The Info List - Prem Nazir

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PREM NAZIR (born ABDUL KHADER on 07 April 1926 – 16 January 1989) was an Indian film actor often referred to as "Nithya Haritha Nayakan" (Ever Green Hero). Nazir began his career as a stage actor and made his film debut with the 1952 film Marumakal . He took on the stage name Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
on the sets of his second film, Visappinte Vili (1952). Nazir rose to stardom in the 1950s and was a popular leading actor from the 1950s till the early 1980s in Malayalam cinema
Malayalam cinema

Nazir holds two Guinness World Records
Guinness World Records
: for playing the lead role in a record 725 films, and for playing opposite the same heroine in 130 films (with Sheela ). He also holds two other acting records; for acting opposite eighty heroines and for acting in lead roles in thirty nine films which were released in a single year (1979 ).

Nazir is noted for his critically acclaimed performances in films such as Murappennu (1965), Iruttinte Athmavu (1967), Kallichellamma (1969), Nadhi (1969), Anubhavangal Paalichakal (1971), Azhakulla Saleena (1973), Vida Parayum Munpe (1981), Padayottam (1982), and Dhwani (1989). Nazir won the Kerala
State Film Award ( Special
Jury Award) for his role as Madhavan Kutty in Vida Parayum Munpe. The Government of India
honoured him with the Padma Bhushan
Padma Bhushan
and Padma Shri , the third and fourth highest civilian honours respectively, for his contribution towards the arts. He died due to measles on 16 January 1989 at the age of 63.


* 1 Early life

* 2 Career

* 2.1 Entry into cinema * 2.2 1950s: Rise to stardom * 2.3 1960s, 1970s: Golden years * 2.4 1980s: Late career * 2.5 Popular film genres

* 3 Personal life

* 3.1 Family * 3.2 Philanthropic work * 3.3 Death

* 4 Awards * 5 Legacy and influence * 6 Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir

* 7 Important roles

* 7.1 Films in which Nazir played dual roles * 7.2 Films in which Nazir played triple roles * 7.3 Other important films and characters

* 8 References * 9 External links


Nazir was born in Chirayinkeezhu
in the princely state of Travancore (now part of Kerala
), to Akkode Shahul Hamid and Asuma Beevi on April 7, 1926. He has two brothers Prem Nawas , Ashraf and six sisters, Sulekha, Aleefa, Aneesa, Umaiba, Sunaisa and Suhara. His mother died when he was very young. He completed his formal education from Kadinamkulam Lower Primary School, Sri Chithiravilasam School, SD College, Alappuzha , and SB College , Changanassery
. By the time he completed his education, he had become an experienced drama artist. It was on the sets of his second movie, Visappinte Vili (1952), that Abdul Khader was renamed PREM NAZIR by Thikkurussi Sukumaran Nair .



Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
with friends in Perumbavoor.

Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
had his acting debut as Shylock in the play The Merchant of Venice (1951), when he was a student at SB College, Changanacherry . He won the best actor award for this role in the play directed by Sheppard. His first film was Marumakal (1952), directed by S. K. Chari and produced by Paul Kallungal. He was credited Abdul Khader itself in this film. He got his career break with Visappinte Vili (1952), his second film, made for K that of the low-budget film. One could see a lot of the pre-occupations of the scenarist, who carried the touches of human relationships through all of his subsequent films whether as screenplay writer or director. In spite of its large number of studio shots and overall theatricality, the film was so culturally rich that many of the episodes would become archetypes for future Malayalam film makers dealing with family drama. It depicted the story of an imbecile (finely portrayed by Prem Nazir) in a joint family with remarkable sensitivity and seriousness of purpose.

During his peak time, Nazir gave life to many characters and enjoyed a wide popularity among all sects of the society. He has played historical characters based on Vadakkan Pattukal . Aromalunni , Kannappanunni , Thacholi Ambu
Thacholi Ambu
and Padayottam are some major films in this genre. Although the actor faced criticism for playing such roles as his physique was least suited for it, he still enjoyed a huge fan following among the audiences. He was well known for his roles as Hindu deities like Rama
, Krishna
and Ayyappa . In his movies, Nazir was well known for playing the eternal romantic hero and the good guy who would bash up the villains without remorse.

