|Navodaya Appachan, known as the biggest showman of the Malayalam film industry, died at a private hospital yesterday (23 April 2012 ) after battling cancer for a long time. He was 81.
Officially known as M.C. Punnoose, he was often referred to as Navodaya Appachan.
He was battling prostate cancer for a few years. He is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.
Family sources said the body would be taken to his own studio, Navodaya, and from there it would be taken to Chennai Tuesday for the last rites to be performed.
A director, producer and a film enterpruner, Appachan changed the face of the Malayalam film industry by producing the first 3D film in the country "My dear Kuttichathan" and also the first 70mm film "Padayottam".
He is also credited for directing the first cinemascope film in Malayalam. Incidentally he produced the first film of Mohanlal that was released, "Manjil Virinja Pookal" in which he introduced Poornima Jayaram, now wife of Tamil film personality Bhagyaraj.
Very active till recently, Appachan was often seen in the state secretariat paying courtesy calls to top leaders irrespective of which party ruled the state.