Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan Pillai (born 27 October 1968), better known by his stage name Dileep, is an Indian actor, film producer and businessman, who predominantly works in the Malayalam film industry.[1] He has acted in more than 150 films and has won several awards, including four Kerala State Film Awards and a Filmfare Awards South.

Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan Pillai

(1968-10-27) 27 October 1968 (age 51)
Cochin, Kerala, India
Alma materMahatma Gandhi University
  • Actor
  • Film producer
  • Businessman
Years active1991–present
m. 1998; div. 2015)
m. 2016)
ChildrenMeenakshi Dileep (b.2000)
Mahalakshmi Dileep (b.2018)

Beginning as an impressionist in stage shows, Dileep attained recognition after being cast on the television comedy series Comicola on Asianet and its successor Cinemala. Dileep with Nadirshah produced and performed in the audio cassette series De Maveli Kombathu, a successful sketch comedy, which later turned into a television series on Asianet. He began his film career as an assistant director and worked under director Kamal in nine films, beginning with Vishnulokam in 1991, and made his acting debut with a minor role in Kamal's Ennodu Ishtam Koodamo (1992). He acted in a principal role in the 1994 film Manathe Kottaram taking the screen name Dileep. He established himself as a successful actor during late 1990s, mostly playing comedic roles.

The box office success of the 2002 film Meesha Madhavan significantly raised his stardom in Malayalam cinema, the film also won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Malayalam. In the same year, he won the Kerala State Film Award - Special Jury Award for Kunjikoonan, and in 2005, a Special Mention for his gender-disputed role in Chanthupottu. In 2003, Dileep founded the film production company Graand Production, its debut film was C.I.D. Moosa. His 2004 production Kathavasheshan won the Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Film. In 2008, he produced Twenty:20 to raise funds for the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA). The film starred almost all actors in the guild and became the highest-grossing Malayalam film up until then.

In 2011, his role in Vellaripravinte Changathi won him his first Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor. His 2015 comedy Two Countries and 2017 political thriller Ramaleela grossed over 50 crore ( 500 million) each and were ranked among the top ten highest-grossing Malayalam films.[2] Beside films, Dileep owns the multiplex theatre D Cinemaas and the restaurant chain Dhe Puttu. Dileep was married to actress Manju Warrier from 1998 to 2015. He married actress Kavya Madhavan in 2016.

Early lifeEdit

Dileep was born in Edavanakad, in Ernakulam district of Kerala, India to Padmanabhan Pillai and Sarojam. He is the eldest among three children.[3] He has a brother, Anoop, and a sister, Sabitha.[4] He studied at Vidyadhiraja Vidya Bhavan Higher Secondary School in Aluva, where he passed the tenth standard in 1985, and joined Union Christian College, Aluva for pre-degree (higher secondary) third group, during 1985–1987. Later, he pursued a degree in history from Maharaja's College, Ernakulam.[5][6] It was during his time in Maharaja's College that he began taking impressionist acts (mimicry) seriously.[5] Dileep along with his friend Nadirshah produced and performed (voice) in the Onam-based audio cassette (album) titled De Maveli Kombathu, which helped his entry into the film industry.[7]


1991–1999: Early yearsEdit

Dileep started his career at Kalabhavan, working as a mimicry artist in the 1980s.[8] He also performed in Asianet's comedy show Comicola. Later, he served as the assistant director to the Indian film director, Kamal. While being an assistant director, Dileep acted in a few small roles, debuting with a small scene in Kamal's Ennodu Ishtam Koodamo (1992). Kamal recommended his name to many directors. The film Manathe Kottaram (1994), directed by Sunil, gave him his first break in the role of Dileep, through which he gained his screen name. Other minor roles during this time included Joshi's Sainyam (1993), Sibi Malayil's Sindoora Rekha (1995), Viji Thampi's Pidakozhi Koovunna Nootand (1994), Kamal's Ulladakkam (1993) and Sudhinam (1994), Thooval Kottaram (1996), Swapna Lokathe Balabhaskaran (1996), and Ee Puzhayum Kadannu (1996). He played a supporting role in I. V. Sasi's Varnapakittu (1997). Punjabi House (1998) led to the beginning of the popular Dileep-Harishri Asokan combo.[citation needed]

2000–2009: StardomEdit

In 2000, Dileep starred in the films Mister Butler (2000), Darling Darling (2000) and Joker (2000). He played a supporting role in Thenkasipattanam in 2000,[9] and also appeared in Ee Parakkum Thalika (2001), Ishtam (2001), and Mazhathullikkilukkam (2002).