Even though Nazir could not regenerate after the mid-1970s, he maintained his superstardom till the beginning of the 1980s. In 1979, 39 of his films got released; a record. He also holds the record for having acted in the most leading roles – about 700 films (with 85 heroines; another record). Another record is for the most enduring screen team along with actress Sheela . They played opposite each other in 130 movies by 1975. Although Sheela is known as the lucky mascot of Prem Nazir, his movies with other heroines like Jayabharathi and Sharada were also big successes at box office. Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
pairing with comedian Adoor Bhasi was a sure-fire laugh riot. The void left by this duo is yet to be occupied. Nazir's association with playback singer K. J. Yesudas
K. J. Yesudas
was perfect for the audience. Even today many consider the Nazir – Yesudas combination of song sequences remains the best ever on screen. He is quite popularly described as Nithyaharithanayakan (The Evergreen Hero), which do justice to the fact that he was acting as the hero in his elder years as well. Senior Malayalam cine actress Kaviyoor Ponnamma
Kaviyoor Ponnamma
has revealed that Prem Nazir was a very good singer, and had training in Carnatic music .


By the beginning of the 1980s, Nazir himself moved into supporting roles. He mostly played supporting roles with the then super stars Jayan
, Sukumaran , Shankar and Soman . In 1981, he played a major supporting role in Mohan 's Vida Parayum Munpe that earned him the Kerala
State Special
Jury Award . This shift, from a super romantic hero to character roles, gave him many powerful characters during the mid-1980s. His last completed film was A. T. Abu's Dhwani (1989), in which he co-starred with Jayaram . His last release was Priyadarshan 's Kadathanadan Ambadi (1990), in which he co-starred with Mohanlal
. In one of his last interviews, he had expressed a desire to direct a film with Mammootty
and Mohanlal
in the lead.


Two popular film genres initiated by Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
are the C.I.D series and the Vadakkanpattu series. The former is a group of investigative films in which Nazir played James Bond like protagonists. In most of these movies Nazir teamed with Adoor Bhasi , a famed comedy actor who would accompany Nazir characters in investigations. These hit mainstream popularity with the trendsetter Lanka Dahanam and are perhaps the single most popular movie series in Malayalam film history. The waves created by this movie series continue in Malayalam cinema, arguably to this day. It has inspired numerous adaptations and similar series like for example popular CBI series with Mammootty
in the lead and a satirical CID series of Mohanlal-Sreenivasan team. Other inspired films are C.I.D Unnikrishnan starring Jayaram and C.I.D Moosa with Dileep in the lead.

Another popular film series starring Nazir was a series of movies based on Vadakanpaattu which are part of the traditional folklore of Kerala. These are tales of martial warriors spread over generations through folk songs. Although the series may have been initiated by Sathyan's title role in Thacholi Othenan, the trend was continued long after his demise with Nazir in the lead, playing various other characters from Vadakkanpattu. Nazir later teamed with other actors like Jayan
, Shankar , Mammootty
, Jayaram and Mohanlal
in later films of this category.



Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
was married to Habeeba Beevi and they have three daughters viz. Laila (married to Engineer Rashid of Trivandrum & settled at Calicut), Rasiya (married to Mr.Hashim, Businessman from Kannur & settled at Chennai) – both elder to Shanavas . The youngest daughter is Rita (married to Doctor Sharafuddin of Punalur he won a Special Jury Award for the supporting role he played in the film Vida Parayum Munbe. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan
Padma Bhushan
in 1983 by the President of India
in recognition of distinguished services of a high order to the nation in his field (acting). The Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
Award was initiated in his memory, in 1992, for excellence in contributions to the Malayalam cinema Industry. He has also held the position of National Film Award jury in 1985 .


Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
is known to be the most influential and trendsetting lead actor in Malayalam. He is known for his amazing longevity in that he was active during the peak years of other iconic Malayalam superstars like Sathyan and Jayan
acting alongside them in 1960s and 1970s respectively. Nazir who began his movie career in the early 1950s, later acted alongside popular future stars like Shankar , Mammootty
& Mohanlal
by the 1980s. He was a mainstream superstar in Malayalam for over three-and-a-half decades (a world record)from the late 1950s to late 1980s. He also has an unofficial recognition of playing a campus character while in his late fifties. Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
has the distinction of acting with the same heroine Sheela in over 100 films.

Nazir is generally considered the ultimate romantic hero in Malayalam cinema due to his extraordinary handsomeness and ease of acting in romantic roles particularly in romantic song sequences. His song sequences combined with the lyrics of Vayalar , tunes of Devarajan and voice of K.J. Yesudas
K.J. Yesudas
produced what is called the golden era of Malayalam film
Malayalam film
songs. Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
has also appeared in the highest number of dual roles (more than 33) in Malayalam films, and perhaps in world cinema.


Main article: Prem Nazir filmography



* Kunjali Marakkar (1966 ).... Antonio/Narayanan Nair * Thirichadi (1968)...Kuttappan/Venu. * Rahasyam (1969) ...Babu/K.K.Nair. * Kalpana (1970)...Surendran/Jayadevan. * Makane Ninakku Vendi (1971)...Sam, Thomachan * Aromalunni (1972)...Kunjiraman/Aromalunni. * Gandharvakshethram (1972)...Gandharvan/Velayudhan. * Postmane Kananilla (1972)...Ramu/Ramu`s father. * Football Champion (1973)...Vijayan/ Thakil Veerachami * Thenaruvi (1973)...Rajan/Mannaan. * Chandrakantham (1974)...Vinayan/Ajayan. * Thacholi Marumakan Chandu (1974)...Othenan/Chandu. * Honeymoon(1974).../... * Panchathantram(1974)...Rajendran/Shekhar. * Paathiravum Pakal Velichavum(1974).../... * Durga(1974)...Prof.Damodaran/Ramu. * Kottaram Vilkanundu(1975)...Murali/... * Picnic(1975)...Ravivarma/Rajagopal. * Aaranyakaantam(1975)...Unnikrishnan/Duplicate Unni. * Sooryavamsham (1975)...Ravivarma/Vijayan. * Ajayanum Vijayanum (1976)...Ajayan/Vijayan. * Paarijatham (1976).../... * Vanadevatha (1976)...Chandran/Suresh. * Chennaya Valarthiya Kutty(1976)...Sreeni/Maranchadi. * Kannappanunni (1977)...Durgadasan/Kannappanunni. * Kadathanaattu Maakkam (1978)...Nambeeshan/Kannan. * Kanalkattakal (1978)...Panikkar/Vijayan. * Aanappaachan (1978)...Paachan/Gopi. * Vijayanum Veeranum(1979)...Vijayan/Veeran. * Theekkali (1981).../... * Sanchari (1981)...Sumesh/Suresh. * Post Mortem (1982)...Vikariyachan/C.I.of Police. * Marupacha (1982)... PremKumar, Premchandran * Ente Katha (1983)...Sreekumar/Sankar * Justice Raja (1983)...Justice Raja/Son of Raja.


* Ernakulam Junction (1971) * Pushpanjali (1972) * Amme Narayana (1984)


