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Mohanlal celebrates 30 years !

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It was a pleasant surprise for superstar Mohanlal, when many of his intimate friends threw an unexpected party in the location of Red Chillies (being directed by Shaji Kailas) to celebrate his long innings in the Malayalam film industry which touched three decades on Wednesday.

For Mohanlal, it was an overwhelming experience to realize that he faced the camera for the first time on the same day (September 3, 1978), a long 30 years ago for Ashok Kumar's Thiranottam, a film which was never screened. During the party, Mohanlal cut the cake and the first piece was served to actor Manian Pillai Raju, then to crew members Ashok Kumar and Suresh Kumar.

"Believe me. I never knew that it was the same day 30 years back that I first donned grease paint. And when it happens in the midst of people who have been with me all these years, it came as a surprise. My happiness can just be imagined. I feel really excited and happy with this small function at the sets today," Mohanlal said.

After Thiranottam, Mohanlal had to wait for another two years to get another chance to appearance before the camera. He made his mark as a villain in the mega box office hit Manjil Virinja Pookal and since, then he has never looked back.

In his three decade long career, the thespian gave numerous hits like Nadodikkattu, Kireedam, Vanaprastham and Thanmatra and his latest Aakashagopuram. But if you ask Mohanlal to give the exact figure of movies that he has acted in the last 30 years, he will surely surprise you with an answer that he does not know! "Honestly, I"m not sure how many films I have done all these years. It could be nearing 300, but I"m sorry, I do not know the correct figure," said Mohanlal.

Mohanlal bagged his first National Award for best actor in 1989 for Kireedam. Later, he also won National Awards for best actor for Bharatham (1991) and Vanaprastham (1999). His film Kaala Pani (1995) won five National and seven State Awards.

Shaji Kailas, director of Red Chillies, said that the growth of Mohanlal in cinema was quite unbelievable. "Certainly his growth is a fairy tale story and he has more than proved his mettle as an actor. We are really fortunate that we have a real star amongst us and I"m hugely pleased that the celebration took place on the set of my film," said Kailas, who was instrumental in giving Mohanlal several hit films.

Mohanlal has already confirmed that he is going to do a sequel to his 1987 blockbuster Irupatham Noottandu, directed by K. Madhu, featuring Suresh Gopi, Jagathy, Ambika and Urvashi in the main roles. The sequel will be directed by Amal Neerad and produced by Antony Perumbavoor under the banner of Ashirvad films. The shooting is to begin from January 1, 2009.

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