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Innocent Vareed Thekkethala (born 28 February 1948) is an Indian film actor and politician. He predominantly works in Malayalam cinema in addition to Bollywood, English, Tamil, and Kannada films, mostly in comedic roles. He has acted in more than 750 films and has won several awards, including three Kerala State Film Awards. He served as the Member of Parliament in the 16th Lok Sabha of India representing Chalakudy constituency.
Innocent in 2011
|Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha|
16 May 2014 – 23 May 2019
|Preceded by||K. P. Dhanapalan|
|Succeeded by||Benny Behanan|
|Municipal Councillor of Irinjalakuda|
|Assumed office |
Innocent Vareed Thekkethala
28 February 1948
Irinjalakuda, Thrissur, Travancore-Cochin
(present-day Kerala), India
In 1979, he was elected as the Municipal Councillor of irinjalakkuda municipality. Innocent won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Chalakudy Lok Sabha constituency as an independent candidate supported by the Left Democratic Front (LDF). Innocent served as the President of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), a guild of Malayalam artists from 2003 to 2018. He has written books based on his memories, and columns in magazines and newspapers.
Innocent was born on 28 February 1948 to Vareed Thekkethala and Margaret in Irinjalakuda, Travancore-Cochin (present-day Kerala), India. He had his primary education from Little Flower Convent Higher Secondary School, Irinjalakuda, Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Irinjalakuda, and Sree Sangameswara NSS School, Irinjalakuda. He studied till eighth grade and discontinued his studies as he could not cope with studying. Innocent went to Madras (then) for his acting career and worked there as a production executive and during that time he acted in a minor role in the movie Nellu, which was one of his earlier movies. He fell ill, and came to Davangere in the 1970s for treatment for Typhoid, where his cousins George (studying medicine at JJM Medical College), Davis and his brother Sunny were running the Shamannur Match factory, at Davangere. Later, he was an active partner in the working of the factory. As Innocent was keen on the performance activities, he seized the opportunity to participate in Davangere, Kerala Samajam drama and received audience approval in entertainment events.
He left Davangere in 1974, set up a leather business, then a cycle renting business to make a living. Growing up, he had a few conflicts with his father, Vareed, because his brothers continued to have an excellent education and became successful doctors, lawyers, and judges. After some time, he joined politics and became Municipal councilor of Irinjalakuda.
Innocent's mannerisms and diction is unique in Malayalam cinema and he wildly caught the attention of the Malayalam audience. This made him almost a phenomenon in the Malayalam comedy scene, also making him a hot favourite for mimicry artistes. His popularity can be gauged from the fact that many frontline directors in Malayalam (like Priyadarshan, Satyan Anthikkad, Fazil and Kamal) rarely make films without Innocent. He has proven his acting skills in serious and character roles in several films. He has been the president of Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) for 12 years. He has held the post for the last four consecutive terms.
Innocent entered the film industry in 1972 with the movie Nrityashala. At first, he produced a few serious offbeat films, but he was not successful. In the long span of his career, Innocent has worked in more than 500 films in a variety of roles, mainly in Malayalam. He has also acted in a few Tamil and Hindi films.
Innocent played key comedy roles in superhits like Ramji Rao Speaking, Mannar Mathai Speaking, Kilukkam, Godfather, Vietnam Colony, Nadodikattu and Devaasuram. Innocent has also excelled in character and villain roles such as Keli, Kathodu Kathoram.
He proved his skills in other serious roles with a touch of laughter in films such as Kabooliwaala, Gajakesariyogam, Mithunam, Mazhavilkavadi, Manassinakkare, Thuruppugulan, Rasathanthram, and Mahasamudram. His effort, along with that of the superstars who starred in these films, played an important role in their success. His pairing with K. P. A. C. Lalitha was highly successful in movies such as Ponn Muttayidunna Tharavu, My Dear Muthachchan, Godfather and Manichitrathazhu.
