KPAC Lalitha passes away at 74, Kerala film industry in tears as National Award winning actress bids goodbye
Kochi: On Wednesday morning, all roads in Kochi are going towards the auditorium near here, where the body of veteran actress KPAC Lalita is kept for the last glimpse of all.
He had been ailing for some time and died at his residence here on Tuesday night, three days before his 74th birthday.
Ever since the news of his death spread, there has been an influx of visitors here.
Leading actors, including veteran superstars Mammootty, Mohanlal and Prithviraj paid their last respects to the veteran actor. Dileep, who is facing trial in some cases related to kidnapping of an actress, was also seen with his actress wife Kavya Madhavan.
The visuals showed tears in his eyes as he bid farewell to several of his co-stars.
Innocent, a co-star in several of his films and a former Lok Sabha member, said: “To me Lalita was like the lady next door. Her acting skills are unparalleled and don’t know if there will be someone like her again,” Innocent said. .
Her long-time co-star Veteran Janardhan said that not only did he share great on-screen chemistry with Lalita, but their families were also very close when they lived as neighbors in Chennai.
“When we were in the same frame shooting the film, for me, it was his acting skills and dialogue delivery that helped me perform with ease. I only wish for him, if there is life in the world he is in now. Janardhan said, “I wish her all the best because she was a great person.”
Lalitha was made the president of the Kerala Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2016 when Pinarayi Vijayan became the chief minister.
At the age of 10 she first acted in a play and later joined Kerala People’s Arts Club (KPAC), a leading leftist drama troupe and started her acting career with a remuneration of Rs.15.
There she was given the screen name of Lalita and later, when she began acting in films, KPAC was added to her screen-name to differentiate it from another actress named Lalita.
In a career spanning over five decades, he painted grease in over 550 films.
After debuting in 1969 with “Kootukudumbham” directed by noted director KS Sethumadhavan, she had no reason to look back and was Lalitachechi to all.
Winner of two National and four Kerala State Film Awards, she was practically indispensable to legendary filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan in most of his films.
In his film ‘Mathilukal’ starring Mammootty, his character Narayani appeared in the film talking only through his voice with the character that Mammootty played standing on either side of a wall in the prison premises.
Till last year when her health deteriorated, she was very active in the film industry.
Married to enigmatic director Bharatan, who passed away in 1998, Lalita was at the residence of her actor-director son Siddhartha when he passed away.
There is also a daughter in his family.
The last rites will be performed in Thrissur, later in the day.