National best actor award winner and veteran Malayalam actor Murali died at a private hospital here Thursday night. He was 55.
Murali was admitted to hospital Wednesday following breathing problems and liver complaints. He suffered a cardiac arrest.
In recent times, Malayalam filmdom has lost veteran film director Lohithadas (in June) and last month character actor Rajan P. Dev also died.
Murali was appointed chairman of the Sangeetha Nataka Academy which has its headquarters in Trissur, soon after the present V.S. Achuthanandan government assumed office in 2006.
He has acted in more than 200 Malayalam and a few Tamil movies in a film career that began in the early 80s.
Murali, who hails from Kollam, entered Malayalam films after a promising stint in theatre.
After finishing his degree in law, he worked in the health department and later at the Kerala University. But acting is what beckoned him, and he quit his job and plunged into a full-time acting career.
Murali portrayed several roles. His greatest asset was his voice.
Murali had won the Kerala State Film Award for best actor twice and a national award for best actor in 2002 for the film "Neythukaran" directed by Priyanandanan, which also won him his second state best actor award.
Some of his other notable films include "Nee Ethra Dhanya", "Dhanam", "The King", "Veeralippattu", "Achan Kombathu Amma Varambathu", "Meenamasathile Sooryan", "Swarnam", and "The Truth".
His closeness with the Communist Party fo India-Marxist saw him being fielded by the party in the 1999 Lok Sabha polls from Alappuzha, but he lost to Congress veteran V.M. Sudheeran.
Soon after the CPI-M backed Kairali TV channel was launched in the late 90s, Murali was a member of the director board that ran the channel.
The funeral will take place at Aruvikara near here Friday evening. His body has been kept at the VJT hall before the last rites for the general public to pay their last respects.