Innocent is one of the most imitated actors of Malayalam cinema and mimicry artists have brought him closer to women and children among his fans. The best example of this can be seen in the widely popular Maveli (Mahabali) comedy cassettes which are brought out by various mimicry groups annually in association with the Onam festival of Kerala in the past few years. These cassettes satirise Mahabali, a benevolent King in Kerala's mythology, who is supposed to visit his subjects in Kerala every lunar year on the day of Onam. These cassettes tend to portray Maveli (Mahabali) as a comic King who gets into all sort of troubles – the script makes use of many contemporary issues in Kerala – on his annual arrival in Kerala. Mimicry artistes uses Innocent's voice to represent Maveli and all his mannerisms and idiosyncrasies in speech are deftly mimicked to generate laughter in the audience.
Innocent's participation in stage shows guarantees him a leading role as an anchor or performer. His Kathaprasangam (oratory combined with poetry) Olayaal Menjoru is one of the regulars in Gulf stage shows.
Innocent has published his memoirs: Njan Innocent. He has published three other books: Mazha Kannadi (collection of short stories), Chirrikku Pinnil (an autobiography) and Cancer Wardile Chiri (Laughter in the Cancer Ward), an account of his experiences while undergoing treatment for throat cancer. Innocent also writes columns in magazines and newspapers.
Innocent was the Thrissur District Secretary of the Revolutionary Socialist Party during the 1970s. He had contested in the Irinjalakkuda municipal council elections as Revolutionary Socialist Party-backed candidate in 1979 and had won that election. He was rumoured to be a Left Democratic Front (LDF)-supported independent candidate from the Irinjalakkuda assembly constituency in the 2006 Kerala Legislative Assembly elections but this did not happen. Innocent won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Chalakudy Lok Sabha constituency in Thrissur district as an independent candidate supported by the LDF.
He lost in the Lok sabha elections 2019 to UDF candidate Benny Behanan.
He married Alice on September 26, 1976 and have a son Sonnet. Sonnet is married, with two children, Innocent Jr and Anna. Jr. Innocent has acted in a documentary as Innocent in childhood. Both Innocent and his wife are cancer survivors.
- 1989 – Second Best Actor – Mazhavil Kavadi
- 1981 – Second Best Film (Producer) – Vida Parayum Munpe
- 1982 – Second Best Film (Producer) – Ormakkayi
- Kerala State Film Critics Award
- 2009 – Best Actor – Patham Nilayile Theevandi
- 2001 – Supporting Actor Award – Ravanaprabhu
- 2004 – Supporting Actor Award – Vesham
- 2006 – Best Actor in a Comic Role – Rasathanthram, Yes Your Honour
- 2008 – Supporting Actor Award – Innathe Chintha Vishayam
- 2013 – Lifetime Achievement Award
- Other awards
- 2004 - Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor – Malayalam for Manassinakkare
- 2007 – Sathyan Award
- 2008 – Annual Malayalam Movie Award (Dubai) for Outstanding Performance
- 2013 – TTK Prestige-Vanitha Film Awards – Lifetime Achievement Award
- 2019 –He is Distributing Awards Realtors Investors Summit
- Malayalam films
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|Driving License||(As himself)||Guest Appearance|
|Lonappante Mamodeesa||School Teacher||Guest Appearance|
|Pullikkaran Staraa||Omanakshan Pillai|
|Nagara Varidhi Naduvil Njan||Davis|
|Njangalude Veettile Athidhikal|
|Bhaiyya Bhaiyya||Kochuveettil Chacko|
