Muraleedharan Pillai, popularly known as Murali (25 May 1954 – 6 August 2009) is no more.
He was admitted to a private hospital in Trivandrum. He was 55 years old. He was also the chairman of the Kerala Sangeeta Nataka Akademi.
Murali debuted into films with the lead role in Njattadi, directed by Gopi. But the film never released. He then got a chance to act in Chidambaram, directed by national award-winning filmmaker Aravindan. He then acted in Meenamasathile Sooryan and Panchgani, directed by noted filmmakers Lenin Rajendran and Hariharan, respectively. Panchagni got released first and it gave him the break in his acting career. He then quickly got established as a powerful actor in the Malayalam film industry. Adharam--Vijesh (talk) 10:17, 6 August 2009 (UTC), directed by George Kittu was the first film to get released with Murali in the lead role. He acted in a variety of roles ranging from lead roles to villain roles and won accolades. Some of his other notable films include Nee Ethra Dhanya, Dhanam, The King, Veeralippattu, Achan Kombathu Amma Varambathu, Meenamasathile Sooryan, Swarnam, and The Truth.
Murali got his first Kerala State Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Amaram, directed by filmmaker Bharathan. He later went on to win the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor for his role in Aadharam. Murali again won the Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor for his powerful portrayal of Appumestri in Neythukaran, directed by Priyanandanan. The same role won him the National Film Award for Best Actor for the year 2002. Murali contested the 1999 Lok Sabha elections as a CPI (M) candidate, from Alappuzha. He lost to Congress' V. M. Sudheeran.
Murali was born on 25 May 1954 as the first child of P. Krishna Pillai and K. Devaki Amma in Kudavattoor, Kollam, Kerala, India. He completed his schooling from Kudavattoor L. P. School and Thrikannamangalam S.K.V. High School. He completed his pre-degree from Sasthamkotta Devaswom Board College. He was an active member of the Students Federation of India. He later completed his degree in law from the Thiruvananthapuram Law Academy. After studies, he worked for some years as Lower Division Clerk in the Department of Health, Govt. of Kerala and as Upper Division Clerk in the Kerala University.
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