Malayalam actor and mimicry artist Kalabhavan Haneef has died. He was 63 and breathed his last in Kochi on Thursday. Kalabhavan made his acting debut through Cheppukilukkanna Chanagathi in 1991 and starred in more than 150 films in Malayalam. He was undergoing treatment for respiratory disease and was admitted for over a week in a private hospital in Ernakulam, as per a report in The Times of India.
Haneef was also a part of Jude Anthany Joseph’s 2018: Everyone Is a Hero, India’s official entry to the Oscars this year. He rose to fame as the hilarious groom in slapstick 2001 comedy Ee Parakkum Thalika.
Kalabhavan is survived by his wife Wahida and children Sithara Haneef and Shahrukh Haneef.
Hailing from Mattancherry near Kochi, Haneef entered tinsel town through his mimicry performances. He was a member of Kalabhavan, the famed performance troupe, which has played a key role in popularising the art form of mimicry in Kerala.
Like many of his co-artists in Kalabhavan, Haneefa also entered the world of cinema through a comic role. Cheppukilukkana Changathi was his first movie. He later acted in over 300 movies, the majority of them in humorous roles, in his years-long career in the film industry. He also tried his luck in television serials and stage shows.
Superstar Mammootty and Cultural Affairs Minister Saji Cheriyan were among those who condoled the demise of the actor. In a Facebook post, the minister said Haneefa’s spontaneous acting skills and dialogue delivery made his roles memorable.