Mohanlal is an Indian actor, producer, playback singer, blogger, column writer, and director with significant works in the Malayalam film industry (Mollywood). His effortless acting has amazed the Indian audience for more than 40 years. The count of his films, including the various languages, is over 350. His films in the 100-crore club are Pulimurugan (2016), Kayamkulam Kochunni (2018), and Lucifer (2019). Mohanlal is also known for hosting the television reality show Bigg Boss Malayalam.
- 1 Wiki/Biography
- 2 Physical Appearance
- 3 Family
- 4 Religion/Religious Views
- 5 Caste
- 6 Signature/Autograph
- 7 Career
- 8 Awards, Honours, Achievements
- 9 Controversies
- 10 Car Collection
- 11 Tattoo
- 12 Salary/ Income
- 13 Net Worth
- 14 Favourites
- 15 Facts/Trivia
Mohanlal Vishwananthan was born on Saturday, 21 May 1960 (age 63 years; as of 2023) in Elanthoor, a small village in Pathanamthitta, Kerala, India. His zodiac sign is Taurus.
Since his father was a bureaucrat, they later shifted to Mudavanmukal, Thiruvananthapuram. Mohanlal did his school education at Mudavanmukal LP School and Government Boys Model Higher Secondary School. He participated in and won the best actor award of his school in the year 1972 while studying in the sixth grade. He graduated in commerce from Mahatma Gandhi College, Thiruvananthapuram. During his student days, he met a group of like-minded friends, including director Priyadarshan, actor ManiyanPillai Raju, and producer Suresh Kumar, with whom his acting career started.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Weight (approx.): 85 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Mohanlal belongs to a Keralite Hindu family of the Nair caste.
Parents & Siblings
Mohanlal’s father, Viswanathan Nair, was a lawyer and former bureaucrat. He retired as a Law Secretary with the Kerala State Government. His father passed away in the year 2007 at the age of 80 due to age-related diseases. His mother Santha Kumari is a homemaker.
Mohanlal’s elder brother, Pyarelal, died in 2000 amidst a military exercise. He had also acted in a film named ‘Kilikonjal’ with Mohanlal in 1984.
Wife & Children
His wife, Suchitra Mohanlal is a film producer and businesswoman. She is the daughter of famous actor and producer K Balaji and the sister of film producer Suresh Balaje.
Mohanlal married Suchitra on 28 April 1988. They have 2 children- Pranav Mohanlal and Vismaya Mohanlal. Pranav Mohanlal is an actor and traveller. He started working as a child actor, and his film, Hridayam, released in 2022 was a blockbuster. Vismaya is a published author and martial arts enthusiast. She is the author of the book Grains of Stardust (2021).
Mohanlal follows Hinduism.
Mohanlal has always openly talked about his spiritual inclination and introduced the term ‘detached attachment’ to explain his thinking. When asked about his spirituality in one of his interviews, he said,
I was brought up in a family where the women went to the temple in the morning. Consequently, I too wish to do the same but if I am not able to, I am fine with that too. I have always been a spiritual person.”
Mohanlal often pens down his spiritual thoughts on his blog. In one such interesting blog, he writes that he received a letter from God, as a reply to some of his rantings on life and death.
Mohanlal belongs to the Nair caste but is not known to use his caste name. He revealed the story behind his name in his autobiographical memoir ‘ Mohanlal Kayarivanna Padavukal’ published by Mathrubhumi. He writes that his father was adamant about not adding ‘Nair’ to his children’s names. Taking this into consideration, it was his maternal uncle, Gopinathan Nair, who named the brothers. The elder brother was given the name Pyarelal, and he was initially named Roshanlal, which was later changed to Mohanlal.
Mohanlal’s acting debut started with the film ‘Thiranottam’ (1978). His friends formed a company called ‘Bharath Cine Group’ and produced this film. It had a miserable fate and was re-released 25 years later. The same group of friends sent him to his next audition. He was selected and played a negative character in ‘Manjil Virinja Pookkal’ (1980). His portrayal of a sadistic young man, Narendran, received a lot of critical acclaims.
