Shankar Panicker

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Born Shankar
(1960-06-22) 22 June 1960 (age 54)[1]
Thrissur, India
Nationality Indian
Other names Oru Thalai Ragam Shankar
Occupation Actor
Action Choreographer
Years active 1979–present
Spouse(s) Chitra Lakshmi
Parents Kecheriyil Thekkeveettil NK Panicker
Sulochana Panicker

Shankar Panicker, is an Indian film actor and director, popularly known as Shankar (Malayalam: ശങ്കര്‍) in Malayalam films and Oru Thalai Raagam Shankar in Tamil films. A superstar of the early eighties, he was the most prominent romantic lead actor of Malayalam cinema after Prem Nazir. Galatta Cinema magazine described him as the True romantic hero of Mollywood in their special edition on 100 years of Indian cinema [2]

Early life[edit]

Shankar was born in Thrissur, Kerala and his family later moved to Chennai when he was 4 years old. He completed the schooling from St.Beeds High School and college from Gadwarl University, Rishikesh, respectively. Later he joined South India Film Chambers of acting completing 2 years of acting course.

Film career[edit]

As an Actor[edit]

Shankar in the year 1985

Shankar was one among hundreds of newcomers done audition for Oru Thalai Ragam, but he was selected as the lead actor. Oru Thalai Ragam not only completed 365 days run in theatres[3][4] but also became the cult romantic film of Tamil film history. Meantime Navodaya banner signed Shankar for their romantic film Manjil Virinja Pookkal alongwith newcomers Mohanlal and Poornima Jayaram directed by debutant Fazil. The success of Manjil Virinja Pookal made Shankar the leading young star of Malayalam films.[5] Overnight Shankar became a hot property in both Tamil and Malayalam film industry and almost all his films doing good business. He was the second super star of Malayalam films of 80s after late action star "Jayan". He never experimented with his roles,[2] still he had a very large fan base in kerala. Most of his ordinary films were hits just because of his presence.[3][6]

His next Malayalam outing was in Guha as a psychopath, but the film flopped, but his later films Kadathu opposite Roja Ramani, Oothikachiya Ponnu with Poornima Jayaram and the super successful Ente Mohangal Poovaninju cemented Shankar as the romantic hero of Malayalam films. Simulateously his Tamil films Sujatha, Koyil Puraa, Mouna Yuddham and Raagam Thedum Pallavi also done good business.[6] He also tried a change in his appearnce with Udhayamahirathu by shaving off his moustache. Success continued in Malayalam with Padayottam, Anuragakodathy, Kaliyamardanam, Sandhyakku Virinja Poovu and Engane Nee Marakkum, so he decided to concentrate in Malayalam films only. His other successful films of 1983 are Mortuary, Hello Madras Girl and Himam. In 1984, Shankar had hits like Ente Kalithozan, Arante Mulla Kochu Mulla and Muthodu Muthu. He also gave break to new directors Priyadarsan and T.S.Suresh Babu with Poochakkoru Mookkuthi and Itha Innu Muthal respectively as both films were major hits of 1984. Next year he was a part of successful films Archana Aradhana, Aram + Aram = Kinnaram, Ambada Njaane!, Onnanam Kunnil Oradi Kunnil and Vannu Kandu Keezhadakki, but in Priyadarsan's successful thriller, Parayanumvayya Parayathirikkanumvayya, his performance was widely accepted as an action hero. In 1986, Shankar became a producer[6] and turned Sibi Malayil into a family director with Chekkaeran Oru Chilla. His other major films of 86 are Naale Njangalude Vivahum, Oppam Oppathinoppam and Sughamo Devi along with Mohanlal.

Shankar had fewer Malayalam releases in late 80's as he tried different genre of films, Ajantha, a Jungle movie, Viswashichalum illengilum, an horror movie, Amme Bhagavathi, a devotional film and an animal movie Ithente Neethi. His comeback to Tamil films in 1989, Kadhal Enum Nadhiyinile was a success,[7] but his much awaited action film Panthaya Kuthiraigal never got released[8] was a setback for him. Meantime Shankar tried the anti hero roles in Malayalam with Kizhakkunarum Pakshi and Abhimanyu, but as some other projects like Aththi Poothirukku and Oru Pidi Mayilthandum Kurae Valapottukalum was stalled and his attempt to become director with Suresh Gopi starrer Rakshakan also did n't materialize as its story was later found similar to a new Suresh Gopi starrer, so he decided to take a break[6] from films to concentrate on business, even though he done guest roles in films like Manathe Kottaram, Gandharvam and Guru.