|Mannar Mathai Speaking 2||Mannar Mathai|
|2013||Philips and the Monkey Pen||God|
|Punyalan Agarbattis||John Thakkolkaran|
|Oru Indian Pranayakatha||Uthup Vallikkadan|
|2012||Puthiya Theerangal||Father Michael|
|Husbands in Goa||Nadar (TTE)|
|Bhoopadathil Illatha Oridam||Police Officer|
|Mullassery Madhavan Kutty Nemom P. O.|
|Naughty Professor||Mulavarikkal Francis|
|Doctor Innocent aanu||Doctor Bargavan Pillai|
|Living Together||Krishnaprasad Kartha|
|Swapna Sanchari||Achuthan Nair|
|2010||Marykkundoru Kunjaadu||Ittichan Muthalali|
|Pappy Appacha||Nirappel Mathai|
|Cheriya Kallanum Valiya Policum|
|Again Kasargod Khader Bhai||Father Francis Tharakan|
|Pranchiyettan & the Saint||Vasu Menon|
|2009||Patham Nilayile Theevandi|
|Ee Pattanathil Bhootham||Krishnan|
|Duplicate (2009 film)||P Suresh|
|Veruthe Oru Bharya|
|Innathe Chintha Vishayam||Emmanuel|
|Calcutta News||Kerala samajam president|
|2007||Katha Parayumbol||Eepachan Muthalali|
|Ali Bhai||Khalid Ahemmed Sayivu|
|Mission 90 Days|
|2006||Baba Kalyani||Car Dealer|
|Thuruppu Gulan||Kochu Thoma|
|Malamaal Weekly||Joseph Anthony Fernandes|
|2004||Made in USA||Prof. Ponnachan PHD|
|Vettam||K. T. Mathew|
|Vamanapuram Bus Route||Chandran Pillai|
|Jagathi Jagathish in Town||Neelakandan|
|Narendran Makan Jayakanthan Vaka||Johnny Vellikala|
|Nakshathragal Parayathirunnathu||Govinda Kamath|
|2000||Kochu Kochu Santhoshangal||Jose|
|Life Is Beautiful||Nambiar|
|Mr. Butler||Captain K.G.Nair|
|Udayapuram Sulthan||Govindan Nair|
|1998||Ayal Kadha Ezhuthukayanu||Maamachan|
|Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala||Achuthan Nair|
|Ishtadanam||Advocate Dharmapalalan Thambi|
|1996||Hitler||Madhavan Kutty's father|
|Excuse Me Ethu Collegila|
|Mangalam Veettil Manaseswari Gupta||Narayanankutty|
|Mannar Mathai Speaking||Mannar Mathai|
|Pai Brothers||Ganapathi Pai|
|Thirumanassu||Kunjan Pillai Raman Nair|
|Puthukottyile Puthu Manavalan||Pillai|
|Pavam I.A. Ivachan|
|Chanakya Soothrangal||Kuttan Pilla|
|Injakkadan Mathai & Sons||Inchakkadan Mathai|
|Sakshal Sreeman Chathunni|
|Vietnam Colony||K. K. Joseph|
|Ennodishtam Koodamo||Family Doctor|
|My Dear Muthachan||K. P. Adiyodi|
|Kasargode Khaderbhai||Fr. Tharakandam|
|Ente Ponnu Thampuran||Varkey|
|Aakasha Kottayile Sultan||Dr. Chenthrappinni|
|Amina Tailors||Lonappan Mashu|
|Mimics Parade||Fr. Tharakkandam|
|Oru Tharam Randu Tharam Moonu Tharam||Adithya Pilla|
|Kizhakkunarum Pakshi||Girijavallabha Panikkar|
|No.20 Madras Mail||Narayanan Nadar|
|Cheriya Lokavum Valiya Manushyarum|
|Dr. Pasupathy||Dr. Pasupathi/Bhairavan|
|Kouthuka Varthakal||Suryanarayana Iyer|
|Nagarangalil Chennu Raparkam|
|Annakutty Kodambakkam Vilikkunnu||Avarachan|
|Aavanikunnile Kinnaripookkal||Keshava Pilla|
|Mazhavil Kavadi||Shankarankutty Menon|
|Pradeshika Varthakal||Kunjhambu Nair|
|Ramji Rao Speaking||Mannar Mathai|
|Moonnam Mura||Kisan Jacob|
|Mukunthetta Sumitra Vilikkunnu||Ramendra|
|Pattana Pravesham||Puthanpurackal Balan|
|Ponn Muttyidunna Tharavu||P.V. Panikkar|
|Simon Peter Ninakku Vendi||Vaniyambadi Chandran|
|Oru Muthassi Katha||Thampuran|
|Sreedharante Onnam Thirumurivu||Sadasivan|
|Oru Minnaminunginte Nurungu Vettam|
|Ivide Ellavarkkum Sukham||Cheriyachen|
|Unnikale Oru Kadha Parayam|
|Swathi Thirunal||Krishna Ravu|
|Ayalvasi Oru Daridravasi||Kuttan Pillai|
|Dheem Tharikida Thom|
|Ente Entethu Mathram|
|Atham Chithira Chothi||Mathan|
|Nilakurinhi Poothappol||Kuttan Nair|
|Revathikkoru Pavakkutty||Bhasi Pillai|
|Ice Cream||Police Inspector|
