The grand old man of Malayalam films Jose Prakash passed away Saturday afternoon at a private hospital in Kochi, family sources said. Thespian Prakash, 86, will be remembered for his villainous roles in which he smoked a pipe and wore jackets – giving Malayalam films a touch of Hollywood, way back in the late seventies.
Incidentally, Prakash took up singing after voluntary retirement from the British Indian Army. He formed the Kottayam Arts Club, which was basically a musical troupe and in 1953 he sang for the first time in the film Sheriyo Thetto. It was in 1961 that he got his first break in the film Bhakta Kuchela and in 1969 he became the most sought after villain after his role in Olavum Theeravum. There was no looking back for this veteran who has done nearly 400 films, including his work in Tamil. His last film was Traffic that was released last year.
His co-actor in numerous films, veteran actress Sukumari said that with his passing away an era had come to a close. “He was one who was gentle and respected everyone. Whatever role he was offered, he did with absolute dedication. Maybe his stint in the Army was his strength,” said Sukumari. Incidentally his passing away comes a day after the state government selected him for the prestigious JC Daniel Award Friday in recognition for his overall contribution to the film world and theatre.
The funeral is expected to take place in Kochi on Monday.