Enigma of Malayalam legend Jayan lives on

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Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 15 (IANS) Four decades after he passed away, the legendary Jayan, continues to live on in the memory of Malayalam film lovers, which proves the connection he had with his fans, here.

He acted in 124 films starting from 1972, His career graph skyrocketed in 1977 when he acted in 19 films, 1978 in 31, 1979 (25) and in 1980 of the 30 films that he was working in, 11 were released after his death.

It was in 1980 on November 16, the then macho actor, while attempting a daredevil stunt on board a helicopter that had taken off with the main villain in the film “Kolilekkam”, Jayan gets on to the helicopter and after a fight sequence he throws out the villain from the helicopter and soon afterwards it loses control and ends the life of the then 41-year-old Jayan.

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In his brief career, Jayan had stirred the Malayalam film industry, with his dialogue delivery, looks and style.

On Sunday, the print media as is the practise for the past several decades, on the eve of his death anniversary, set aside a good amount of space for this legendary actor, wherein there would be interesting anecdotes, that has been printed over and over again, recalled by quite a number of film personalities, who have worked with Jayan in front of the camera and behind.

In real life though, Jayan, a former naval employee was a soft spoken and an adorable character, quite unlike his screen persona.

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Among the major hits of Jayan are “Angadi” (regarded as one of the all time hits directed by I.V.Sasi) besides “Moorken”, ” Manushyamrigam”, and “Chakara” to name a few .

Speaking to IANS, present day blockbuster producer Sureshkumar, husband of yesteryear actress Maneka and father of national award winning actress Keerthi Suresh recalled his association with Jayan.

“It was in 1975, when I was studying for Pre-Degree, that one day when walking to the college, saw a huge crowd in front of the slum, here in the heart of the capital city. Later we found out it was a film shooting that was going on. It was the film ‘Agni Pushpam’ where Jayan was acting as a police officer and he had come to arrest Kamal Haasan.

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“For the next three days, we did not go to college as we spend time in the location,” said Suresh Kumar.

“Then years later on the day Jayan died, I had just entered the film industry in a small way and was working for a Tamil film, when the news came of the tragic death. We reached the Chennai general hospital and had one look at the body of Jayan. I remember very clearly that night, all the then big names of Malayalam film industry including Prem Nazir, big time directors and producers had assembled in the house of popular producer Geo Kuttapan. All arrangements were being made for the transportation of the body. I doubt, if there is any actor in the country, whose memory lingers like this,” added Sureshkumar.

Since then, every year at his home town in Kollam about 70 km from here, there is a meeting and an award ceremony every year. There is a life-size statue of his in his hometown.

–IANS

sg/in

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