Venu was a renowned actor in the South Indian film industry, particularly in Malayalam cinema
. He was a three-time National Award winner, and was known for his roles in “His Highness Abdullah” and “Margam,” among others.
After initially being admitted to the hospital on October 5 with tiredness and weakness, he was transferred to intensive care on Saturday, a spokesman for the private facility where he was treated told CNN.
Liaison officer Praveen Jojo of KIMSHealth in Thiruvananthapuram, in the southern state of Kerala, said Venu had died in the early afternoon.
The doctor treating Venu told CNN he died of kidney-related issues and sepsis.
Local media reported Venu had recovered from Covid-19 earlier this year.
Venu made his debut in the 1978 Malayalam film “Thampu” (“The Circus Tent”) and won his first Filmfare Award for Best Malayalam Actor for his role in the 1981 film “Vida Parayum Munpe.”
Leading figures from the South Indian film industry paid tribute on social media, with actor Prithviraj Sukumaran writing on Twitter
that Venu’s “body of work and your expertise over the craft will forever be research material for generations to come.”
Malayali actress Manju Warrier wrote an emotional tribute on Instagram
, saying Venu had comforted her after her own father died. The two shared screen space in a number of films, including the 1998 “Daya” and the 2017 “Udaharanam Sujatha.”
Meanwhile, Shashi Tharoor, writer and Member of Parliament for Thiruvananthapuram, said on Twitter
he was “deeply saddened” by Venu’s passing and that Venu “was regarded as one of the finest thespians in Malayalam cinema.”
Venu continued to act until shortly before his death, and was seen in the films “Yuvam” and “Aanum Pennum” earlier this year.
He also had a number of upcoming releases, including “Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea” and “Aarattu.”