Veteran Malayalam actress KPAC Lalitha passed away on Tuesday (Feb 22). She was 74. The actress reportedly breathed her last at her son's residence in Kochi. Lalitha was hospitalized for multiple health issues in November, however, the actress was later shifted to her son Sidharth’s residence in Kochi, as her health was gradually improving.
The demise of the iconic actress has come as a shock to the Malayalam film industry.
At the age of 10, Lalitha debuted as an actor through plays and later joined the KPAC (Kerala People's Arts Club), a prominent drama troupe from Kerala. She made her debut in the Malayalam film industry with the 1969 release ‘Kootu Kudumbam’, wherein she essayed a character named Saraswathi. Later she essayed major iconic roles in the films ‘Postmane Kananilla’, ‘Ponnapuram Kotta’, ‘Gandhinagar 2nd Street’, ‘Vellanakalude Naadu’, ‘Manu Uncle’, ‘Manichitrathazhu’, ‘Thenmavin Kombathu’ ‘Manassinakkare’ and ‘Njan Prakashan’.
In her career spanning over five decades, Lalitha has worked in over 550 films. From the prostitute Kalyani in Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s ‘Swayamvaram’ to the lovely Omana in ‘Kanalkkattu’ to the serial actor Akashavani in the recent ‘Varane Avashyamund’, Lalitha has breathed life into numerous characters.
Lalitha has bagged the National Film Award for the best-supporting actress for the film ‘Amaram’ in the year 1990 and in the year 2000 for the film Shantham. The actress has also won the Kerala State Film Award for the second best actress for the films ‘Neela Ponman’, ‘Aaravam’, ‘Amaram’, ‘Kadinjool Kalyanam’, ‘Godfather’ and ‘Sandesham’.
She married filmmaker Bharathan in 1978. Apart from playing supporting roles, Lalitha played several comic roles in films.