Kesavan Venugopal Nair (born 22 May 1948), known popularly by his stage name Nedumudi Venu, is an Indian film actor from Kerala. Widely regarded as one of the greatest actors in Indian cinema, he has acted in more than 500 films. He has also written screenplays and has directed one film. He has won two National Film Awards and six Kerala State Film Awards for his various performances.
Venu started his career in theater and went on to act in films. He was a member of Kavalam Narayana Panicker’s dramas. He debuted in the film Thambu (1978), by director G Aravindan. His acting skills were showcased in the Bharathan film Aaravam. Padmarajan’s Oridathoru Phayalwan and Kallan Pavithran set a milestone for him. It marked his start in Karanavar (head of the family) roles, which included most of his memorable performances.
Venu also wrote scripts for movies. He wrote the stories for the films Kattathe Kilikkoodu, Theertham, Sruthi, Ambada Njaane!, Oru Katha Oru Nunnakkatha, Savidham and Angane Oru Avadhikkalathu. He also tried his hand in direction with Pooram. He has also acted in a few Tamil films with director Shankar, such as Kamal Hasan’s Indian and Vikram’s Anniyan.
Venu has also acted in some television serials. He acted in NFDC film Parinamam (The Change), directed by P Venu that won the best screenplay award at the Ashdod International Film Festival held in Israel. He won the Best Actor award for his role in Saira at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival which concluded in September 2007; Saira was the only film from India to be included in the festival. The committee mentioned that he acted compellingly and convincingly in his portrayal of a man caught between secularism and fundamentalism.