Mammootty@70: Does the adage ‘behind every successful man is a woman’ hold true for the legend?

O n the eve of one of Keralas most popular icon, superstar Mammootty’s 70th birthday, can we say that the good old adage of “behind every successful man is a woman” is true?
Analysed, it appears it’s true for the dapper actor.
Even though comparisons between his arch screen rival Mohanlal are often made, in the final analysis, Mammootty edges out Mohanlal by a whisker.
Even though it might be sheer coincidence, that Mammootty’s first film in 1971 — ‘Anubhavengel Pallichekel’, turned out to be matinee idol Sathyan’s last, it was not until 1980, that Mammootty was noticed in ‘Vilkanundo Swapnangel’, scripted by another legend M.T.Vasudevan Nair. Last month, ‘Mammukka’ completed 50 years in the industry. A look into the actor’s career reveals that it was after his marriage to Sulfath in 1979, that his acting career really took off. Mammootty, more popularly known as Mammukka to all, witnessed his career graph take an upward turn after Sulfath walked into his life and his star run has continued unabated over the decades.
In 1979, his first full fledged role as a lead actor in ‘Vilkanundo Swapnangel’ wooed the box office.
Mammootty has had no reason to look back since and by has done over 400 films in Malayalam and other South Indian languages besides in English and Hindi.
The “living legend” has won three National Film Awards for Best Actor, seven Kerala State Film Awards and 13 Filmfare Awards South. In 1998, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Shri for his contributions to the art.
Incidentally it was after Mammootty shifted base from Chennai to Kochi on a permanent basis during the late 90s, did his stock as an icon of the state started to grow and today it has reached the pinnacle as he is one of the most sought-after personality be it by any state government here or otherwise. The actor ever since he assumed charge as the chairman of the CPI-M backed Kairali TV channel, when it was launched in the mid nineties, has established his place in the field of media too, and he continues to hold the post. Even though all know the veteran actor is affable and kind hearted, they cannot deny “he is slightly haughty” and according to one of his co-star who has acted with him in numerous films and knows him inside out, even jokingly said, “He generally does not like anyone to wear a better dress or possess a mobile phone, which is better or more expensive than what he has”, but in the same breath he also said, when it comes to charity, he does it without a soul knowing it.
Since the Covid pandemic broke out and continues to rage into its second year, Mammootty has had no dearth of films and a few of his films are at various stages of production and despite his age, all producers would make a bee-line to sign him.

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