13 September 1960
Thrissur, Kerala, India
Oru Thalai Ragam Shankar|
RooparekhaChitralakshmi Erandath(2013 - Present)
Shankar Panicker, is an Indian film actor and director, popularly known as Shankar (Malayalam: ശങ്കര്) in Malayalam films. A superstar of the early eighties, he was the most prominent romantic lead actor of Malayalam cinema after Prem Nazir for nearly 10 years before Mohanlal start to reign as cult icon of Malayalam film industry. Galatta Cinema magazine described him as the True romantic hero of Mollywood in their special edition on 100 years of Indian cinema. Shankar got dream debut in both Tamil film industry and Malayalam film industry that any other actor not get so far.Shankar's debut Tamil film " Oru Thalai Ragam" successfully ran for over 365 days in theatres and was a megahit.In Malayalam Shankar starred debut film "Manjil Virinja Pookkal" was a megahit that ran over 200 days in theatres and also one of the all time romantic super hit film of Malayalam film industry forever.
Shankar was born to Thekkeveettil NK Panicker and Sulochana in Kechery, Thrissur, Kerala and his family later moved to Chennai when he was 4 years old. His father was a senior manager at Indian Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Limited. He has two siblings, Krishnakumar and Indra. He completed the schooling from St. Bede's Anglo Indian High School, Chennai. He pursued bachelors in History from Gadwarl University, Rishikesh. Later he joined South Indian Film Chambers of acting completing 2 years of acting course.
As an actor
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 but also became the cult romantic film of Tamil film history. Meantime Navodaya banner signed Shankar for their romantic film Manjil Virinja Pookkal along with newcomers Mohanlal and Poornima Jayaram directed by debutant Fazil. The success of Manjil Virinja Pookal made Shankar the leading young star of Malayalam films. 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, still he had a very large fan base in kerala. Most of his ordinary films were hits just because of his presence.
His next Malayalam outing was in Guha with Menaka his most successful costar and arguably the best hero heroine combination along with Prem Nazir - Sheela and Madhu-Srividhya, 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. Simultaneously his Tamil films Sujatha, Koyil Puraa, Mouna Yuddham and Raagam Thedum Pallavi also done good business. He also tried a change in his appearance 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 only in Malayalam films. 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, Ambada Njaane!, Aram + Aram = Kinnaram, 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 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 '80s as he tried different genre of films, Ajantha, a Jungle movie, Viswasichalum Illenkilum, a horror movie, Amme Bhagavathi, a devotional film and an animal movie Ithente Neethi as an actor, but his comeback to Tamil films, Kadhal Enum Nadhiyinile (1989) was a success, but his much awaited action film Panthaya Kuthiraigal never got released. 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, as well as his attempt to become director with Suresh Gopi starrer Rakshakan also did n't materialize as its story was found similar to a new Suresh Gopi starrer, he decided take a break from films to concentrate on business, even though he done guest roles in films like Manathe Kottaram, Gandharvam and Guru.
Shankar staged a comeback 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 serials like Swara Raagam and Parasparam. He also won the 2006 Film Critics Television Best Actor Award for his performance in TV serial Chithrashalabham. 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, a film on HIV/AIDS, which was censored in 2007.
As a Director
Shankar directed a video film Kaatti in 2006 based on child labour which won him the best director award from Malayalam Television viewers DRISHYA awards for video film. He made his feature film debut with Virus, an Indo-American co-production urging the society not to shun HIV/AIDS affected people. His first commercial Malayalam directorial venture Keralotsavam 2009  starred Kalabhavan Mani and Vinu Mohan dealt with how three youngsters falling prey to terrorist links. Though it was reported that his next Malayalam film would probably star Mohanlal, the project never materialized. In 2015, he released Sand City, a Tamil-Malayalam bi-lingual based at U.A.E. to good reviews.
|2006||Kaatti||Malayalam||—||Short film - Won Malayalam Television viewers DRISHYA awards for Best Director (Video Film Category)|
|2007||Virus||Malayalam||Abhinay, Sajitha Beti, Shankar||Based on HIV/AIDS|
|2009||Keralotsavam 2009||Malayalam||Vinu Mohan, Vishnu Priya, Nedumudi Venu|
|2015||Sand City||Malayalam||Prajin, Gowtham, Tejaswini Prakash, Varuna Shetty|
|2015||Manal Nagaram||Tamil||Prajin, Gowtham, Thanishka, Varuna Shetty|
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 film Hotel California directed by Aji John and 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 and in 2015, he done the lead role in Vishwasam... Athallae Ellaam along with Shine Tom Chacko directed by Jayaraj Vijay as well as the special appearance in Balachandra Menon' s Njan Samvidhanam Cheyyum along with Menaka. The latest released films of Shankar in 2018 are the socially valuable movie Niranjana Pookkal. The most important thing is that he is back as the main hero in the movie.He done the role of a investigating journalist. The other movie is "Oru Vathil Kottai". Shankar is also in the direction of his new film.
Shankar was instrumental in giving break to directors Bhadran, Priyadarshan and Venu Nagavally in three super hit movies Ente Mohangal Poovaninju (1982), Poochakkoru Mookkuthi (1984) and Sughamodevi (1986) 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.
Born in 1960 to Thrissur Kacheriyil Thekkeveettil NP Panicker and Sulochana Panicker. Shankar is living in Cochin with his mother. He was married to Rooparekha but ended in divorce. The couple has a son. He is married to Chitra Lekshmi, a dance teacher on 2013.
- Ithu Manjupole
- Swara Raagam (Kairali we tv)
- Ammakkayi (SuryaTV)
- Chithrashalabham (Amrtita TV)
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- "The lover boys of Indian cinema-100 years of Indian cinema". Galatta Cinema. December 2012.
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- "Ninaithu Ninaithu Parthen's music is brilliant". rediff.com. 13 March 2007. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
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- "Pon Manam, Kadhal Enum Nadhiyinile". Film Review. 31 January 1989.
- "Dina Malar, Panthaya Kuthiraigale". Velli Malar. 17 August 1990.
- "Kalabhavan Mani in Shankar's Keralotsavam". Oneindia.in. 26 October 2009. Retrieved 12 April 2010.
- "The circle of life". The Hindu. 26 June 2010. Retrieved 6 October 2010.
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- "Sand City Movie Review". onlookersmedia. 2015-01-02. Retrieved 2015-01-03.
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- "എന്റെ വലിയ പിഴ". mangalamvarika.com. Retrieved 3 June 2015.