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Born Philomina
Mullurkara, Thrissur, India
Died January 2, 2006
Occupation Actress
Years active 1964-2003

Philomina(1926-2006) was a veteran Malayalam actress of yesteryear. She had acted in more than 750 films in her long film career. She played mostly character and comedy roles, besides that of grandmother and mother. Like most actors Philomina had cut her acting teeth on the stage. This experience stood her in good stead when she was offered her first film role.[1]


Early life

Entering the film industry with eight years of experience in professional drama, she worked with the drama troupe of P J Antony in the early days. She used to say it was her initial experience with a great actor like Antony that helped her shape her film career.

Philomina's parents were disturbed, when she had to travel to Chennai for the first shoot, it was Moidu Padiyathu who convinced her parents. Her first movie,`Kuttikkupayam' (1964), produced by T.E. Vasudevan and directed by M. Krishnan Nair was a big hit. Philomina, who essayed the role of Prem Nazir's mother, a Muslim character, went on to become an integral part of Malayalam movies.

She was flitting from set to set breathing life into numerous roles. In between she got married, but lost her husband when her son was just three years old. Acting was not a lucrative option. Philomina slogged to build up career and life, brick by brick.

Film career

Better times rolled and this versatile actress established herself. Her individualistic voice and unique style of dialogue delivery were her greatest assets. Philomina used to very proudly claim that no one ever dubbed for her. Philomina won her first State award, for the best supporting actress, in 1970 for her roles in films `Thurakkathavaathil' and the widely acclaimed `Olavum Theeravum.' In 1987 she received the award for the second time for `Thaniyavarthanam.'[2]

Somewhere during this time there was a short break in her career. However, she came back with a bang with some challenging roles in the films of Bharathan and Padmarajan. And Philomina did full justice to the confidence reposed in her by these and the other directors. The roles in films like `Chatta', 'Innale', `Njan Gandharvan,' `Venkalam,' `Churam,' `Vietnam Colony' were testimony of Philomina's versatility. Her roles in ‘Kudumbapuranam,’ ‘Godfather,’ ‘Uppukandam Brothers, ‘Thalayanamandram’ and ‘Kakkothikavile Appuppanthadikal’ would also be remembered for long.[3]

It was Sathyan Anthikkad who first cast Philomina in a comic role. The film `Madanmaar Londonil,' gave this talented actress a new image. From then, with a keen sense of commitment to her job and a passion for acting, she transformed herself into the most popular comedienne of Malayalam cinema. Her roles in films like `Malayogam,' `Kireedam,' `Uncle Bun,' `Manathe Kottaram, `Vrudhanmaare Sookshikkuka,' `In Harihar Nagar,' and many others revealed the different facets of this genre.

In a career spanning over four decades Philomina starred in 750 films and numerous television serials. This ebullient actress was last seen in `Meerayude Dukhavum Muthuvinte Swapnavum.'

Later life

Philomina was living in a small, well done-up apartment in Kochi till she shifted to her son's place in Chennai a couple of years before her death. She was a chronic diabetic and suffered stroke in 2005. She was getting insulin shots for her diabetic condition. She was bed-ridden for over a month. She died at her son Joseph's residence in Chennai due to diabetic related problems in January 2006.


Kerala State Film Awards:

