Kerala Industries Minister P Rajeev was among those who offered their tributes to verteran Malayalam actor and former Member of Parliament who passed away in a hospital in Kochi a day ago.
Expressing his condolences over the actor’s death, Rajeev said, “There is no substitute for Innocent in Malayalam cinema. He was a personality who always stood with the left-wing movement. I was in the Rajya Sabha when he was in the Lok Sabha. Together we shared ideas of doing charity work.”
“He was able to reflect his politics in whatever comedy he performed and whatever he wrote. We have lost an actor and a philanthropist, loved by all Malayalis. He had been struggling for the past few days. He was a cultural worker who upheld humanity,” the State minister added added.
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. The hospital said that the non-functioning of many organs and a heart attack led to the actor’s death.
He is survived by his wife Alice, and a son, Sonnet.
Congress MLA Anwar Sadath also offered condolences over the actor’s death and said that the actor always maintained a friendship with people’s representatives.
“He always maintained a friendship with people’s representatives like us. He was an MP from my constituency. He showed the world how to fight cancer. We wonder if we will ever have an artist like Innocent. Apart from being an artist, he also worked as a public servant. He always had a love and affection for us”, said Sadath.
Saddened with the demise of Innocent, movie director, B Unnikrishnan said, “A replacement for Innocent is unthinkable. He was a great lover of humanity. He also had the ability to bring all the people in the film together. Neither can anyone else. Even those who raise dissent and criticism will admit it.”
“He showed democratic courtesy even to fraternal organizations. He always maintained a cordial relationship with them. His role in keeping Malayalam cinema a secular space will be remembered with gratitude by the coming generation, added Unnikrishnan.
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’, and 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. (ANI)