Veteran Malayalam actor G Kesava Pillai, popularly known as G K Pillai, considered as one of the oldest actors in the industry, died at the age of 97, family sources here said. A constant presence in the film and television serials for the last 65 years, he breathed his last at his home here following age-related ailments, they said.
Known for his profound voice, sturdy physique and unique articulation style, Pillai acted in over 320 movies and a handful of soap operas in his sprawling career.
Born in the year 1924 at Chirayinkeezhu in the district, he joined the army at the age of 16 years.
After completing his 12-years-long military service, he returned to the home state and brushed his longing for acting.
His acquaintance with evergreen actor Prem Nazir paved him way for entering the tinsel town and Snehaseema a 1954 film, was his first movie outing.
Though he established himself as an actor through villainous roles, he enacted a handful of lovable character roles in his later career in both films and serials.
Snapaka Yoyannan, Sthanarthi Saramma, Ashwamedham, Aromal Unni, Choola, Harichandran, Karyasthan and so on were some among his popular movies.
After being a busy actor till 1980s, he suddenly took a break from the acting career and later returned to the industry in 2005 through TV serials.
Kunkumapoovu and Kadamattathu Kathanar were some among his popular serials.
He is survived by six children and his wife died years ago.
Condoling his death, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan remembered Pillai as an actor who gained a place in the minds of different generations through his unique acting style.