Mohanlal, one of the superstars of Malayalam film industry, is an acclaimed actor who is much adored for his versatility, easy and natural style of acting and unmatched charm. Born with an inherent talent and passion for cinema, he has established himself as an actor with a difference. He has been associated with the Malayalam cinema for more than 25 years and continues his journey, to reach new heights. Apart from showing his dexterity as an actor, he has also produced several super-hit Malayalam movies and has proven that he is a good singer as well. Mohanlal has established himself as one of the most talented actors in India.
Childhood And Education
One of the superstars of Malayalam film industry, Mohanlal was born on 21st May 1960 in Elanthur, which falls in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala. His father - Sri Viswanathan Nair was a government employee and mother Smt. Santhakumari is a housewife. The family shifted to Mudavanmukal (Thiruvananthapuram), when Mohanlal was still a kid, and this is where he did his schooling. He was an average student in terms of studies, but was always inclined towards acting and participated in school-plays as well.
His talent fetched him the best actor award in school, when he was in the sixth grade. Later on, he was enrolled in Govt. Model Higher Secondary School. After completing his schooling, Mohanlal joined Mahatma Gandhi College in Thiruvananthapuram, from where he graduated with a B.Com degree. It was here that he became friends with students who were equally passionate about theatre and films. Some of them, notably actor Maniyanpilla Raju and director Priyadarshan, were instrumental in helping him enter the world of cinema.
Early Years Of Film Career
Mohanlal, along with his close friends - Suresh Kumar, Unni, Priyadarsan, S Kumar and Ashok Kumar, established a company named “Bharat Cine Group”. The team started shooting for its first film - “Thiranottam” - on September 3, 1978. In this film, Mohanlal played the comic role of a mentally challenged young guy. However, due to certain problems with the Censor Board, the film was never released. This setback didn’t affect Mohanlal’s deep love for acting in cinema.
Mohanlal went with his friends to Chennai to chase his dreams. There, he came across an ad in a daily newspaper, requiring a youngster for a role in a film. Unhappy with his looks, Mohanlal did not apply for the role. However, his friends, aware of his inborn talent, secretly sent his photographs. He was then called for the audition. After displaying his talent in front of a panel of interviewers, including directors Fazil and Sibi Malayil, he was eventually selected for the role of a villain in the Malayalam movie - “Manjil Virinja Pookkal”.
Debut and Early Career
“Manjil Virinja Pookkal” was Mohanlal’s first film, which was released in the year 1980. After the huge success of the movie, various new opportunities opened up for him and he played roles of increasing importance in a number of movies, in the following years. In 1983, he was accredited with acting in more than 25 feature films at a stretch. One of the major hits of this period was I.V. Sasi’s “Uyarangalil”. During this time, he also acted in his friend Priyadarshan’s film - “Poochakkoru Mookkuthi”.
The period between 1986 and 1995 is regarded as one of the golden periods of Malayalam cinemas. Films made in this “golden era” were characterized by detailing in the screen play, thoughtful direction, importance to music and portrayal of characters with which even a common man could relate. This period was also favorable for Mohanlal, when he gave blockbusters in a row. He was offered roles that had ample scope to display wide range of emotions. He proved his versatility in almost all the roles that were assigned to him and each of them were accepted by the audience whole-heartedly.
During this time only, Mohanlal started fruitful associations with some of the best directors and screenplay writers, including Sathyan Anthikad, Sreenivasan and Priyadarshan. Mohanlal-Priyadarshan duo delivered a series of mega hits during the period. In Priyadarshan’s films, Mohanlal portrayed light-hearted roles of the protagonist, with a tinge of humor in each of them. The boy-next-door persona of Mohanlal in these films was much adored by the audience. The typical Indian romantic hero image of Mohanlal, in films directed by Priyadarshan was much adored by the movie-goers of the period, especially the youth.
