Noted cinema and serial actor, playwright and theatre artist, Karakulam Chandran (68), passed away at a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram at around 3 am on Friday. He had been rushed to the hospital early on Friday morning after complaining of chest pain; he passed away shortly after. He reportedly underwent a bypass surgery six months previously.
Chandranâ€™s body was kept at Ajantha House near Kala Gramam at Karakulam for the public to pay their respects. The cremation will take place on Saturday at Saanthi Kavadam in Thycaud.
Karakulam Chandran is survived by his wife Susan Chandran; and sons Nithish Chandran, a journalist at Malayalam Manorama; and Nitin Chandran, a journalist at Manorama Online.
He had acted in various plays in his locality and in his school growing up in Karakulam. He joined the Kerala Public Service Commission in 1970, where he remained until 1981. In this time, he acted in numerous plays staged by the KPSC like Ningalenne Communistakki, Yanthram Sudharsanam, Manuantharam, Enikku Maranamilla, Bharathakshethram, Mudiayanaya Puthran, Puthiya Akasham Puthiya Bhoomi, Kaiyyum Thalayum Purathidaruthu and Layanam.
Chandran has also acted in films like Backerâ€™s Sree Narayana Guru (1986), and was widely known for his roles as a movie villain.
Four years after he left the KPSC, in 1985, Chandran founded the dramatic society Ajantha in Kollam, under which he directed over 110 plays. He has won numerous awards for his work from the state government and from various theatrical societies like the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy, including four state awards (in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000), and the prestigious Ramu Karyattu lifetime achievement award, instituted by the Thriprayar Natakavirunnu, in 2006 for his contributions to the field of theatre in Kerala. He was a regular speaker at various meetings and events on contemporary Kerala arts and culture.