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Original NameManuel Sathyaneshan Nadar
Born9th November, 1912
Died15th June, 1971
Native PlaceThirumala, Thiruvananthapuram
CareerCast (147)
First MovieThyaagaseema (1951)
Last MovieCheck Post (1974)
ChildrenSatheesh Sathyan

Sathyanesan Nadar, popularly known as Sathyan ,the heart-throb of Malayalees, was born in Trikkannapuram in Thiruvananthapuram district on Nov.9th 1921.His father, Cheruvilakathu Veettil Manuel was a primary school teacher and his mother was Lilly. Sathyan was a super star in 1950-70.

After passing out of high school in Malayalam and E.S.L.C, he did a variety of jobs before joining films. After passing the vidwan exam he worked as a teacher in 3 schools including St.Joseph’s. Afterwards he was appointed in the Thiruvananthapuam Secretariat archives. In 1941, Sathyan joined the Indian Army. From a Subedar he rose to the level of Officer Commanding within 5 years. After serving in Manipur, Burma and Malaysia , he was appointed as Inspector in police in the then Travancore State . Later he served as Sub-Inspector in Alapuzha for 5 years and afterwards in the armed reserve police as S.I. in Thiruvananthapurum.

During this period Sathyan used to give tuitions and also gravitated towards acting in amateur plays, which was a golden opportunity for the actor in him. Sathyan met Sebastian Kunju Kunju Bhagavathar at this time when he started thinking seriously about acting in films. He made his debut in “Tyagaseema”, produced in 1951 by Kaumudi Chief Editor Shri Balakrishnan. But the film was never released. This happened to be the first film of Malayalam film’s ever- green hero, Prem Nazeer also.”Atmasakhi”( 1952) was Sathyan’s first released film .But the film which won him accolades was “Neelakuyil” (1954). In the film Bhagyajaathakam (1962) Sathyan acted in a double role. His portrayal in a double role as father and son in Kadalppaalam won him the Kerala State Award for the best actor.

Sathyan was an actor par excellence who established a phenomenal reputation by playing an amazing gamut of roles in about 150 films giving unforgettable performances .He was ready to take diversified characters that challenged him as an actor. His admirable versatility can be seen in films like Odayil Ninnu (1965), Chemmeen (1965) Ashwamedham (1967) , Anubhavangal Paalichchakal, Vaazhve Maayam, Oru Penninte Katha .He thrived in the Malayalam film industry despite his unconventional looks.

Sathyan passed away on June 15th 1971 after a prolonged illness. When his body was brought to Trivandrum people thronged on both sides of the road to pay last tributes to their beloved actor. He was buried at L.M.S. Compound in Trivandrum. He is survived by his wife Jessy and sons Prakash,Satheesh and Jeevan

Milestones :
1. First best actor award : Avarunarunnu (1955) instituted by Madras Film Fans’ Association
2. First national recognition : Neelakuyil which won the Silver Medal.
3. First colour film : Chemmeen which won the President’s Gold Medal for the first time for a Malayalam film.
4. First State Award for best actor: Kadalpaalam (1969)
5. First Tamil film : Subhash Movies’ Aalukkuru veedu (1960)
6. 100th film : Adimakal ( 1969)
7. The last film released : Checkpost (1974)

Sathyan teamed mostly with Sarada ( 24 films ) Other leading ladies who shared the screen with him were Ambika and Sheela ( 21)
Sathyan did 26 films with Sethumadhavan,17 with Kunchako and 16 with P.Bhaskaran.

Written by Jyothi Unniraman

Prepared by: Jayasree Thottekkat