Kerala’s ’screen mother’ Aranmula Ponnamma dead

February 21st, 2011 - 10:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 21 (IANS) Aranmula Ponnamma, lovingly referred to as the “screen mother” of Malayalam film industry, passed away at a private hospital here Monday evening. She was 96.She has acted the role of mother to most of the heroes of the Malayalam film industry over decades.

She underwent surgery early this month after a fall.

Ponnamma had been staying with her granddaughter Radhika, wife of super star Suresh Gopi, in the capital city for long.

Beginning her career as a music teacher at the Cotton Hill Girls High School here, Ponnamma turned to acting at the age of 29 when she acted in the play “Bhagyalakshmi” opposite Augustine Joseph, father of renowned singer K.J. Yesudas.

Ponnamma entered the film industry in 1950 through the film “Sashidharan” and was active till 1997 when she did her last film “Janathiyapathiyam”.

In her long career, she played “mother” to generations of actors - from early heroes like Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair to later stars including Prem Nazir and Sathyan and third generation actors like Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi.

Ponnamma received the state and national awards for best supporting actress in “Kathapurushan” (1995) directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan.

In 2006 she was awarded the J.C. Daniel Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The funeral will take place here tomorrow.

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