Much loved actor and politician Innocent Vareed Thekkethala mononymously known as Innocent, passed away in a private hospital in Kochi on Sunday evening. He was 75.
The actor was battling cancer for more than a decade. Recently, he was admitted at the VPS Lakeshore Hospital in Kochi, following breathing issues and uneasiness.
A much-loved actor known for his spot-on comedy, Innocent has starred in over 700 films in a lucrative career spread over 50 years.
He began his film career with AB Raj’s 'Nrithasala' in the 1970s but he started experiencing popularity only in 1981 with the success of 'Vida Parayum Munpe'. Before 1985, the actor was offered as much as four films a year. But, the blockbuster success of K G George’s 'Panchavadi Palam' in 1984 ensured that he starred in close to 20 films, each year.
He shared fabulous screen timing with fellow comedian and actor Jagathi Sreekumar, Their 1988 film 'Mukunthetta Sumitra Vilikkunnu', directed by Priyadarshan remains their most iconic outing together.
But ardent fans will always remember Innocent as Mannar Mathai from the 1989 film 'Ramji Rao Speaking', directed by iconic duo Siddique-Lal.
Some of his best on-screen work has been in collaboration with actors Mohanlal, KPAC Lalitha, Jagathi Sreekumar, Thilakan, Kalpana, Urvashi, Jagadish, Mukesh, and Nedumudi Venu.
Last seen in the 2022 film 'Kaduva' starring Prithviraj Sukumaran, Vivek Oberoi and Samyuktha Menon, Innocent's will be posthumously credited with his appearance in the upcoming Fahadh Faasil starrer 'Paachuvum Albhuthavilakkum'.
This saddening news has sent shockwaves across the Southern industries. Actor-politician Khushboo Sundar was one of the first to tweet and express condolences.
The actor is survived by wife Alice, son Sonnet, daughter-in-law Reshmi and grandchildren Innocent Jr. and Anna.
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