Malayalam actor Mammootty has nipped in the bud Kerala government's move to hold a special event to mark the golden jubilee of his screen debut.
Speaking to State Film and Culture Minister Saji Cherian, the actor urged the government to avoid any extravagance citing the occasion.
The actor referred to the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the State and the deep economic crisis that has unfolded.
Fans took to social media to endorse the actor's decision.
In a career spanning five decades, he has acted in over 400 films, mainly in Malayalam, with several in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, and English.
It was in Anubhavangal Palichakal, released on August 6, 1971, that Mammootty’s face appeared on screen for the first time. Incidentally, it was also the last film of iconic actor Sathyan.
In Anubhavanagal Palichakal, Mammootty’s character doesn’t have a name or dialogues. He appears as an onlooker in a crowd.
Some cite this to argue that Anubhavanagal Palichakal cannot be considered Mammootty's first.
It was in Vilkanundu Swapnangal, released in 1980, that Mammootty's name first appeared on the title card.
The film scripted by MT Vasudevan Nair and directed by Asad is widely considered as the mega star’s debut movie.
After establishing himself as a lead actor in the 1980s, his breakthrough came with the commercial success of the 1987 film New Delhi.
Three years later he had marked his entry to Tamil cinema through Mounam Sammadham (1990), followed by his debut in Telugu with Swati Kiranam (1992).
Mammootty's Bollywood entry was through Triyathri though his debut as a lead was in Dhartiputra (1993). He debuted in Kannada cinema through the bilingual film, Shikari (2012). He also acted in an Indian English film Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar (2000).
Mammotty has won three National Film Awards for Best Actor, seven Kerala State Film Awards and thirteen Filmfare Awards South.
In 1998, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri for his contributions to the arts.
He has also received honorary doctorate degrees from the University of Kerala in January 2010 and from the University of Calicut in December 2010.
Mammootty is the goodwill ambassador of the Akshaya project, the first district-wide e-literacy project in India.
He is also the patron of the Pain and Palliative Care Society, a charitable organisation in Kerala formed with the aim of improving the quality of life among patients with advanced cancer.