Shankar staged a come back as lead hero in films like Sooryavanam, Bhadra, Sundarippravu and The Fire. He also done Stalin Sivadas with Mammootty, but all these films failed to ignite the box-office. In the mean period, Shankar moved to television media with a successful serial Ithu Manju Pole and continued to perform in hit serials like Swara Raagam and Parasparam. His last serial Ammakkayi aired in Surya TV was a success mainly due to his teaming with Menaka, his hit pair of 80's. As he wanted to concentrate in films, he stopped doing serials and launched himself as director with Virus,[6] a film on HIV/AIDS, which was censored in 2007.

As a Director[edit]

His first commercial Malayalam directorial venture Keralotsavam 2009 [9] starring Kalabhavan Mani and Vinu Mohan has been already released. Apart from Keralotsavam 2009, Shankar has also directed Virus,[6] a film on HIV/AIDS. His next Malayalam film, would probably star Mohan Lal.[10] Now he is directing Manal Nagaram, a Tamil-Malayalam bi-lingual based at U.A.E. expected to get released in December 2014.[11]

Year Date Film Language Starring Notes
2007 Virus Malayalam Abhinay, Sajitha Beti, Shankar Theatrical release unlikely
2009 December 17 Keralotsavam 2009 Malayalam Vinu Mohan, Vishnu Priya, Nedumudi Venu
2014 Manal Nagaram Tamil Prajin, Gowtham, Thanishka, Varuna Shooting in progress
2014 Sand City Malayalam Prajin, Gowtham, Tejaswini Prakash, Varuna Shetty Shooting in progress

Current status[edit]

The recent Malayalam films Shankar appeared was Ividam Swargamanu directed by Roshan Andrews, alongside Mohanlal, Rhythm, Koottukar. 2012 had 6 releases of Shankar. They are Casanovva, Banking Hours 10 to 4, Hide N' Seek and the critically acclaimed films Father's Day, Oomakkuyil Padumbol and Bhoomiyude Avakashikal. In 2013, he has been appreciated for his comic role in Anoop Menon scripted hit film Hotel California, directed by Aji John. His other releases were Miss Lekha Tharoor Kaanunnathu and Cleopatra.

He also played an important role along with Indrajith and Murali Gopy in Naku Penda Naku Taka shot at Kenya, moreover Shankar is appearing without moustache for the first time in Malayalam in the same film even though he had the same appearance in his 1982 Tamil film Udhayamahirathu. He has also completed his Tamil directorial venture Manal Nagaram based at U.A.E.. Shankar's solo starrer Malayalam film Akashangalil is also getting ready to release.


Shankar was instrumental in giving break to directors Bhadran and Priyadarshan in two super hit movies Ente Mohangal Poovaninju (1982) and Poochakkoru Mookkuthi (1984) respectively. Director Sibi Malayil changed to serious family films with Shankar's home production Chekkaeran Oru Chilla (1986). Director T.S.Suresh Babu' s debut venture Itha Innu Muthal had Shankar in lead role.

Personal life[edit]

Born in 1960 to Thrissur Kacheriyil Thekkeveettil NP Panicker and Sulochana Panicker.[12] Shankar is living in Cochin with his mother. He [6] married dancer Chithra Lakshmi after his first marriage with Ruparekha ended in a divorce. He has a son from previous marriage.[13]



  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "The lover boys of Indian cinema-100 years of Indian cinema". Galatta Cinema. December 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Ninaithu Ninaithu Parthen's music is brilliant". 13 March 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  4. ^ "Shankar directs Tamil film". deccanchronicle. 16 Dec 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Mohanlal and Shankar are back together!". 20 October 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "My Career Mistakes". mangalam. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "Pon Manam, Kadhal Enum Nadhiyinile". Film Review. January 31, 1989. 
  8. ^ "Dina Malar, Panthaya Kuthiraigale". Velli Malar. August 17, 1990. 
  9. ^ "Kalabhavan Mani in Shankar's Keralotsavam". 26 October 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2010. 
  10. ^ "The circle of life". The Hindu. 26 June 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010. 
  11. ^ "Manal Nagaram: Dreams in Danger". 28 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-28. 
  12. ^
  13. ^

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