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Director Cast
1965 Chemmeen Ramu Karyat Sathyan, Sheela, Madhu
1965 Ollavum Theeravum Nabisa's Mother P. N. Menon Madhu , Usha Nandhini
1978 Lisa Deviyamma Baby Vidhubala, Prem Nazir, Seema
1979 Puthiya Velicham Althara Amma Sreekumaran Thampi Srividya, Jayan, Jayabharathi
1979 Kazhukan A.B.Raj Jayan, Shuba, Sukumaran
1981 Abhinayam Bharghavi Baby Jayan, Vidhubala
1983 Aa Rathri Abdu's Mother Joshi Mammootty, Poornima Jayaram, Lalu Alex
1985 Kathodu Kathroam Bharathan Mammootty, Saritha, Nedumudi Venu
1986 Arapatta Kettiya Gramathil Padmarajan Mammootty, Asokan, Kanakalatha
1986 Rareeram Sister Sibi Malayil Mammootty, Sobhana, Nedumudi Venu
1988 Pattana Pravesam Prabhakaran Thampi's Mother Sathyan Anthikkad Mohanlal, Sreenivasan, Ambika
1988 Kudumbapuranam Kunjamma Sathyan Anthikkad Balachandra Menon, Ambika, Thilakan
1988 Kakkthikavile Appooppan Thadikkal Kamal Revathi, Ambika
1988 Dinarathrangal Aravindan's Mother Joshi Mammootty, Sumalatha, Mukesh
1989 Ulsavapittennu Muthassi Gopi Mohanlal, Parvathy, Jayaram
1989 Pradeshika Varthakal Kamal Jayaram, Innocent, Parvathy
1989 Peruvannapurathe Visheshangal Kunjulakshmi's Grandmother Kamal Jayaram, Parvathy, Jagathy
1989 Oru Sayanathinte Swapnam Bharathan Suhasini, Mukesh
1989 Mazhavil Kavadi Velayudhankutty's Grandmother Sathyan Anthikkad Jayaram, Urvashi, Sithara
1989 Innale Rahelamma Padmarajan Jayaram, Sobhana, Suresh Gopi
1989 Ardham House Owner Sathyan Anthikkad Mammootty, Sreenivasan, Parvathy
1989 Mahayanam Janamma Joshi Mammootty, Seema, Mukesh
1989 Thalayanamanthram Paru Sathyan Anthikkad Sreenivasan, Urvashi, Jayaram
1990 Sasneham Veroni Sathyan Anthikkad Balachandra Menon, Sobhana, Innocent
1990 Orukkam Paru K.Madhu Suresh Gopi, Murali, Renjini
1990 Malayogam Mary Sibi Malayil Jayaram, Parvathy, Innocent
1990 Kouthuka Varthakal Rosemary's Grandmother Thulasidas Suresh Gopi, Urvashi, Siddique
1990 In Harihar Nagar Maya's Grandmother Siddique-Lal Mukesh, Jagadish, Siddique, Asokan
1990 Gajakesariyogam Philipose's Mother P. G. Viswambaran Innocent, K. P. A. C. Lalitha
1990 Doctor Pasupathy Kunjulakshmi Shaji Kailas Innocent, Parvathy, Mamukkoya
1990 Kalikkalam Janakiyamma Sathyan Anthikkad Mammootty, Sobhana
1991 Uncle Bun Gloria Therathi Bhadran Mohanlal, Kushboo, Nedumudi Venu
1991 Ulladakkam Hospital Attendant Kamal Mohanlal, Sobhana, Amala
1991 Souhrdam Kathrina Shaji Kailas Mukesh, Urvashi, Parvathy
1991 Pookalam Varavaayi Kamal Jayaram, Baby Shyamili, Innocent, Jagathy
1991 Parallel College Rahelamma Thulasidas Suresh Gopi, Geetha
1991 NJan Gandharvan Bhama's Grandmother Padmarajan Nitish Bharadwaj, Suparna Anand
1991 Mookilla Rajyathu Insane Lady Asokan, Thaha Mukesh, Thilakan, Jagathy, Siddique
1991 Mimics Parade Thandamma Thulasidas Jagadish, Siddique, Innocent
1991 Innathe Programme Bhargavikutty Amma P. G. Viswambaran Mukesh, Siddique, Zainuddin, Radha
1991 Aakasakottayile Sulthan Pappy's Sister Jayaraj Sreenivasan, Saranya, Mamukkoya
1992 Snehasagaram Sathyan Anthikkad Innocent, Murali, Urvashi
1992 Oru Kochu Bhoomikulukkam P.Chandrasekhar Sreenivasan, Monisha, Sobhana
1992 My Dear Muthachan Kunjamma Sathyan Anthikkad Thilakan, Jayaram
1992 Ente Ponnu Thampuran Meerabhai A.T.Abu Suresh Gopi, Urvashi
1992 Vietnam Colony Suhra Bai Siddique-Lal Mohanlal, Innocent, Kanaka
1993 Venkalam Grandmother Bharathan Murali, Urvashi
1993 Pravachakan P. G. Viswambaran Mukesh, Siddique, Mamukkoya
1993 Bhagyavan Janu Suresh Unnithan Sreenivasan, Jagathy, Sithara
1993 Vardhkyapuranam Rajasenan Manoj K. Jayan, Kanaka
1993 Pidakozhi Kuvunna Nootandu Mariamma Viji Thampi Urvashi, Kalpana, Manoj K. Jayan
1994 Manathe Kottaram Dilip's Grandmother Sunil Kushboo, Dileep, Suresh Gopi
1994 Kadal Siddique-Shameer Babu Antony, Charmila
1994 Vrudhanmaare Sookshikukka Margerett Sunil Jayaram, Kushboo, Dileep
1995 Kusruthikaattu Suresh Vinu Jayaram, Kanaka
1995 Avittam Thirunal Arogyasrimaan Viji Thampy Jagathy, Balachandra Menon, Shanthikrishna
1996 Vanarasena Jayan Varkala Anju Aravind, Sudeesh, Jagathy
1996 Malayalamaasam Chingam Onnu Nisar Premkumar, Dileep, Rudra
1996 Kireedamillatha Rajakanmaar Kalabhavan Ansar Annie, Jagadish, Jagathy, Premkumar, Kalabhavan Mani
1996 Excuse Me Ehtu Collegilla Mohanroop Premkumar, Kalabhavan Mani, Innocent
1996 Aayiram Naavulla Ananthan Thulasidas Mammootty, Murali, Gauthami
1997 Manthramothiram Sai Shankar Dileep, Kalabhavan Mani, Nedumudi Venu
1997 Churam Bharathan Divya Unni, Manoj K. Jayan, Nedumudi Venu
1997 Aramana Rahasyam Angadipattu Nisar Geetha, Jagathy, Vijayaraghavan
1998 Amma Ammayiamma Narayani Amma Sandhya Mohan Mukesh, Sukanya
2000 Mr.Butler Grandmother Sasi Shankar Dileep, Innocent, Jagathy
2003 Meerayude Dukhavum Muthuvinte Swapnavum Muthu's Grandmother Vinayan Prithviraj, Renuka Menon, Jagathy


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