Some of the romantic movies of Mohalal- Priyadarshan duo are “Thalavattam”, “Mukunthetta Sumitra Vilikkunnu”, “Vellanakalude Naadu”, “Chithram”, “Vandanam”, “Akkare Akkare Akkare” “Kilukkam”, “Midhunam” and “Thenmavin Kombath”. Other all-time hits of the duo include “Aryan”, “Abhimanyu” and “Advaitham”. The combination of Mohanlal with writer-director Sathyan Anthikad also worked wonders! A number of their films, including “Nadodikkattu”, “Varavelpu”, “Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam”, T.P. Balagopalan M.A., Gandhinagar 2nd Street, “Pattana Pravesham”, were blockbusters. The movie T .P. Balagopal M.A fetched Mohanlal his first State Award.
Mohanlal stretched his success of the 1980s to the following decade as well. He also produced some films, which turned to be musical hits. Films including “Bharatham”, “His Highness Abdullah” and “Kamaldalam” were released under the banner of Pranavam Arts, the production company run by Mohanlal, in which he portrayed roles that are still fresh in the minds of Malayalam film lovers. During 1990s, Mohanlal acted in a number of critically acclaimed films, which included “Manichitrathazhu”.
The late 1990s saw Mohanlal portraying invincible, larger-than-life characters in many films, which gained immense popularity in the Malayalam film industry. These included “Aaram Thamburan” and “Narasimham” (2000). A variation to the role of heroic personality was showcased in “Guru” (1997), directed by Rajiv Anchal, which was selected by the Government of India as official entry for 'Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film'. The film “Kaalapani” (1996), directed by Priyadarshan, was critically well acclaimed as well. Mohanlal bagged his second national award for the role of a Kathakali dance artist in the film “Vaanaprastham” (1999), directed by Shaji.N.Karun.
Mohanlal In Tamil And Hindi
After establishing himself as one of the superstars of Malayalam cinema, Mohanlal entered the Tamil Film Industry. He acted in “Iruvar” (1997), a directorial venture of Mani Ratnam, opposite Aishwarya Rai. The ace actor was introduced to the wider Hindi-speaking audience in “Company” (2002), directed by Ram Gopal Varma. Though he was appreciated here as well, he failed to gain the superstardom attained in the Malayalam Film Industry.
Mohanlal is a art lover and has a very deep interest in various art forms. He is a passionate collector of paintings and antiques. In fact, the actor has built a private art gallery at his home. He is married to Suchitra, daughter of veteran Tamil actor-producer K. Balaji. The couple has two children - Pranav and Vismaya. Mohanlal is currently settled in Chennai.
- 2001 - Padmashri by the Government of India
- 2008 - Lt. Col by the Government of India
National Film Awards
- 1989 - Special Jury Award – “Kireedam”
- 1991 - Best Actor – “Bharatham”
- 1999 - Best Actor – “Vaanaprastham”
- 1999 - Best Film ( Producer ) – “Vaanaprastham”
Kerala State Film Awards
- 1986 - Best Actor – “T.P. Balagopalan M.A.”
- 1988 - Special Jury Award – “Padha Mudhra”, “Chitram”, “Utsavappittennu”, “Aryan” and “Vellanakalude Nadu”
- 1991 - Best Actor – “Ulladakkam”, “Kilukkam”, “Abhimanyu”
