A Blog on Cinema

RIP : Oduvil Unnikrishnan



Oduvil Unnikrishnan, one of the best actors in Malayalam cinema, passed away today. He died because of kidney failure. He was 62 and is survived by his wife Padmaja and 2 daughters.

Versatile Malayalam Actor Oduvil Unnikrishnan died following kidney failure at a private hospital here early this morning. He was 62 and is survived by his wife and two children. Popularly known as “Oduvil”, Unnikrishnan, who was undergoing dialysis for the last one year, was admitted to the P V S hospital four days ago after his condition deteriorated. Hindu reports

Like many god actors in Malayalam cinema, Oduvil too started his acting career in theatre. He was active in Kalanilayam and later in KPAC. He debuted in cinema by doing a tiny role in Chenda. Oduvil was equally adept at doing serious and humorous roles. We felt that he had a natural flair in doing comedy.

He did endearing characters in recent movies Achuvinte Amma and Rasathantram. He was undergoing weekly dialysis while acting in Rasathantram.

During his acting career he has won a host of awards including Kerala award state’s best actor award for his role in Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Nizhalkoothu.

“Malayalam cinema had not been able to fully use his talent,” renowned film maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan said hearing the news of his demise. Unnikrishnan had brilliantly portrayed the character of a hangman in Adoor’s ‘Nizhalkuthu’. IndiaGlitz reports.



  1. May his soul rest in peace. He was a brilliant actor shown his skills in even the simple roles. Missed to see “Nizhalkutthu”.

  2. He looked very different and weak in Rasathantram. Obviously the daily dialysis had taken its toll on him

    The Industry which is still to fill the void left by Soman, Bahadur, MS Thripunithura, NF Varghese and Narendra Prasad, has lost another great character artist.

  3. My personal favorite of Oduvilan was “Peringodan” – the edakka vidwaan of Devasuram and the character he played in Aaram Thampuran as the musician

  4. Unni, What range does Soman have? Which movie do you remember for Soman’s wonderful performance.

    We have a very low opinion about his acting skills.

  5. VC, Soman was indeed a wonderful actor and one among the few actors in Malayalam who excel in roles that needed manliness.. Roles that needed manliness were always reserved for actors like Sukumaran and Soman.. And a movie that people will all good malayalam movie lovers will remember for Soman’s histronics will be Lelam… It was the powerful performance by Soman in an author backed role as Aanakattil Eepachan for 45 minutes that saved the movie from being another english coaching Suresh Gopi movie!!!
    One of the best actors among the current generation Shri Kamalhassan had honoured this veteran, after his untimely death, by naming his character in the tamil movie Tenali after Soman..

    So a humble request, please dont undermine the prowess of actors like Soman with mindless statements as above..

  6. Soman has done a wide variety of roles. My personal favorites are – Aanakkattil Eappachan from Lelam for his mind blwoing performance , Krishnan Nair the police officer (who comes to US looking for Ramadasan and Vijyan) from Akkare Akkare Akare for his comedy, As Karthika’s father (dont remeber his name) – the cold-blooded villain from Thalavattom and as Suresh Gopi’s mentor in Commissioner. These are te ones that immideately come to my mind. I may have missed some.

    There are al ot of old movies which I have watched with Soman wearing bell-bottoms 🙂 but I dont remember their names.

  7. Unnikrishnan, Unni, Sukumaran and manliness I can agree, but Soman..somehow doesn’t gel that well for me. In a career spanning three decades, the only role that comes to your mind is the one from Lelam. That is sad.

    Kamal Hassan may have thought many great things about Soman, but we form our own opinions independently. Just because a man acted in so many movies does not mean that he is great

    Compare that to the career of other character actors like Nedumudi Venu, Thilakan and Jagathi. They made most of their characters memorable, while Soman’s characters can be summarized in one line – a guy who speaks in Thiruvalla accent, whatever be the role.

  8. Soman, Bahadur, MS Thripunithura, NF Varghese and Narendra Prasad, Oduvil Unnikrishnan.

    Pick the odd one out?

    Surely has to be Soman. The others are inarguably in the category of ‘character actors’. Soman isn’t.


  9. this was supposed to be an obituary to Oduvil, who was absolutely a great actor, to say the least. But, why are u guys discussing about the acting abilities of Soman here! Sure, Soman is just not a footnote in this history of Malayalam cinema and has done some memorable parts. But not quite in the same league as Oduvil, Bahadur or Narendra Prasad.

  10. ODUVIL UNNIKRISHNAN. may the soul rest in peace..
    he was my favourite actor. and i never seen oduvil in any film. i Have only seen the characters.., that was his speciality .nobody mentioned him any where since he was 100% natural as the character in tht film.

  11. My favorite of Oduvil was “Peringodan” – the Edakka Vidwaan of “Devasuram” directed I.V. Sasi

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