Veteran Malayalam actor and former member of Parliament Innocent passed away at a private hospital in Kochi on Sunday. After learning about the unfortunate event, several celebrities took to their social media handles and mourned the demise of the late actor.
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.
Saddened with the demise Prithviraj Sukumaran took to Twitter and wrote, "End of an iconic chapter in cinema history! Rest in peace Legend! #Innocent."
Dulquer Salmaan shared a couple of pictures of himself with the late actor and penned down an emotional note, "We lost the brightest shining star in our constellation. You made us laugh till we cried. You made us cry till our insides hurt. You were an actor of the highest calibre. One of those timeless all time greats. Beyond that you were all things wonderful. You were all heart."
He added, "You were family. To mine. To everyone who watched you on screen. To everyone you met. I've had the privilege of knowing you closely. Like my fathers brother. Like an uncle to Surumy and me. You were my childhood. And I grew upto act along side you. And you regaled us with stories then and now. Always gathering people. Always lifting them up. My thoughts are all over the place. As is my writing. I love you dearly Innocent uncle. Rest in peace."
Innocent passed away at 10:30 pm on Sunday night, the VPS Lakeshore Hospital in Kochi said in a statement.
The hospital said that the non-functioning of many organs and a heart attack led to the actor's death.
A few years ago, he was 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'.
He is survived by his wife Alice, and a son, Sonnet.
Born in Inrinjalakuda in 1948, Innocent entered the film industry in 1972 with the movie 'Nrityashala' starring Prem Nazir and Jayabharathi.
The actor 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.
He played comedy roles in 'Ramji Rao Speaking', 'Mannar Mathai Speaking', 'Kilukkam', 'Godfather', 'Vietnam Colony', 'Nadodikattu', 'Manichitrathazhu' and 'Kalyanaraman' among others.
Innocent also portrayed villain roles in films such as 'Keli', 'Kathodu Kathoram'. Other films included 'Kabooliwaala', 'Gajakesariyogam', 'Mithunam', 'Mazhavilkavadi', 'Manassinakkare', 'Thuruppugulan', 'Rasathanthram', 'Naran' and 'Mahasamudram'.
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.
He won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Chalakudy Lok Sabha constituency as an independent candidate supported by the Left Democratic Front (LDF). Innocent served as the president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), a guild of Malayalam artists from 2003 to 2018. He has written books based on his memories and columns in magazines and newspapers. (ANI)