Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], March 27 (ANI): Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday condoled the death of veteran Malayalam actor Innocent, who passed away in Kochi.
Offering his condolences over the actor's death, Pinarayi said that Innocent was an artist who gained an unforgettable place in the hearts of the audience.
"As a politician also, he managed to touch the lives of the people and his social environment. Innocent who has been a well-wisher of Left politics contested the elections on the request of the Left Democratic Front and gained prominence for the work he has done as an MP," Kerala CM said.
The actor, a cancer survivor was reportedly not keeping well for some time and was admitted to the hospital on March 3 with respiratory problems.
He passed away at 10:30 pm on Sunday night, the VPS Lakeshore Hospital in Kochi said in a statement. He is survived by his wife Alice, and a son, Sonnet.
The hospital said that the non-functioning of many organs and a heart attack led to the actor's death.
A few years ago, the thespian had been diagnosed with cancer but in 2015 he announced that he was finally free of the disease. He had written about his battle with cancer in his book 'Laughter in the Cancer Ward'.
The actor, who was last seen in Prithviraj Sukumaran's 2022 film 'Kaduva', has done over 700 films in Malayalam in a career that spanned over five decades. He had also served as president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) for 12 consecutive years.
Considered one of the best comedians in Malayalam cinema, Innocent also appeared in villainous roles. With his unique voice and mannerisms, he had endeared himself to countless cinema lovers as well as a toast of mimicry artists.
A former MP from the Chalakudy Lok Sabha constituency Innocent represented CPI(M).
In 1979, he was elected as the municipal councillor of Irinjalakkuda municipality.
However, offering his condolences to the actor's family, Pinarayi said, "Innocent's death is a huge loss to Kerala's art and cultural space as well as to the political landscape of the state".
"Innocent has set an example with his own life by fighting the disease with determination until the last moment. He carried on his personal and public life with confidence despite the malaise of disease," the Kerala CM said.
Opposition leader V D Satheeshan, while expressing grief over the actor's demise said that the actor was one who made his name meaningful with an innocent smile. "He patiently fight the disease and gave courage to society. There is no one else to replace Innocent," he added. (ANI)