* Anubhavangal Paalichakal (Experiences and Failures) (1971) – The story of persecutions and suffering of communists in the early days of modern Kerala
. Nazir played one of the heroes alongside Sathyan . * Iruttinte Athmavu (The Soul of Darkness) (1966) – Nazir played the mentally challenged Bhrantan Velayudhan in this film based on the classic novel by M. T. Vasudevan Nair
M. T. Vasudevan Nair
. * C.I.D. Nazir
C.I.D. Nazir
(1971) - A investigative series by P. Venu
P. Venu
* Padayottam (The Campaign) (1982) – Its story was inspired by Alexandre Dumas
Alexandre Dumas
classic novel The Count of Monte Cristo
The Count of Monte Cristo
and the treatment of the film was inspired by that of Ben-Hur . * Vida Parayum Munpe (Before saying Good Bye) (1981) – Nazir received a special jury award for this film in the 1981 Kerala
State Film Award . * Ayalvasi Oru Daridravasi (Neighbour The Pauper!) (1986) – A comedy film by Priyadarshan , Nazir performed as a middle-aged father. * Dhwani (The Sound) (1988) – This was his last completed film. The film was a hit due to several factors like the excellent performances by Prem Nazir, Jayaram , Shobhana , Suresh Gopi , Thilakan
, and the everlasting music by maestro Naushad Ali . * Ningalenne Communistakki (You Made Me a Communist) – The 1970 film was based on the drama of the same name by Thoppil Bhasi
Thoppil Bhasi
. * Odeyil Ninnu (From the Gutter) – The 1966 film was based on the novel of the same name by P. Kesavadev . * Murappennu (1965) * Nadhi (The River) (1969), Adimakal (1969), Kallichellamma (1969) * Triveni(1970), Thurakkaatha Vaathil (1970) * Vilayku Vangiya Veena(1971) * Maya (1972), Aaradi Manninte Janmi (1972) * Pani Theeratha Veedu(1973), Interview (1973) * Nagarame Nanni (1967) * Achani (1973) * Paathiravum Pakal Velichavum

* Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
on IMDb
* Prem Nazeer at the MSI Movie Database * Vidarunna Ormakal - Interview with Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
on YouTube
* Prem Nazir
Prem Nazir
- The Last Journey on YouTube

* v * t * e

Padma Bhushan
Padma Bhushan
award recipients (1980–1989)


* Sunil Gavaskar


* Vainu Bappu * Prafulla Desai * A. P. J. Abdul Kalam * Gopinath Mohanty * Amritlal Nagar * Mrinal Sen
Mrinal Sen
* Avabai Bomanji Wadia


* Jasbir Singh Bajaj * Sundaram Balachander * Gottipati Brahmaiah * Rani Gaidinliu * Khadim Hussain Khan * Stella Kramrisch
Stella Kramrisch
* Jal Minocher Mehta * Grace Morley * Syed Zahoor Qasim * Kamal Ranadive * P. N. Pattabhirama Sastri * Jhabarmal Sharma * Ajit Ram Verma


* Richard Attenborough
Richard Attenborough
* Doraiswamy Iyengar * V. G. Jog * K. Sankaran Nair * Prem Nazir * Swraj Paul, Baron Paul * Rajkumar * K. G. Ramanathan * Kershasp Tehmurasp Satarawala * Subodh Chandra Sengupta * Adi M. Sethna * Arun Kumar Sharma * Benudhar Sharma * Bhalindra Singh * Umrao Singh


* Horace Alexander * Michael Ferreira * Sivaji Ganesan * Jnan Prakash Ghosh * Kotha Satchidananda Murthy * Hosur Narasimhaiah * Sripada Pinakapani * Ishwari Prasad * B. C. Sanyal * Marie Seton * Archana Sharma * Obaid Siddiqi * Natwar Singh * Ganda Singh * Vijay Tendulkar
Vijay Tendulkar
* Baldev Upadhyaya


* Durga Das Basu * Shiba P. Chatterjee * Virender Lal Chopra * Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon * Santidev Ghosh * Bhimsen Joshi * Sadat Abul Masud * Kalanidhi Narayanan * Bernard Peters * Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai
Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai
* Gopala Ramanujam * S. Ramaseshan * Amarjit Singh * Tribhuvandas Luhar * Gurbachan Singh Talib * Bhalchandra Udgaonkar * Srinivasan Varadarajan


* Pushpa Mittra Bhargava * Ela Bhatt * Manohar Lal Chibber * Aminuddin Dagar * V. Krishnamurthy * Jean Riboud * Sidney Dillon Ripley * Rajeev Sethi * Martand Singh * Badri Nath Tandon * Gulshan Lal Tandon * R. K. Trivedi


