Veteran actress K P A C Lalitha, who was ailing for a while, passed away at her house here on Tuesday night – three days before her 74th birthday, said industry sources.
Lalitha was made Chairperson of the Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Academy in 2016 when Pinarayi Vijayan became the Chief Minister.
It was at the age of 10 that she first acted in a play and later joined the Kerala People’s Arts Club (KPAC), a prominent Leftist drama troupe.
There she was given the screen name Lalitha and later, when she started acting in films, K.P.A.C. was added to her screen-name to differentiate it from another actress known as Lalitha.
In a career spanning over five decades, she had donned the grease paint in over 550 films.
Debuting in “Kootukudumbham”, directed by ace director K S Sethumadhavan, in 1969, she then had no reason to look back and was Lalithachechi to all.
A winner of two national and four Kerala State Film awards, she was practically indispensable to legendary film maker Adoor Gopalakrishnan in most of his films.
Until last year when her health deteriorated, she was very active in the film industry.
Married to the enigmatic director Bharathan, who passed away in 1998, Lalitha was at the flat of her son, actor-director Siddarth, when she passed away.
She is survived by a daughter also.
Condolences have started pouring in and Vijayan, in his message, said the Malayalam film industry has lost an actress who acted with many generations of actors, created her own space, and made a mark which will always be etched in the minds of all.