In 2002 he won the Kerala State Film Special Jury Award for playing the role of Kunjan in the film Kunjikoonan. In Lal Jose's Meesa Madhavan (2002), Dileep played the role of the thief Madhavan, that same year he also debuted in Tamil cinema with Raajjiyam.[citation needed] His next appearances were in the films Kalyanaraman (2003), Jayaraj's Thilakkam (2003), and Johny Antony's C.I.D. Moosa (2003) He also produced and starred in T. V. Chandran's Kadhavaseshan (2004). In 2004, he starred in Priyadarshan's Vettam. Chanthupottu (2005) saw his reunion with Lal Jose. He won a Special Mention at the Kerala State Film Awards for his performance in the movie.[10][citation needed] He ventured into action with Joshy's Runway (2004). Kochi Rajavu (2005), was his next release. His next releases were Chess (2006) and Don (2006). Also in 2006, he lent his voice to the character played by Shahid Kapoor in Priyadarshan's Hindi film Chup Chup Ke.[11] The story of the 2006 movie Pachakuthira was written by Dileep.[12] His second film with the director Sathyan Anthikad, Vinodayathra, was released in April 2007. The same year, he played the athlete Arjun in Speed Track, the debut of director Jayasurya. He then appeared in Blessy's Calcutta News (2008).

Dileep produced Joshiy-directed Twenty:20 (2008) to raise funds for the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA). The film starred became the highest-grossing Malayalam film ( 31.4 crore) until that time.[13] In 2009, his films included Crazy Gopalan and Moz & Cat directed by director Fazil. Dileep's performance in the 2009 movie Passenger was well received.[citation needed] He ended the decade with Swantham Lekhakan which saw him team up with Indian actress Gopika.


In the beginning of the 2010s, Dileep starred in Bodyguard directed by Siddique. The film had multiple remakes including Kaavalan starring Vijay, and Bodyguard, starring Salman Khan. Aagathan and Paappi Appacha were his next films. His production venture Malarvaadi Arts Club was directed by Vineeth Sreenivasan which was also the debut vehicle of Nivin Pauly. The Hindi children's movie Toofan was released in 2010, directed by Major Ravi.[14] In 2010, he also starred in his 100th movie[citation needed], Kaaryasthan. In 2011, he appeared in Christian Brothers, China Town, Orma Mathram, The Filmstaar and Vellaripravinte Changathi, for which he won a Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor.[15]

His first release in 2012 was Spanish Masala directed by Lal Jose. His next movie in 2012 was Mayamohini. His first release in 2013 was Proprietors: Kammath & Kammath. He played the lead role in Vysakh's Sound Thoma and later starred in Sringaravelan. In 2014 was he appeared in Rafi's Ring Master. He also appeared in Avatharam and Villali Veeran. In 2015 he starred in Ivan Maryadaraman, a remake of Maryada Ramanna. He also did a guest appearance in Shivrajkumar 'sVajrakaya. He played the title character in Jeethu Joseph's Life of Josutty. "Two Countries" released on Christmas Day 2015, directed by Shafi, became the highest-grossing film in his career.[citation needed] In 2016, his first film was "King Liar". Later he starred in Welcome to Central Jail, and Pinneyum, with veteran director Adoor Gopalakrishnan. His 2017 film, Ramaleela, became one of the highest-grossing Malayalam films of all time.[citation needed] His first movie release of 2018 was Kammarasambhavam, in which he played negative role for first time and it co-starred South Indian actor Siddharth.