- 1991 - Second Best Film – “Bharatham” (Producer)
- 1995 - Best Actor – “Kalapani”, “Spadikam”
- 1995 - Second Best Film – “Kalapani” (Producer)
- 1999 - Best Actor – “Vaanaprastham”
- 2005 - Best Actor – “Thanmatra”
- 2007 - Best Actor – “Paradesi”
International Indian Film Academy Awards
- 2002 - Best supporting Actor – “Company”
- 1986 - “Sanmasullavarkku Samadhaanam”
- 1988 - “Padamudra”
- 1993 - “Devasuram”
- 1994 - “Pavithram”
- 1995 - “Sphadikam”
- 1997 - “Iruvar” (Tamil)
- 1999 - “Vanaprastham”
- 2005 - “Thanmathra”
- 2007 -“Paradesi”
Star Screen Awards
- 2002 - Best supporting Actor – “Company”
- Best Actor – “Padamudra”, “Chitram”
- Best Actor – “Bharatam”, “Ulladakkam”
- Best Actor – “Vaanaprastham“
- Best Popular Actor – “Naran”, “Thanmatra”
- Best Actor – “Paradesi”
National Film Academy
- Best Actor – “Narasimham”, “Life is beautiful”
Kerala Film Audience Council Award
- 2003 - “Balettan”
- 2004 “Vismayathumbathu, Mambazhakkalam”
- 2005 – “Thanmathra”
- 2007 - “Paradesi”
- 1999 - Prem Nazir Award
- 2000 - Mother Teresa Award
- 2000 - M. G. Soman Award
- 2001 - Natana Ratna Award - Film Critics
- 2001 - First Most Popular Actor Award
- 2002 - Film Express Award (Karnataka State Government)
- 2003 - Chalachitra Ratna Award
- 2003 - Indian Medical Association Award
- 2005 - Kala Keralam Award
- 2005 - J. C. Foundation Award
- 2005 - National Film Academy Award
- 2005 - Popular Actor - Film Critics Award
- 2006 - Amrita TV Best Actor
- 2006 - Jeevan TV Best Actor
- 2006 - Akashavani Best Actor
- 2006 - Mathrubhumi Excellent Actor
- 2006 - Most Popular Keralite by a survey conducted by CNN IBN related to the Silver Jubilee of Kerala formation.
- 2007 - JaiHind TV Best Actor
- 2008 - Annual Malayalam Movie Awards(Dubai) Best Actor
- 2008 - KPCC Panampilli Prathibha Award
- 2008 - Pazhassi Raja Abhinaya Shreshta Award
1981 - Ahimsa, Attimari, Dhanya, Druvasangamam, Oothikachiya Ponnu, Sanchari, Thakilu Kottampuram, Thenum Vayambum
1982 - Divasom, Aakrosam, Enikkum Oru Divosam, Ente Mohangal , Poovaninju, Enthino Pookunna Pookal, Foot Ball, Kaliya Mardanam, Kelkatha Shabdam, Madrasile Mon, Njan Onnu Parayatte, Padayottam, Sindoora Sandhyakku Mounam
1983 - Adhipathyam, Arabikadal, Asthram, Attakkalasam, Bhukambam, Chakravalam Chuvannappol, Changatham, Engane Nee Marakkum, Ente Katha, Ente Mamattikkuttiyammakku, Guru Dakshina, Hello Madras Girl, Himavahini, Iniyenkilum, Kattathe Kilikoodu, Kolakomban, Kuyiline Thedi, Marakkillorikkalum, Nanayam, Naseema, Oru Mukham Pala Mukham, Pin Nilavu, Rachana, Sandhyakku Virinja Poovu, Sesham Kazhchayil, Thavalam, Theeram Thedunn, Thira, Visa
1984 - Aalkkodttathil Thaniye, Adiyozhukkukal, Akkare, Appunni, Ariyatha Veethikal, Athirathram, Atuthaduthu, Evite Thudangunnu, Itha Innu Muthal, Kaliyil Alpam Karyam, Kilikonchal, Kurissu Yuddham, Lakshmana Rekha, Manasariyathe, Nokkathaa Dhoorathu Kannum Nattu, Onnanu Nammal, Oru Kochu Swapnam, Pavam Poornima, Poochakkoru Mookkuthi, Shree Krishnaparanthu, Swanthamevide Bandhamevide, Thirakal, Unaroo, Uyarankalil, Vanitha Police, Vetta
