Memories of Jayan, the only Malayalam film star who had the macho image, are still fresh in the minds of many even 37 years after he died while attempting a stunt scene on a moving helicopter.
He lost his life while filming the final scene of the Malayalam film ‘Kolilakem’, this day in 1980, at an airbase in Chennai.
His death anniversary is marked on November 16 in some form or the other mostly at his hometown in Kollam and in the state capital where his fans and well-wishers gather to honor his memory.
His film career was a brief and dashing one that began in the early 1970s, peaked a few years later and the flame went out quickly, but not before he acted in more than 100 films and etched an everlasting memory in the minds of many.
In all, he acted in 124 films starting from 1972 and of these his career graph went skyrocketing starting 1977 when he acted in 19 films; in 1978, 31 films; in 1979, 25 films; and in 1980, of the 30 films that he worked in, 11 were released after his death.
What made him the darling of many was his dialogue delivery and the macho image and what his predecessors like Mammootty and Mohanlal achieved by sweating out for decades, he did it in a few years.
He even outclassed the evergreen hero in the industry, the legendary Prem Nazir, the Malayalam actor who has an entry in Guinness.
“He never had any airs of being a hugely popular actor. I knew him right from the time he was trying to become an actor and he remained the very same even when he was at the peak,” Mohan, a film buff and one who was close with many in the film industry in the 1970s and 1980s, told IANS.
“I remember even now that just before he left for Chennai to shoot for the film during which he lost his life, we had a chance meeting and he was just the same as he was when I first met him,” said Mohan.
Among the major hits of Jayan are “Angadi”, “Moorken”, “Manushyamrigam” and “Chakara”, to name a few.