* Balamani Amma
Balamani Amma
* Kishori Amonkar * Nikhil Banerjee * Roddam Narasimha
Roddam Narasimha
* R. D. Pradhan * Annada Shankar Ray * Julio Ribeiro * Man Mohan Sharma * Farokh Udwadia * Mohammad Yunus


* 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche * Ram Prakash Bambah * Kartar Singh Duggal * Ashok Sekhar Ganguly * Abid Hussain * Shreyans Prasad Jain * Kelucharan Mohapatra
Kelucharan Mohapatra
* Bal Ram Nanda * Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Akkineni Nageswara Rao
* Pratury Trirumala Rao * Renuka Ray * B. V. Sreekantan * Satya Pal Wahi


* Fenner Brockway, Baron Brockway * Banoo Jehangir Coyaji * Girija Devi * Kattingeri Krishna
Hebbar * Girilal Jain * Anna Rajam Malhotra * M. V. Mathur * Ashesh Prosad Mitra * Russi Mody * Suresh Shankar Nadkarni * Narinder Singh Randhawa * Yoshio Sakurauchi * Lakshman Singh * Prakash Narain Tandon

# Posthumous conferral

* 1954–1959 * 1960–1969 * 1970–1979 * 1980–1989 * 1990–1999 * 2000–2009 * 2010–2019

* v * t * e

Padma Award winners of Kerala


* Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
* E. C. George Sudarshan * E. Sreedharan
E. Sreedharan
* G. Madhavan Nair
G. Madhavan Nair
* John Mathai * K. N. Raj
K. N. Raj
* K. R. Ramanathan * K. Shankar Pillai * Kottayan Katankot Venugopal * M. S. Valiathan
M. S. Valiathan
* N. R. Pillai * O. N. V. Kurup * V. K. Krishna
Menon * V. R. Krishna
Iyer * Verghese Kurien * K. J. Yesudas
K. J. Yesudas


* A. C. N. Nambiar * Ammannur Madhava Chakyar * A. Ramachandran * A. Sreedhara Menon
A. Sreedhara Menon
* C. P. Krishnan Nair * Chembai * E. C. George Sudarshan * Eledath Thaikkattu Narayanan Mooss * G. Madhavan Nair
G. Madhavan Nair
* G. Sankara Kurup
G. Sankara Kurup
* Gabriel Chiramel * George Joseph (scientist) * Guru Kunchu Kurup * Jacob Chandy * K. G. Subramanyan * K. J. Yesudas
K. J. Yesudas
* K. M. George
K. M. George
* K. M. Mathew * K. P. Kesava Menon
K. P. Kesava Menon
* K. P. P. Nambiar * K. P. S. Menon (senior) * K. R. Ramanathan * K. Radhakrishnan
K. Radhakrishnan
* K. Sankaran Nair * K. Shankar Pillai * K. Sukumaran * K. T. Thomas (Justice) * Kandathil Mammen Cherian * Kavalam Narayana Panicker
Kavalam Narayana Panicker
* Kottayan Katankot Venugopal * Kunhiraman Palat Candeth
Kunhiraman Palat Candeth
* Kuzhur Narayana Marar * M. S. Valiathan
M. S. Valiathan
* M. T. Vasudevan Nair
M. T. Vasudevan Nair
* M. V. Pylee * Madavoor Vasudevan Nair * Mannathu Padmanabha Pillai * O. V. Vijayan * P. K. Warrier * Palghat Mani Iyer * Pothan Joseph
Pothan Joseph
* Prem Nazir * Raghavan Thirumulpad * Ramankutty Nair * Satish Nambiar # * T. J. S. George
T. J. S. George
* T. K. Oommen * T. N. Krishnan * * T. V. Gopalakrishnan * T. V. R. Shenoy * Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai
Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai
* Thayil John Cherian * Thomas Kailath # * Trichur V. Ramachandran * V. K. Narayana Menon * Vainu Bappu # * Vallathol Narayana Menon * Verghese Kurien


* Balamani Amma
Balamani Amma
* Lakshmi N. Menon
Lakshmi N. Menon
* P. Leela
P. Leela
* Tara Cherian #


