Madhu (birthname Madhavan Nair), was one of the most eminent stars of Malayalam film industry. He was born on September 28, 1933. The screen name of Madhu was given by Thikkurissi Sukumaran Nair, another famous Malayalam actor. Madhu worked as a college lecturer when he became interested in acting and joined the National school of Drama. After completing course, he starred in his first movie, Ninmamninja Kalpadukal in 1963. Later he distinguished himself as producer, director and storywriter. During his heydays, he was the only well-educated actor in Malayalam cinema, as career in films was not considered decent.In an acting career spanning four decades, Madhu acted in over 300 films. But initial years were of struggle as Madhu entered Malayalam Cinema while Prem Nazir and Sathyan, two great stars, were ruling the roost. Later Madhu captured his own place. Later he was lucky to pursue his profession with many generations like Sukumaran-Soman, Mammooty-Mohanlal, Dileep, Jayaram.
His first movie NINAMANINJA KALPADUKAL released at 1963. But before that he had acted in Ramu Kariat's MOODUPADAM. Madhu also acted in Hindi films. He got this chance through K. A. Abbas. Madhu acted with Amitabh Bachchan in K. A. Abbas SAATH HINDUSTANI.He had expressed all faces of life through his various characters. But his best was his performance in CHEMMEEN. This film directed by Ramu Kariat, who got Presidents golden medal for CHEMMEEN. It was based on Thakazhi's novel . The tragic character Pareekkutty was safe in the hands of Madhu. He expressed all nuances of this delicate character smoothly. Pareekkutty brought a big break in his acting career. It was a habit of Malayali to render the dialogues of Pareekkutty during that period.
Though he was a well-known hero he always was simple and honest in life. Even though he was a big star in commercial film, he was generous enough to act in parallel movies. He acted in Adoor Gopalakrishnan's SWAYAMVARAM, P. N. Menon's OLAVUM THEERAVUM etc.He started his career in Malayalam Cinema as an actor. But later he diversified himself as producer, director and storywriter. Madhu's directorial venture PRIYA was a good trendsetter in Malayalam. In this movie he experimented with the main charcater playing an anti-hero. Madhu later directed about 14 films. He was the owner of once-renowned Uma studio. Madhu produced a movie Mini in 1995, which got national award.