In image: Mela Raghu. Source: Prithviraj Sukumaran Twitter
Mela Raghu, a seasoned Malayalam actor who was recently seen in Drishyam 2, passed away on Tuesday, May 4, 2021, in a private hospital in Kochi. He was 60 years old at the time. After collapsing at his residence on April 16, the actor was reportedly hospitalised for a few days. He was being treated for the same issue. The actor had been shifted to Ernakulam from Kochi to receive better treatment. He did not regain consciousness after his first collapse. Sreedhar Pillai, a trade analyst, broke the news of his death on Twitter. The actor has been part of the Malayalam film industry for many years and the entire film industry came together to mourn his loss.
Veteran Malayalam character actor #Raghu (60) who debuted in KG George’s classic #Mela (1980) and was recently seen in #Drishyam2 passed away in Kochi. He was in a critical condition for the last few days. pic.twitter.com/qHMh4iOWdk— Sreedhar Pillai (@sri50) May 4, 2021
Raghu made his debut in the entertainment industry in 1980 with KG George's film Mela. In the film, he played Raghu, a circus clown who is the lead. The movie made headlines because it included a full-length role for an actor with short stature. At a time when Malayalam cinema was dominated by stars like Prem Nazir and Jayan, director K G George was lauded for his bravery in casting an actor with short stature as the protagonist. Mammootty also appeared in the film as a supporting character. The actor chose to change his identity from Puthanveli Sasidharan to Mela Raghu after the movie's release, and the latter became his screen name.
Raghu, a Cherthala native, rose to fame as Mela's hero while attending Chengannur Christian College. Raghu was involved in mimicry and drama during his college years. He has also appeared in KPAC plays and the TV series Velumalu Circus, which was broadcast on Doordarshan.
Mela Raghu has appeared in over 30 Malayalam and Tamil films. In the hit film Apoorva Sagodharargal, released in 1989, the actor starred alongside Kamal Haasan. His last film was Drishyam 2, which starred Mohanlal. Jeethu Joseph directed the film, which had an OTT release. Many of the big names from the South Indian film industry took to social media to share their shock and grief at the passing of the veteran actor. Mammootty, Mohanlal, Siddique, Guinness Pakru, are only a few names amongst the many who have shared their grief at the loss of the actor.
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