(Popular Tamil film actor M. N. Nambiar who excelled in playing “villain”roles on screen was born on March 7th 1919. This article appearing in the “Spotlight” cinema Column of the “Daily FT” on November 28th 2015 is being re-posted here with minor changes in the first paragraph to denote the 102nd birth anniversary of the versatile MN Nambiar)
The 102nd birth anniversary of the man named Manjeri Narayanan Nambiar or M.N. Nambiar falls on 07 March 2021. The popular Tamil film actor excelled in playing the villain on screen. Nambiar was a terrible villain who could terrify people by merely grimacing and scowling. M.N. Nambiar was arguably the greatest screen villain of Tamil cinema.
Nambiar was a rare individual who played villainous roles on screen while remaining a virtuous person with saintly qualities off-screen. Contrary to his villainous screen persona, Nambiar was in real life a teetotaller and vegetarian and, above all, a man who upheld ethical values without any scandal or gossip ever being attributed to him.
He was also a great devotee of Sabarimalai Shree Aiyappan and undertook annual pilgrimages to the shrine for over 65 years. He was one of those instrumental in popularising the comparatively unknown deity over the years. He initiated mountain-trekking pilgrimages at a time when it was not ‘fashionable’ to worship Shree Aiyappan on the scale it is being done today. As a result, he was hailed not merely as a ‘Guruswamy’ but a ‘Mahaguruswamy’ by Aiyappan devotees.
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