N. N. Pillai

Narayana Pillai Narayana Pillai alias N. N. Pillai (1918–1995) was an Indian playwright, actor, theatre director, and orator. Dedicated to the cause of drama, Pillai has written over 30 Malayalam plays, 40 one-act plays, two theoretical studies on theater and an autobiography.[1]

N. N. Pillai
N. N. Pillai.jpg
N. Narayana Pillai

(1918-12-23)23 December 1918
Died14 November 1995(1995-11-14) (aged 76)
OccupationActor, playwright, theatre director
ChildrenVijayaraghavan, Sulochana, Renuka
Parent(s)Ullilakkiru Parambil Narayana Pillai
Vaikom Thekkathil Parukkutty Amma

Personal lifeEdit

N. N. Pillai was born on 23rd of December 1918 at Vaikom, Kottayam district to Ullilakkiru Parambil Narayana Pillai and Vaikom Thekkathil Parukkutty Amma.[2][3] He did his studies from CMS College Kottayam but failed in Intermediate exams. He went to Malaya in search of a job. During Second World War, he took part in the campaigning for INA. He returned to Kerala in 1945 only to return to Malaya with his family within a year. He stayed in Malaysia for three and a half years and came back and settled at Olassa in Kottayam district.

His family includes his wife Chinnamma, sister Omana, two daughters Sulochana and Renuka and son Vijayaraghavan who is a popular Malayalam film actor. He was a strong atheist throughout his life, and he promoted his ideas through his dramas. His son said in an interview that even when he was in hospital, he felt uneasy by hearing prayer.


N. N. Pillai started a drama troupe called Viswa Kerala Kala Samithi in 1952 and staged his own plays. Pillai acted in all his plays. The plays were staged throughout Kerala, all over India and even abroad. Viswa Kerala Kala Samithi staged his plays till 2005 even after his death in 1995 by his son Vijayaraghavan and son-in-law Rajendra Babu.

Some of his popular plays are Easwaran Arrestil, Kapalika, Prethalokam, Gorilla, Folydol, Kanakku Chembakaraman and Cross Belt. Pillai also acted in two movies in Malayalam, Godfather and Naadody of which Godfather was a blockbuster success. Godfather made such an impact in the minds of Malayalis that people still recognize N.N. Pillai through this movie & till date mimicry artists mimic his voice on stage with reference to Godfather. Godfather was also remade into Telugu and Tamil language and he acted in the lead role in all these languages.

Pillai also wrote two studies on state plays, Nadaka Darppanam and Curtain. His autobiography is called Njaan.


N. N. Pillai has received awards from Indian Government, Kerala State Government, Kerala Sahithya Academy, Sangeet Natak Akademi and Sahithya Pravathaka Samgham.

His autobiography Njaan received an award from Abu Dhabi Malayala Samajam.



  1. ^ "N N Pillai's Plays Published". oneindia.com. Retrieved 9 February 2009.
  2. ^ "Biography on Kerala Sahitya Akademi portal". Kerala Sahitya Akademi portal. 24 April 2019. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  3. ^ "CiniDiary". cinidiary.com.

External linksEdit