Legendary actor KPAC Lalitha no more

Iconic Malayalam actor KPAC Lalitha (74) is no more.

Lalitha was hospitalised recently due to ill-health, but she was brought back to her son director-actor Siddharth’s house at Kochi where she breathed her last on Tuesday night, according to MMTV.

Lalitha had made her mark as a theatre artist before entering films and went on to become a household name in South Indian cinema, most popularly in Malayalam.

She acted in over 550 films and won the national award for best-supporting actor twice besides securing four state awards.

Lalitha was born on February 25, 1947, at Ramapuram near Kayamkulam in the Alappuzha district.

Her given name was Maheshwariamma. Her father K Ananthan Nair was a photographer and her mother was Bhargavi Amma.

She started taking dance lessons at a young age and participated in youth festivals. Her schooling was disrupted in the seventh standard after she enrolled in Indian Dance Academy led by Kalamandalam Ramachandran.

Her debut in theatre was through a play titled ‘Bali’ by Geetha Arts Club, Changanassery. She performed for Geetha and Prathiba Arts Troupe managed by SL Puram Sadanandan before arriving at the esteemed KPAC that became etched onto her name.

Initially, she was a singer at KPAC and sang for the plays ‘Mooladhanam’ and ‘Ningal Enne Communistakki’. Then she acted in the plays ‘Swayamvaram’, ‘Anubhavangal Paalichakal’, ‘Koottukudumbam’, ‘Sharashayya’, and ‘Thulabharam’.

It was then that she got the name ‘Lalitha’ christened by Thoppil Bhasi.

Legendary director, the late Bharathan was her husband. She leaves her daughter Sreekutty and son Sidharth Bharathan.

Making her movie debut

Lalitha marked her entry to movies with ‘Kootukudumbam’ produced by Udaya Studios. It was the movie adaptation of a play by the same name that she had acted.

The late K S Sethumadhavan was the director. Thus began her eventful journey in movies and in 1978 she married Bharathan.


Her first national award came for her character in Bharathan’s ‘Amaram’ in 1991. In 2000, for her performance in Jayaraj’s ‘Shantham’, a second national award for best-supporting role landed in Lalitha’s kitty.

She bagged her first state award in 1975 for ‘Neelaponman’. It was followed by ‘Aaravam’ (1978), ‘Amaram’ (1990) and ‘Kadinjool Kalyanam’, ‘Godfather’ and ‘Sandesham’ (1991). In later years, she also became active in television serials.

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