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'Gafoor Ka Dost': Mamukoya’s Demise Is a Major Loss for Malayalam Cinema

Born in Kozhikode’s Kallayi, Mamukoya passed away on 26 April.

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Weeks after veteran Malayalam comedian Innocent’s demise, Mamukoya, one of the finest comedians in Malayalam cinema, passed away on 26 April at the age of 77. He was often compared with another prolific actor, Kuthiravattam Pappu, who passed away at a young age, and his death is seen to have created a huge void in Malayalam cult comedy space.

The legendary actor collapsed on Monday when he was attending a football tournament in Kerala as a chief guest. He reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest followed by a haemorrhage. He is survived by his four children and wife Suhara.

Born in Kozhikode’s Kallayi, Mamukoya passed away on 26 April.

A still of Innocent and Mamukoya 

(Photo: Twitter)

Who Is Mamukoya?

Born in Kozhikode’s Kallayi, Mamukoya is a seasoned theatre artist turned actor who made his debut with the Malayalam flick Anyarude Bhoomi in 1979.

With his scintillating signature roles, distinct Malabar slang, and funnily relatable characters, Mamukoya has an intense local connection with the Malayali audience.

He has worked in many films with superstars Mohanlal and Mammootty, and other actors including Sreenivasan, Jayaram, and the younger generation of actors including Dileep. He has acted in more than 450 films, amassing fans who span across generations, as some of his iconic roles and dialogues are still doing the rounds as memes on social media, letting anyone who watches his comedy burst out laughing.

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Recognition Over The Years

Mamukoya got his first breakthrough with the Mohanlal-starrer Oru Koodu Koottam (1986). Filmmaker Sathyan Anthikad’s directorial debut, Nadodikattu (1987), too made him a household name as his character Gafoor and his popular short dialogue, "Say you are Gafoor-ka dost," have stayed with the Malayali audience till today.

Mamukoya has carved a niche for himself as a comedian in Kerala. However, apart from humorous roles, he explored serious characters and excelled at them. His performances in Perumazhakkalam and the national award-winning film Byari are a testament to that.

Mamukoya received the Kerala State Award, Perumazhakkalam (2004), and Innathe Chintha Vishayam (2008).

Born in Kozhikode’s Kallayi, Mamukoya passed away on 26 April.

Stills of Mamukoya

(Photo: Twitter)

While he has worked predominantly in Malayalam, he also featured in other languages like Tamil and French. Some of his famous films include Ramji Rao Speaking, Vadakku Nokkiyanthram, Sandesham, Payali, Theerpu, Peace, Cobra, Minnal Murali, Ustad Hotel, Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham, Gandhinagar 2nd Street, Varavelpu, Thalayanamanthram, Sandesham, Flammen im Paradies, and His Highness Abdulla.

Apart from his award-winning acting performances, Mamukoya is also known for his philanthropic works that includes a school that he started for children in his hometown Kalpakancheri.

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Topics:  Kerala   Malayalam   Kerala Actor 

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