Malayalam cinema lost an iconic figure and an extremel talented and beloved actress as Sukumari passed away today. The 74 year old versatile character & comedic actress passed away at a private hospital in Chennai following a heart attack. The veteran star of Tamil and Malayalam cinema was admitted to the hospital for burn injuries that she suffered a month ago.
Sukumari has acted in Malayalam and Tamil films mainly since she was 10 years old. She was born in Nagercoil, Tamilnadu in 1940. Sukumari is a first cousin of the Travancore Sisters, Lalitha, Padmini and Ragini (their mothers are sisters). The total number of her films is presumed to be about 2500. She has also done movies in Telugu as well. In 2003, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contributions towards the arts. In 2010, she won the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Namma Gramam (2010), a bilingual in Tamil and Malayalam.
She has donned the role of mother, grandmother, aunt and many other to various actors in the stardom. My first memory and fondest is of her in the Anglo-Indian and oddly named Miss Dick called Dickammayi by the other characters in Boeing Boeing, a moody chef whose ex-military husband eloped and married her sister. Similarly my next favourite character that she portrayed was as Maggie Aunty in Vandanam.
She will be sorely missed for her acting talent and her comedic presence. RIP Dickammayee!