Veteran director J Sasikumar (86) passed away. The director, who was referred to as the first hitmaker of Malayalam cinema passed away on Thursday at a private hospital in Kochi due to age-related illness.
Born as Nambiathusseril Varkey John in Alappuzha, Sasikumar was credited with making records for directing highest number movies by a director, highest number of movies with same lead actor and actress and highest number of movies in a year. He has worked with ever green actor Prem Nazir in 84 movies and with actress Sheela in 47 movies.
Sasikumar made his directorial debut with Oral Koodi Kallanayi. But, he got a break in his career with his venture Kudumbini, which also marked the debut of veteran actress Kaviyoor Ponnamma. He also introduced actress Jayabharathi into the industry through his movie Pennmakkal.
Some his notable works include Kudumbini, Jeevitha Yathra, Thommante Makkal, Balyakalasakhi, Pennmakkal etc. He has also acted in some movies like Vishappinte Vili and Velakkaran before venturing into direction.
Kerala Goverenment had honoured him with J C Daniel Award last year. He was married to late Thressyamma. He is survived by two daughters. Director Thampi Kannanthanam was his long-time assosiate.