Personal lifeEdit

Dileep married Manju Warrier on 20 October 1998.[16] They have a daughter Meenakshi (born in 2000). In July 2014, the couple filed for divorce which was granted on 31 January 2015.[17] On 25 November 2016, Dileep married actress Kavya Madhavan with whom he had been rumoured to be in a relationship for a long time.[16][18][19] The couple have a daughter Mahalakshmi, born in 2018.[20]

Off-screen workEdit

Besides acting and film production, Dileep is also involved in film distribution (through Graand Production) and exhibition.[citation needed] He owns the multiplex theater complex D Cinemaas situated in Chalakudy.[citation needed] He along with his friend Nadirshah founded the restaurant chain Dhe Puttu, they have restaurants in Kochi, Kozhikode, Qatar and Dubai, as of 2019.[21]

Abduction and sexual assault caseEdit

On 28 June 2017, Dileep was interrogated by the Kerala Police[22] in connection with the abduction and sexual assault of actress Bhavana, who was allegedly kidnapped and molested by a gang while traveling from work on 17 February 2017.[23][24][25][26][27] On 10 July 2017, Dileep was arrested by Kerala Police for alleged conspiracy, and was remanded by the court.[28] On 3 October 2017, he was released on conditional bail by the Kerala High Court.[29] In June 2018, he filed a petition in the Kerala High Court charging the Kerala Police of deliberately framing him. He requested the case be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation.[30][31]

Following his arrest, Dileep's membership was revoked by various film organisations.[32] Several political parties protested against Dileep and his business firms were vandalised, including Dhe Puttu restaurant and the multiplex theatre D Cinemaas.[33] Dileep in the major prosecution process has filed an additional plea for accessing video footage of the incident. The plea was denied by both the Angamaly Magistrate Court and Kerala High Court. Mukul Rohatgi, a former Attorney General of India represented him in the case. In April 2019, the Government of Kerala froze charges against him until the court has given an independent verdict on the case.[34][35] Mukul Rohatgi was able to get him a stay on the trial from Supreme Court thus making the case inactive until Dileep gets access to the video.[36]


Playback singingEdit

Song Film Year Lyrics Composer
"Theme Music" Chandranudikkunna Dikhil 1999 S. Ramesan Nair Vidhyasagar
"Onnaam Malakeri" Kalyanaraman 2002 Kaithapram Damodaran Berny-Ignatius
"Saare Saare" Thilakkam 2003 Kaithapram Damodaran Kaithapram Damodaran
"Manmadanalle" "Inspector Garud" 2007 Alex Paul
"Kandaal Njaanoru" Sound Thoma 2013 Nadirshah Gopi Sunder
"Ashakoshale Pennundo" Sringaravelan 2013 Nadirshah


Kerala State Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South
Asianet Film Awards
  • 2002: Best Actor – Kunjikoonan
  • 2004: Special Jury Award – Kathavasheshan
  • 2008: Best Film – Twenty:20
  • 2010: Most Popular Actor – Body Guard
  • 2013: Award of Excellence for completing 20 years in Malayalam film industry[39]
Kerala Film Critics Association Awards
  • 2001: Best Supporting Actor-Joker
  • 2004: Best Actor – Kadhavaseshan
  • 2005: Best Actor – Chanthupottu
South Indian International Movie Awards
Vanitha Film Awards
  • 2013: Best Popular Actor
Jaihind Film Awards
  • 2010: Most Popular Actor Award
  • 2011: Chalachitra Pratibha Award
  • 2012: Best Actor – Mayamohini, Arike
  • 2013: Most Popular Actor Award
  • 2014: Most Popular Actor Award
Amrita Film Awards
  • 2008: Best Film – Twenty:20
  • 2010: Most Popular Actor Award


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         "Attack on Actress: search on Kavya Madhavan's textile showroom". Malayala Manorama. 1 July 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
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         Mollywood has set a horrible example by supporting Dileep – Movies News. India (28 June 2018). Retrieved 21 September 2018.
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External linksEdit