Remembering Manobala: From Rajinikanth to Kamal Hassan...Stars mourn the actor's loss!

(This article is authored by Alar)

Manobala was a multifaceted personality who wore many hats in the Tamil film industry. He was an actor, director, producer and comedian who entertained the audience with his witty humour and memorable performances. He passed away on May 3, 2023 at the age of 69 due to liver-related problems.

Superstar Rajinikanth took to Twitter and shared his condolences for the death of the actor. He wrote, “I am deeply saddened by the passing away of my dear friend Manobala, a famous director and actor. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.”

Kamal Hassan also penned, " The news of the passing away of a good friend who was a director, actor and producer, Manobala is a great sadness. His primary identity was that of an enthusiast of cinema. My condolences to his bereaved family, friends and fans."

Manobala started his career as an assistant director to Bharathiraja for his 1979 film Puthiya Vaarpugal. He made his acting debut in the same film and went on to act in over 450 films in supporting roles. He was known for his comic timing and self-deprecating humour that made him a favourite among the masses.

He also directed nearly 25 films, some of which featured prominent stars like Rajinikanth, Sathyaraj, Prabhu and Sivaji Ganesan. His directorial ventures include Oorkavalan, En Purushanthaan Enakku Mattumthaan, Dhoorathu Pachai and Paarambariyam. He also produced some popular films such as Sathuranga Vettai under his banner Manobala’s Picture House.

Manobala was not only active in films but also in television and web series. He directed and acted in several TV serials and he also appeared in popular web series like As I’m Suffering From Kadhal and Livin’. He was one of the contestants on Cooku With Comali in 2022.

Manobala shared screen space with many leading actors of Tamil cinema such as Kamal Haasan, Vijay, Suriya, Dhanush, Karthi and Jayam Ravi. Some of his notable films as an actor include Yaaradi Nee Mohini, Siruthai, Nanban, M. Kumaran Son of Mahalakshmi, Anniyan and Ghajini. His last on-screen appearance was in Kajal Aggarwal’s Ghosty. 

Manobala was a versatile artist who made a mark in Tamil cinema as an actor and director. He was a source of laughter and joy for many generations of viewers. His demise has left a void in the industry that will be hard to fill. He was survived by his wife Usha and son Harish.