Well-known and famous Tamil comedian, actor, producer, director, and youtuber Manobala passed away at age 69 today at his residence in Chennai. He underwent an angio-treatment in the early January this year. It is said that he was already suffering from liver issues and was getting treatment from a private hospital; only recently he was been discharged and was continuing his medical treatment at home. it is also known that he was a very heavy smoker of cigarettes and that might be that cause for his liver problems.
Manobala’s good name was Balachander. Manobala started his career in the Tamil film industry as an assistant director in in 1979 with the film Puthiya Vaarpugal by Bharathiraja. He debuted as an actor in the same film as well. Following this path, he soon debuted as a director in 1982 with the film Agaya Gangai starring Karthik Muthuraman and Suhasini Maniratnam.
He directed over 24 films and became a renowed director in 1990. A few of his popular films are Pillai Nila starring Mohan, Rajinikanth’s Oorkavalan, Malluvetti Minor starring Sathyaraj, Sivaji Ganesan-starrer Parambariyam, and many others. He worked for over 40 years in the film industry.
Over five decades, he had acted in more than 700 films, as an actor, a supporting actor, and a comedian. He was known for his unique body language, intonation and dialogue delivery. His renowned films as a comedian actor were Kalakalappu (2012), Kalakalappu 2 (2018), Tamizh Padam (2010), Tamizh Padam (2018), Aranmanai (2014), Aranmanai (2016), and Aranmanai (2021). He also appeared in films like Chandramukhi, Yaaradi Nee Mohini, Pithamagan, Aambala, and Ice. Manobala worked with many popular actors like Rajinikanth, Vivekh, Radhika, Suhasini, Vadivelu, Sathyaraj, Santhanam, and many more.
When it came to producing, he produced Sathuranga Vettai, H. Vinoth, and Pambu Sattai, who debuted in this film. It was said that part of this film was to be released, but now it might be on hold. He also dubbed for The Lion King (2019) as Zazu in Tamil.
He was also a Youtuber. Around 2021-2022, he launched his channel which was name as ‘Waste Paper’. On this channel he interviewed other directors and actors about films and their current works.
He won the Best Debut Film Producer Award at the South Indian International Movie Awards for Sathuranga Vettai which he ventured out with H. Vinoth. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Global Achievers Movie Awards. Recently in 2022, he achieved a doctoral degree from the South Western American University in recognition to his notable contributions to the film industry.
The very last films he did were Ghosty (2023), starring Kajal Aggarwal, Kondraal Paavam (2023), starring Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, and Waltair Veerayya (2023), starring Chiranjeevi and Ravi Teja. All three films were released this year, i.e., 2023.
Many celebrities and friends of Manobala offered their condolences and expressed their sorrow and grief through Twitter and social media.
One of them is Rajinikanth, who posted in Tamil, saying, “I am deeply saddened by the passing away of my dear friend Manobala, a famous director and actor. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace.”
Director Bharathiraja tweets, “The desmise of my student Manobala is an irreplaceable disaster for me and our Tamil industry.”
Oscar-winning Nattu Nattu actor Sai Dharam Tej tweets, “The passing on of #Manobala sir is a shocker for the Tamil film industry…may his soul rest in peace, and may his family garner strength and peace.”
It is reported that Manobala’s remains and memorial have been kept in his house for his friends, family, and fans to pay their last respects to him at Valasarawakkam, Chennai. The last rites will be conducted early tomorrow, and the cremation will take place at 10 a.m. in the morning tomorrow at Valasarawakkam Electric Crematorium, as said by TOI.