1985 - Adhyayam Onnu Muthal, Angadikkappurath, Anu Bandham, Aram + Aram = Kinnaram, Ariyatha Bandhangal, Avidathepole Ivideyum, Boeing Boeing, Chidambaram, Ezhu Muthal Onpathu Vare, Guruji Oru Vakku, Idanilangal ,Jeevante Jeevan, Kaimpin Poovinakkare, Kandu Kandarinju, Koodum Thedi ,Mulamoottil Adima, Naayakan, Njan Piranna Nattil, Omanikkan Ormavaikkan Onnanam Kunnil Oradi Kunnil, Parayanumvayya Parayathirikkanumvayya Pathamudayam, Rangam, Uyarukm Njan Nadaake, Vasantha Sena
1986 - Abhayam Thedi, Adiverukal, Desadanakkili Karayilla, Ente Entethu Mathram, Gandhinagar 2nd Street, Geetham, Iniyum Kurukshethram, Kariyila Kattu Pole, Kaveri, Kunjattakilikal, Manasilloru Manimuthu, Mazha Peyyunn, Maddalam Kottunnu, Mizhineer Pookkal, Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal Neram Pularumbol, Nimishingal, Ninnishtam Ennishtam, Onnumuthal Poojya, Vare, Oppam Oppathinoppam Padayani, Panchagni, Pappan Priyappetta Pappan, Poomukhappadiyil Ninneyum Kathu, Pranama, Revathikkoru Pavakkutty, Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam, Sobharaj, Sughamodevi, T.P. Balagopalan M.A., Thalavattam, Vartha, Yuvajanotsavam
1987 - Adimakal Udamakal, Amritamgamaya, Ayitham, Boomiyile Rajakkanmar Cheppu, Irupatham Noottandu, Ivide Ellavarkkum Sugham, January Oru Orma Kayyethum Doorathu, Mizhiyorangalil, Nadodikkattu, Sarvakalasala, Thoovana Thumbigal, Unnikale Oru Kadha Parayam, Vazhiyorakkazhchakal
1988 - Anuragi, Aryan, Chithram, Doore Doore Oru Koodu Kottam, Manu Uncle, Moonam Mura, Mukunthetta Sumitra Vilikkunnu, Orkkappurathu Paatha Mudhra, Pattana Pravesham, Vellanakalude Naadu
1989 - Adhipan, Dasharatham, Douthyam, Kireedam, Lal Americayil, Naaduvazhikal, Peruvannapurathe Visheshangal, Season, Ulsavapittennu, Vandanam, Varavelppu
1990 - Akkareakkareakkare, Appu, Arhatha, Aye Auto, His Highness Abdullah, Indrajaalam, Kadathanadan Ambadi, Lal Salam, Mukham, Thazhavaram
1991 - Abhimanyu, Advaitham, Bharatham, Dhanam, Gopura Vasalile Kilukkam, Kizhkkunarum Pakshi, Ulladakkam, Uncle Bun, Vasthuhara, Vishnulokam
1992 - Kamalathalam, Nadodi, Rajasilpi, Sadhyam, Soorya Gayathri, Yodha
1993 - Butterflies, Chenkol, Devasuram, Gandharvam, Kalippattam, Manichithrathazhu, Maya Mayuram, Midhunam, Vietnam Colony - Krishnamurthy
1994 - Gandeevam, Minnaram, Pakshe, Pavithram, Thenmavin Kombath, Pingami
1995 - Agni Devan, Maanthrikam, Nirnnayam , Spadikam, Tacholi Varghese Chekavar
1996 - Kala Pani, The Prince
1997 - Iruvar, Aaram Thamburan, Chandralekha, Guru, Oru Yaatra Mozhi, Varnapakittu
1998 - Ayal Kadha Ezhuthukayanu, Harikrishnans, Kanmadam, Rektha Sakshikal Zindabad, Summer in Bethlahem
1999 - Olympiyan Anthony Adam, Usthad, Vaanaprastham
2000 - Devadoothan, Life Is Beautiful, Narashimham, Sradha
2001 - Achaneyanenikkishtam, Kakkakuyil, Onnaman, Praja, Ravanaprabhu, Unnathangalil
2002 - Company, Chathurangam, Thandavam
2003 - Popcarn, Balettan, Hariharan Pillai Happy Aanu, Kilichundan Mampazham, Mr. Brahmachari, Satyaghath: Crime Never Pays
2004 - Maampazhakkaalam, Natturajavu, Vamanapuram Bus Route, Wanted, Vismayathumbathu
2005 - Chandrolsavam, Naran, Sreehari, Mullankolli Velayudhan, Udayananu Tharam, Udayon, Vadakkum Nathan
2006 - Keerthi Chakra
2007 - Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag