Senior Malayalam actor Innocent passed away at a private hospital in Kochi, following COVID related complications on Sunday. According to a medical bulletin that the hospital released, Innocent had been in their care since March 3, and had died of COVID-related respiratory issues and multiple organ failure, which ultimately led to cardiac arrest. The actor, who has been battling cancer for several years, is survived by his wife Alice and son Sonnet.
Born in Irinjalakuda in 1948, Innocent Vareed Thekkethala has acted in over 750 films since his debut in 1972 Malayalam film Nrithasala, alongside Prem Nazir and Jayabharathi. The actor, who has featured in many hit comedies such as Mohanlal’s Vietnam Colony (1992), Mannar Mathai Speaking (1995), and Mohanlal and Shobana-starring satire Nadodikkattu (1987), was known for his unique brand of comedy. Over the years, his pairing with veteran actress KPAC Latha came to be highly appreciated among fans for their roles in films such as My Dear Muthachchan (1992), Godfather (1991) and Manichitrathazhu (1993). Innocent was also a celebrated villain for his roles in the films Bharathan’s Keli (1991) and Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu (1988).
Innocent was awarded Best Actor for his performance in Patham Nilayile Theevandi in 2009 by the Kerala State Film Critics Award. He also received three Kerala State Film Awards for films including Mazhavil Kavadi (1989), Vida Parayum Munpe (1981) and Ormakkayi (1982). The actor also served as the Member of Parliament in the 16th Lok Sabha of India, between 2014 and 2019 as part of the Chalakudy constituency.
The actor’s last appearance was in Prithviraj and Shaji Kailas’s Kaduva in 2022. Love and condolences for the actor poured in from the film fraternity on social media.