Rizabawa, the man who played the famous character of John Honai in the Malayalam film In Harihar Nagar, has passed away. Aged 54, he reportedly died of kidney-related issues at a private hospital in Kochi. Producer and production controller NM Badusha posted the news on his Facebook page Monday afternoon. Reporter Live says that he had a sudden stroke.
Rizabawa began acting in films in 1990 with Shaji Kailas’s Dr Pasupathy, in which Innocent played the lead role. The same year he also played the villain character in the Siddique-Lal comedy In Harihar Nagar, a role that's often cited for its peculiarities. He has since acted in more than 120 films, mostly playing character roles. He played villain and comic characters.
Some of his notable works are in Amina Tailors, Aniyan Bhava Chettan Bhava, Champakkulam Thachan, Vadhu Doctoranu, Ezhara Ponnana, Ente Ponnuthampuran and so on.
Noticeably, Rizabawa also turned a dubbing artist for several movies. He has dubbed for Tamil actor Thalaivasal Vijay in at least three Malayalam films. He also gave voice for Hindi actor Anupam Kher in the Malayalam film Pranayam, starring Mohanlal and Jayapradha. In 2010, Rizabawa won the Kerala state award for best dubbing artist (male) for dubbing for Thalaivasal Vijay in Karmayogi.
He came to cinema from theatre. Later on he became active in television serials. He was acting in Namam Japikunna Veedu in Mazhavil Manorama.
Director Sibi Malayil told 24 News that he had all the qualities to do lead roles but somehow that had not worked out.
Actor Dulquer Salmaan was one of the first to post condolences for Rizabawa. "No matter which role he took up, he always made it memorable. My heartfelt condolences to the family of Rizabawa Ikka," Dulquer posted. Producer Antony Perumbavoor and singer Vaikom Vijayalakshmi also posted condolences.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also paid condolences to the actor, calling him an arist who found a place in the hearts of Malayalis through his characters.