Popular Tamil comedy actor ‘Bonda Mani’ passed away on Saturday, December 23, in Chennai due to a prolonged illness. The actor was 60 years old. While the actor was known primarily by his stage name of Bonda Mani, he was born as Kedheeswaran in the Mannar district of Sri Lanka. He and his family attempted to flee the civil war in the country in the mid-1980s, but he is reported to have been the sole survivor. He made his debut appearance in Pavunnu Pavunuthan (1991), directed by actor-producer K Bhagyaraj. Mani has starred alongside Kollywood’s most popular comedy actors like Vadivelu, Vivek and Goundamani.
One of the most well-loved comedy sequences featuring Vadivelu and Mani is from Shaam’s movie ABCD (2005). Vadivelu plays a bus conductor and Mani a snake charmer who attempts to board a crowded bus. When he is unable to find space on the bus, Mani brings out his pet cobra, triggering havoc among the passengers and bus staff alike.
Another popular Vadivelu-Bonda Mani team up is from Englishkaran (2005) starring Sathyaraj in the lead. Mani trying to stop a wedding alongwith Vadivelu and his other cohorts, comes up with the amusing plan of stealing the groom’s comb and claiming that if the man could not comb his hair, he would not be able to attend his own wedding, much to Vadivelu’s bemusement and fury.
Reacting to Mani’s death, former actor and Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMKD) chief Vijaykant said, “I am shocked and deeply saddened by the news that well-known actor and comedian Bonda Mani has passed away due to illness. He was a good human being who had deep affection, respect and friendship for me. I offer my condolences to his family, friends, relatives and film industry colleagues who are mourning him. I pray to the almighty god for his soul to find peace.” Mani had starred in a small role in Vijaykant’s Thavasi (2001).