Noted actor-director Prathap Pothen (69), who was known as one of the first proponents of hippie culture in the Malayalam film industry, passed away in his sleep at his flat in Chennai on Friday morning.
In a career spanning four decades, Pothen acted in over 100 films in Malayalam, Tamil, Telegu and Hindi. He also directed a dozen films besides writing script and producing films.
Born to a leading business family in Thiruvananthapuram, Pothen studied in Lawrence School in Ooty. A started his professional career in the field of advertising as a copy writer.
In 1978, popular director Bharatan spotted him and cast in the ‘Aaravam’. In the eighties, Pothen grabbed the spotlight with his work in some hit films like ‘Chamaram’ and ‘Thakara’, among many others.
The one distinctive characteristic of Pothen was that he never fitted into the mainstream of the film industry. He always stayed aloof from the routine Malayalam film industry culture.
He married actress Radhika in 1985, which lasted a year, and later he married a corporate professional. The couple has a daughter who was present with him when he passed away at his flat in Chennai.
Condoling the death of Pothen, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, “He will always be remembered for his style and the way he carried his way forward in the industry. Even when in the years he remained aloof from the industry, he was always remembered for his performance and now that he has passed away, his name will always be etched in the memory of all.”
Pothen’s brother Hari Pothen was a popular producer who passed away in the mid-nineties.
According to industry sources, the last rites would be performed in Chennai on Saturday.