Malayalam actor Pappukutty Bhagavathar passed away on 22 June 2020. The 107-year-old breathed his last at his residence in Permpadappu, Kochi, due to age-related illness. The members of the Malayalam film industry, including the superstars Mammootty and Mohanlal, mourned the veteran actor's death through their respective social media pages. Pappukutty Bhagavathar was the most senior actor in Malayalam cinema at 107 years of age.
The veteran actor, who was widely known as 'Kerala Saigal' was born as the third son of Vyppin Maalippuram Chakkalakkal Michael and Annamma, on March 29, 1913. Even though he was originally named as MC Joseph, the actor-singer later changed his stage name to Pappukkutty Bhagavathar after joining the theater. Pappukutty was his nickname among the family members and friends.
He made his debut in theater at the age of 7, with the musical drama Vedamani. After appearing as a child artist and later playing minor roles in several stage dramas, Pappukkutty Bhagavathar made his debut in lead roles with Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair's popular theater play Maya.
The senior actor has acted in around fifteen thousand stages within his entire theater career. Pappukutty Bhagavathar made his debut in films with the 1950-released Malayalam drama Prasanna, in which he appeared as one of the protagonists. He later acted in around 25 films, and quit the industry after completing the movie Vice-Chancellor.
As a singer, he lent voice to most of the popular stars of his generation, including Prem Nazir and Sathyan. The actor last sang for the Dileep starring blockbuster Marykkundoru Kunjaadu. Pappukutty Bhagavathar had made a place for himself in the Limca Book of Records at the age of 100, for taking part in a concert which was held in Kochi.
He was married to Baby, who passed away in 2017. The couple has five children including popular actor Mohan Jose, renowned singer Selma George, Sabu Jose, late Jeevan Jose, and Shadi. KG George, the veteran cinematographer is his son-in-law.