* A. Marthanda Pillai * A. Sivathanu Pillai * Adoor Gopalakrishnan
Adoor Gopalakrishnan
* Ammannur Madhava Chakyar * Antony Padiyara * Ayyappa Paniker * Azad Moopen * B. Paul Thaliath * B. Ravi Pillai * Balachandra Menon
Balachandra Menon
* C. G. Krishnadas Nair
C. G. Krishnadas Nair
* Cheril Krishna
Menon * E. Sreedharan
E. Sreedharan
* Eledath Thaikkattu Neelakandan Mooss * Eluvathingal Devassy Jemmis * G. Aravindan * G. Shankar * G. Vijayaraghavan * Gopinath Pillai * J. Hareendran Nair * Jayaram * Jose Chacko Periappuram * K. J. Yesudas
K. J. Yesudas
* K. M. George
K. M. George
* K. M. Mammen Mappillai * K. P. Haridas * K. P. Udayabhanu * K. Raghavan
K. Raghavan
* K. Ravindran Nair * K. Shankar Pillai * Kalamandalam Gopi
Kalamandalam Gopi
* Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair * Kalamandalam Sivan Namboodiri * Kandathil Mammen Cherian * Kandathil Mammen Philip * Kavungal Chathunni Panicker * Keezhpadam Kumaran Nair * Kunhiraman Palat Candeth
Kunhiraman Palat Candeth
* Kunnenkeril K. Jacob * Kurian John Melamparambil * Kuzhivelil Mathew * Laurie Baker ! * M. A. Yousuf Ali * M. G. Ramachandran # * M. Krishnan Nair (doctor) * M. Night Shyamalan # * M. R. Kurup * M. S. Valiathan
M. S. Valiathan
* M. Vijayan * Madhu (actor)
Madhu (actor)
* Mammen Mathew * Mammootty
* Mani Madhava Chakyar
Mani Madhava Chakyar
* Mathew Kalarickal * Mattannoor Sankarankutty * Mitraniketan Viswanathan
Mitraniketan Viswanathan
* Mohanlal
* N. Balakrishnan Nair * N. Kesava Panikkar * N. R. Madhava Menon * Narayana Panicker Kochupillai * Neyyattinkara Vasudevan * O. N. V. Kurup * P. Gopinathan * P. K. Narayanan Nambiar
P. K. Narayanan Nambiar
* P. K. Rajagopalan * P. K. Warrier * P. Parameswaran * Paul Pothen * Perakath Verghese Benjamin * Peruvanam Kuttan Marar * Philip Augustine * Prem Nazir * Priyadarshan * Pucadyil Ittoop John * Puthenpurayil Mathew Joseph * R. Marthanda Varma * R. K. Krishna
Kumar * Rajagopalan Krishnan * Resul Pookutty * Shaji N. Karun
Shaji N. Karun
* Sooranad Kunjan Pillai * Stanley John * Sunny Varkey * T. K. Alex * T. N. Krishnan * * Thayil John Cherian * Thikkurissy Sukumaran Nair * Thilakan
* Thomas Kunnunkal * Vaikom Muhammad Basheer * Vazhenkada Kunchu Nair * Vellayani Arjunan * Verghese Kurien * Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri


* Achamma Mathai * Anju Bobby George * Dipika Pallikal Karthik # * K. M. Beenamol * K. S. Chithra
K. S. Chithra
* Kalamandalam Kshemavathy * Kalamandalam Satyabhama * Leela Omchery * Lucy Oommen * M. D. Valsamma * M. Leelavathy * M. Subhadra Nair * Mary Poonen Lukose * Mary Verghese
Mary Verghese
* P. T. Usha * Pepita Seth ! * Rachel Thomas (skydiver) * Shiny Abraham * Shobana * Sudha Varghese * Sugathakumari * Sukumari
* Thangam Philip * Usha Uthup * Vidya Balan *


(*)By birth - (#)By ethnicity - (!)By domicile


* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 58018169 * LCCN :