Famous Personalities in Kerala

Prem Nazir

Abdul Khader(April 7, 1926 - January 16, 1989), popularly known as Prem Nazir was an actor in Malayalam films. He achieved a Guinness record for acting in the largest number of films (around one hundred and ten films) with the same heroine, Sheela[1]. He has acted in over 700 films[2].

Abdul Khader was born to Shahul Hamid - Asmabeevi couples in Chirayinkizhu village in Thiruvananthapuram district. His mother Asmabeevi deceased when he was very young. His father remarried twice later, as his second wife was also short lived. Abdul Khader completed his formal education from Kadinamkulam Lower Primary School, Sri Chithiravilasam School, S D College (Alappuzha), and Saint Berchman's College (Changanassery). By the time he completed his college education, he became an experienced drama artist. In the sets of his first movie, Abdul Khader was renamed to Prem Nazir by veteran actor Thikkurussi Sukumaran Nair.

Prem Nazir's brother Prem Nawaz also acted in a few films. His son Shanawaz tried his luck at the film industry, but could not become a big star like his father

Born April 7, 1926 Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India
Died January 16, 1989


He started acting for the Excel company and most of his films (Malyalam) were for the Udaya and Merryland Studios. He holds the record of acting in maximum number of films in a single year. This was achieved in the year 1979, when his 39 films got released. He also holds the record for having acted in the most leading roles - about 700 films (with 85 heronies). Another record is for the most enduring screen team along with actress Sheela. They played opposite each other in 130 movies by 1975. His association with playback signer K. J. Yesudas was perfect for the audience. Even today many consider the Nazir - Yesudas combination of song sequences remains the best ever on screen. He is quite popularly described as Nithyaharithanayakan (The Evergreen Hero), which do justice to the fact that he was acting as the hero in his elder years as well.

He won the Kerala State Special Jury Award in 1981. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan Award by the President of India in recognition of distinguished services of a high order to the nation in his field (acting). The Prem Nazir Award was initiated in his memory, in 1992, for excellence in contributions to the Malayalam Cinema Industry.

Many consider the role of Bhranthan (Mentally ill) Velayuthan in the film Iruttinte Atmavu (The Soul of the Darkness) as his masterpiece. Written by M. T. Vasudevan Nair,the film provided Malayalam cinema with a new direction; that of the low budget film. One could see a lot of the pre-occupations of the scenarist, who carried the touches of human relationships through all of his subsequent films whether as screenplay writer or director. In spite of its large number of studio shots and overall theatricality, the film was so culturally rich that many of the episodes would become archetypes for future Malayalam film makers dealing with family drama. It depicted the story of an imbecile (finely portrayed by Prem Nazir) in a joint family with remarkable sensitivity and seriousness of purpose.

His first film was "Marumakal", produced by Paul Kallungal. His last film was Dhwani.

He tried his hand in politics and had joined the Congress Party but could not succeed in the elections.

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