Kochi: Veteran film actor and theatre artist Antony Kochi (K L Antony) passed away here on Friday following a cardiac arrest.
Antony, known for his roles in the movies 'Maheshinte Prathikaaram' and 'Guppy', breathed his last at the Lakeshore Hospital.
The 77-year-old also acted in the films 'Aakasha Mittayee', 'Njandukalude Naattil Oridavela', 'Georgettan's Pooram' and 'Munthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol'.
He rose to fame playing the role of Vincent Bhavana, the father of Mahesh (Fahadh Faasil), in the 2016 movie 'Maheshinte Prathikaaram' which marked the directorial debut of Dileesh Pothan.
He is survived by wife Leena, son Lasar Shine and daughters Ambili and Nancy.
Leena, a theatre artist, also acted in Maheshinte Prathikaaram.
Antony started his tryst with amateur theatre along with stalwarts such as P J Antony who used the medium to propagate socialist ideas. He assembled a troupe in Kochi and named it Cochin Kala Kendram. One of his plays, ‘Iruttara’, raised hackles for its portrayal of the disappearance of Rajan, an engineering student, during the Emergency.
Antony turned into a publisher after he failed to convince major publishers to release his books. He was not one to compromise his ideals for the market. He went from door to door to sell those books. Proceeds from the sale of books went to fund the activities of the theatre group.
Many of Antony’s books have sold more than 50,000 copies, at a time when even established writers expected to sell about 10,000 copies.
Antony became a travelling salesman to promote the books of newcomers, including his son Lasar Shine. Two books containing the stories and poems of Shine have gone into 10th edition.
Antony married Leena when she joined his troupe in 1979. The couple settled at Poochakkal, Leena’s native place. Leena has acted in several of Antony’s plays, including ‘Kalapam’, ‘Kuruthi’, ‘Iruttara’, ‘Manushyaputhran’ and ‘Theruvugeetham’.
Leena was 60 years when she played Antony’s mother for their comeback vehicle in 2013, ‘Ammayum Thommanum’. Antony was then 73. The play had only two characters.