With an acting career that has spanned more than 4 decades, Mohanlal las left us mesmerised time and again.
But what we do know about him? Here are 6 things that every Malayali should know about Mohanlal.
1. Real name
We know him as Mohanlal and refer to him fondly as ‘Lalettan’. But his real name is Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair.
2. Debut film
Mohanlal made his debut in 1978 with a film named “Thiranottam”. It is the story of a mentally disabled servant named Kuttappan. Due to issues with the censor board, the movie was not released. In 2013, Asianet aired the movie for the first time.
3. State wrestling champion
Lalettan won the Kerala State Wrestling Championship in 1977-1978. He was selected for the Nation Championship in New Delhi, but he gave it a pass to audition for “Manjil Virinja Pookkal”. We might have lost out on all his great movies had he made a different choice!
4. 15 days to release
Between 1982 and 1988, Mohanlal had a release every 15 days. This resulted in an astounding 170 releases in the 80s including hits like “Manjil Virinja Pookkal” (1980), “Nokketha Doorathu Kannum Nattu” (1985), “Hello My Dear Wrong Number” (1986), “TP Balagopalan MA” (1986), “Gandhinagar Second Street” (1986), “Thalavattam” (1986) and “Thoovanathumbikal” (1987).
Mohanlal has won several awards including five National Film Awards, nine Kerala State Film Awards, and Filmfare Awards South. In 2001, the Government of India awarded him with a Padma Sri. And in 2019, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to arts.
In 2009, Mohanlal was conferred with the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army of India by the then Army Chief Deepak Kapoor. He was the first Indian actor to be honoured in this manner by the armed forces.
The World Taekwondo Headquarters situated at Seoul, South Korea, conferred Mohanlal with the honorary title of ‘black belt’ in 2012. He is the first South Indian actor to receive this honour.
6. Entry into the Oscars
Mohanlal’s movie “Guru” was India’s official entry into the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category for 1997. In a country where sci-fi and fantasy have never really been appreciated, Guru has achieved cult status and has social messages that are relevant now more than ever.
Those are 6 things that we thought every Malayali should know about Mohanlal. Did we miss something? Please let us know in the comments section.