Mammootty won his first award in 1989 for his performances in Mathilukal and Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha. His second award was in 1993, for the movies Ponthanmada and Vidheyan. He won the third award for his performance as Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, in the English autobiographical movie, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar.


Mohanlal won his first Best Actor trophy in 1991, for his performance in the movie Bharatham, directed by Sibi Malayil. He won the second award in 1999, for the movie Vanaprastham, directed by Shaji N Karun. The movie, which was produced by him, also won the award for Best Film in the same year. The actor has also got a special jury award in National Film Awards of 1989, for his performance in Kireedam.

Balachandra Menon

The multi-faced talent of Malayalam film industry- Balachandra Menon, won the award in 1997, for his performance as Ismail, in the movie Samaantharangal, directed by himself.

Suresh Gopi

Suresh Gopi won the Best Actor award in 1997, along with Balachandra Menon, for his performance as Kanna Perumalayan, in the movie Kaliyattam, an adaption of Othello, which was directed by Jayaraaj. He also won the State Award for Best Actor for Kaliyattam.


Murali won the Best Actor award in 2001, for his performance as Appa Mestry, in the movie Neithukaran directed by Priyanandanan.

Salim Kumar

Salim Kumar won the Best Actor award in 2010, for his performance as the title character Abu, in the movie Adaminte Makan Abu directed by Salim Ahamed. He has also won the best actor award in the Kerala State Film Awards for Adaminte Makan Abu.

Suraj Venjarammoodu

Suraj Venjarammodu won the Best Actor award in 2013, for his performance as a nameless man in the movie Perariyathavar, directed by Dr. Biju.

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