|Sanmanassullavarkku Samadhanam||Kunji Kannan Nair|
|Sunil Vayassu 20||Anthony|
|Pappan Priyappetta Pappan|
|Oru Kadha Oru Nunakkadha|
|Ithile Iniyum Varu||Dasappan|
|Naale Njangalude Vivaaham|
|Doore Doore Oru Koodu Koottam|
|Oru Yugasandhya||Sreedharan Nair|
|Gandhinagar 2nd Street||Policeman|
|Ee Lokam Ivide Kure Manushyar||Ouseppu|
|Oru Nokku Kanan||Innochen|
|Akkare Ninnoru Maran||Shankaran|
|Puli Varunne Puli||Saami|
|Scene No. 7|
|Prem Nazirine Kanmanilla||Film Producer|
|Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback|
|1981||Vida Parayum Munbe|
|1980||Kochu Kochu Thettukal|
- Other language films
|1998||Doli Saja Ke Rakhna||Colonel Vincent||Hindi|
|2004||Nothing But Life||Prof. Ponnachan PhD||English|
|2019||Naan Avalai Sandhitha Pothu||Tamil|
- Pavam IA Ivachan (1994)
- Keerthanam (1995)
- Vida Parayum Munpe (1981)
- Ilakkangal (1982)
- Ormakkayi (1982)
- Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback (1983)
- Aanachandam – Gajakesariyogam (1990)
- Kandallo – Sandram (1990)
- Kunukupenmaniye – Mr Butler (2000)
- Onnam Malakeri – Kalyanaraman (2002)
- Sundarakeralam – Doctor Innocentanu (2012)
|2020-Present||Comedy Masters||Judge||Amrita TV|
|2019–2021||Comedy star season 2||Judge||Asianet|
|2019||Utsavam Super Star||Mentor||Flowers TV|
|2018||Top Singer||Guest||Flowers TV|
|2018||Nakshatra thilakkam||Guest||Mazhavil Manorama|
|2018||Chaya Koppa yile kodum kattu||himself||Mazhavil Manorama|
|2017||Comedy super night 2||guest||Flowers TV|
|2017||Star Chat||Guest||WE TV|
|2016||J B junction||Guest||Kairali TV|
|2016||Comedy Carnival||himself||Mazhavil Manorama|
|2013||Point blank||Guest||Asianet News|
- "Members : Lok Sabha (Innocent)". loksabha.nic.in. Lok Sabha. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
- "In Kerala, Left backs Independent Innocent". The Indian Express. 7 March 2014. Archived from the original on 29 August 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
- "ചിരിച്ചും ചിന്തിച്ചും ചിരിപ്പിച്ചും ഇന്നസന്റ്". mangalam.com. Archived from the original on 13 March 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "Kerala Actor-MP Innocent says 'bad' actresses may share 'the bed' at will". The New Indian Express.
- "Casting Ouch: Kerala MP Innocent says actresses who are bad may share the bed at will". India Today. 5 July 2017.
- "Innocent apologises for actors' action". 5 July 2017 – via www.thehindu.com.
- "Innocent". india.gov.in. Government of India. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
- "CINIDIARY - A Complete Online Malayalam Cinema News Portal". cinidiary.com. Archived from the original on 7 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
- "Movies, Interviews". Manorama Online. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- Innocent (12 December 2013). Cancer Wardile Chiri. Mathrubhui Books. p. 127. ISBN 9788182661110. ASIN 8182659108.
- "Innocent". Archived from the original on 23 March 2008.
- "Mangalam Varika 15 Oct 2012". mangalamvarika.com. Archived from the original on 29 March 2014. Retrieved 30 October 2013.
- "16th Ujala Asianet Film Awards 2014 – Winners List". Metromatinee.com. 11 January 2014. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
- "TTK Prestige-Vanitha Film Awards: Shobhana, Prithviraj win best actor, actress awards". Kerala9.com. 20 January 2014. Archived from the original on 7 March 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
-  Archived 9 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 2015-04-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)