Thilakan is an Indian film actor (malayalam) born on 12 September 1938 who mainly works on Malayalam cinema and Theatre His original name is Surendranatha Thilakan . He started his career as a theatre artist and ventured into full-time acting in theatre after leaving intermediate college mid-way in the year 1956. He and a few friends formed a drama troupe called the Mundakayam Nataka Samithy in which he ecelled his capabilities as an actor.he then worked with certain troups like Kerala People's Arts Club, Kalidasa Kala Kendra, Changanacherry Geetha, and P. J. Antony's troupe. Apart from these he also performed certain radio plays presented by All India Radio.
Thilakan became a well known name after his entry into Malayalam cinema. He started his career in cinema with a minor role in the film Ulkadal in 1979. His first role as a lead character was as Kallu Varkey, in 1981. Thilakan established himself as an actor after he got his first State Award in 1981 for his role in Yavanika.
In 1988, he got the National Film Award for Best Supporting Actor for the performance in Rithubhedam.In 1994, and in 1998, he won State awards for Santhanagopalam and Gamanam again. He was strongly favored to get another National Film Award for Best Actor for his performance in the movie Perumthachan. But unfortunately award went to Amitabh Bachchan.
The film Kireedam was a milestone in his career. Some of Thilakan's other notable films were Sphadikam, Moonnam Pakkam, Namukku Parkkan Munthiri Thoppukal, Mookkilla Rajyathu, Chenkol, Randam Bhavam, Kaattu Kuthira and Yavanika.He has also acted in other South Indian languages, such as Tamil.
Thilakan has portrayed a range of characters and in these the most popular roles have been with Mohanlal. These included Kireedam, Sphadikam, Narasimham, Evidam Swargamanu, Pavithram and Chenkol. He has also played father roles including Sangham, The Truth, No. 1 Snehatheeram Banglore North Pallavur Devanarayanan, Veendum Chila Veettu Karyangal Sandesam, Meenathil Thaalikettu, Aniyathi Pravu and with Prithviraj in Sathyam.
He has also played many negative roles like underworld don in Randam Bhavam, Karma and Kaalal Pada. He has done some comical roles in films like Nadodikkattu, Pattanapravesham, Mookkilla Rajyathu, Kuttettan and Naaduvazhikal. The movies in which he has done the lead roles are Ekantham, Perumthachan, Santhanagopalam, Kaattukuthira, My Dear Muthachan, Mukhamudra etc.
Thilakan fell ill at the beginning of the 2000s and was hospitalized for a long time. After recovering he slowly returned to acting. In his comeback, he played some character roles with Mammootty, but later accused him of giving him less significant roles. In 2007, he acted in Ekantham, for which he received a special mention from the jury.Even the film technicians’ guild, MACTA, made an exception recently and honoured him, though he is not a technician.