Legendary Malayalam actor Innocent passes away aged 75; Mohanlal, Prithviraj Sukumaran pay their respects
Innocent was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, but in 2015 he declared that he was finally free of the illness
On Sunday night, veteran Malayalam actor Innocent passed away in a hospital in Kochi, where he was admitted on March 3. The 75-year-old actor who was also a former member of the parliament was a cancer survivor and was not feeling well for quite some time, according to sources. He suffered respiratory problems for which he was hospitalised recently. He is survived by his wife Alice and his son, Sonnet.
Currently, Innocent’s body has been kept at the Kadavanthra Rajiv Gandhi Indoor stadium in Ernakulam so that the public can pay their respects to the late actor. Reports state that the actor’s mortal remains will be transported to his hometown of Irinjalakuda in the Thrissur district and kept there till three o'clock in the afternoon. According to sources, the funeral will be held at the Cathedral Church of Irinjalakuda around 5 pm on Monday after the body is taken to his home.
According to a statement released by the hospital (VPS Lakeshore Hospital), the actor passed away at 10:30 pm on Sunday. They added that the cause of death was non-functioning organs and a heart attack. After the news broke many celebrities took to social media to share condolences.
Actor Mohanlal took to Facebook to share a heartfelt note for the late actor in Malayalam. He wrote, “I don’t know how to put into words the sadness of your departure, who innocently spread laughter, love and comfort to the whole world just like that name, held those who were with him like a brother, stood by him no matter what. My mind is still telling me to believe that it didn’t go.’ Mohanlal’s words. My Innocent will be with me forever with that innocent smile, love and rebuke every moment. Mohanlal ends the note by saying that you will still be seen here to run for anything, wherever you are.”
Prithviraj Sukumaran took to Twitter to share an image of the late actor and wrote, “End of an iconic chapter in cinema history! Rest in peace Legend! #Innocent.”
Dulquer Salmaan took to Instagram to share an array of pictures featuring Innocent and also penned an emotional note for the late actor. He captioned the post, “We lost the brightest shining star in our constellation. You made us laugh till we cried. You made us cry till our insides hurt. You were an actor of the highest calibre. One of those timeless all-time greats. Beyond that, you were all things wonderful. You were all heart.”
He added, “You were family. To mine. To everyone who watched you on screen. To everyone you met. I've had the privilege of knowing you closely. Like my father's brother. Like an uncle to Surumy and me. You were my childhood. And I grew up to act alongside you. And you regaled us with stories then and now. Always gathering people. Always lifting them up. My thoughts are all over the place. As is my writing. I love you dearly Innocent uncle. Rest in peace.”
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid his respects to the late actor, saying, “Pained by the passing away of noted actor and former MP Shri Innocent Vareed Thekkethala. He will be remembered for enthralling audiences and filling people’s lives with humour. Condolences to his family and admirers. May his soul rest in peace.”
Innocent was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, but in 2015 he declared that he was finally free of the illness. In his book, Laughter in the Cancer Ward, he wrote about his battle with cancer. He was last seen in the 2022 action film Kaduva starring Prithviraj in the lead role. His last appearance will be in the upcoming movie, Pachuvum Atbuthavilakkum, which has been directed by Anoop Sathyan.