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Film-theatre actor Kalasala Babu passes away

Thiruvananthapuram: Noted Malayalam film-theatre actor Kalasala Babu, known for a number of villainous and character roles, passed away at a hospital in Kochi early today, family sources said. He was 68 and was suffering from some age-related issues for some time, they said.

A multi-faceted actor, Babu had tried his hand in all three major formats of acting- theatre, movies and television serials, in his career spanning over three decades. Though he was born to Kathakali genius Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair and Mohiniyattam danseuse Kalyanikutty Amma, Babu chose acting as his passion instead of dance during his college days itself.

Beginning his acting career as a theatre artist, Babu later shifted his focus to tinsel town through the movie 'Inaye Thedi' in 1977. After honing his skills with major theatre groups like 'Kalidasa Kalakendra,' owned by thespian O Madhavan, Babu later started a troupe, 'Kalasala,' and came to be known in the industry as Kalasala Babu.

He had donned major and minor roles in over 100 films. The negative roles in Dileep-starrer "Runway," Mammootty's "Thuruppugulam" and Lohitadas-directed "Kasthuriman" made him hugely popular among Malayalam movie buffs.

At the same time, Babu never hesitated to try his luck in television serials. He is survived by wife Lalitha, a son and daughter. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the death of the actor.

He said Babu was known by the name of his drama troupe 'Kalasala' and the roles played by him in cinema and serials were remarkable.

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