He played many antagonist roles until Sasikumar’s ‘Ividey Thudangunnu‘ (1984), in which he played a good-hearted hero. The literal translation of the film’s title- it starts from here- seemed to work for him. He played many positive roles from then on, notably Kaliyil Alpam Karyam (1984), Nokketha Dhoorathu Kannum Nattu (1984), and Boeing Boeing (1985), among others.
Mohanlal played a humorous role in ‘Poochakkoru Mookkuthi’ (1984) in the directorial debut of Priyadarshan. Their association has given more than 44 films as of 2023. Some of the super-hit films of this duo are Mazha Peyyunnu Maddalam Kottunnu (1986), Mukundetta Sumitra Vilikkunnu (1988), Chithram (1988), Vandanam (1989), Kilukkam (1991), Thenmanvin Kombath (1994) and Kala Pani (1996).
From the mid-80s to 2000, Mohanlal’s career graph steadily rose, with many popular films under major directorial and production houses. Many of these films won him many state and national awards. Mohanlal won the Kerala State Best Actor Award for the film T.P. Balagopalan M.A. (1986). The role of Gopala Panikker in Sanmansullavarkku Samadhanam (1986) fetched him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor (Malayalam). The portrayal of a musician in Bharatham (1991) won him a National Film Award in the Best Actor category.
Some of his noteworthy films during this time include Rajavinte Makan (1986), Namukku Parkkan Munthirithoppukal (1986), Nadodikkattu (1987), Pattanapravehsam (1988), Kamaladalam (1992), Midhunam (1993), Devaasuram (1993), Manichithrathazhu (1993), Aaram Thampuran(1997), and the list goes on.
Mohanlal’s first Bollywood film Company(2002) directed by Ram Gopal Varma, fetched him the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards and Star Screen Awards for Best Supporting Actor. His portrayal of an IPS officer pursuing two underworld dons was critically acclaimed as well.
Some of the roles he played in the Malayalam cinema were widely criticized as a repetition of his earlier popular characters. He acknowledges the criticism by answering that it is tough to avoid repetition as the same man is portraying the roles, but his belief in his audience strengthens him. Mohanlal’s acclaimed films since the year 2016 include the Telugu film Janatha Garage (2016), Pulimurugan(2016), Lucifer (2019), Drishyam 2 (2021), which was a sequel to the blockbuster Drishyam (2013).
Mohanlal has hosted the TV reality show Bigg Boss (Malayalam) since its first season. There is no mention of a change in the presenter as of 2023. He has hosted a talk show, Lal Salam (2017-18), with actor Meera Nandan.
Mohanlal’s first stage appearance was in the Sanskrit play, Karnabharam (2001). After this, he did a Malayalam play Kadhayattam (2008) in which he played multiple roles. His other plays are Chayamukhi (2008) with actor Mukesh, Maya Ravan (English; 2008) composed by actor Shobhana, The Tempest (2009), and Vikramorvasiyam (Sanskrit; 2010). Mohanlal joined hands with musician Ratheesh Vegha in 2014 to form a band called Lalisom- The Lal Effect. The band has performed stage shows for events.
Mohanlal has invested in businesses from early on in his career. Mohanlal and Mammootty co-owned a production house called Casino in the 1980s, along with director I.V. Sasi, actor Seema, and Century Kochumon. The notable films that came out of this production house are Adiyozhukkukal (1984), Karimpinpoovinakkare (1985), and Gandhi Nagar 2nd Street (1986). He founded his film production and distribution company, Pranavam Arts International (1990-2010). Some of its noteworthy productions include His Highness Abdullah (1990), Kanmadham (1998), and Kandahar (2010).
Mohanlal established a film distribution and production company, MaxLab Cinemas and Entertainment (2008). He started a restaurant in Dubai and a spice brand called ‘Mohanlal’s Taste Buds’ which was later sold to the Eastern Group. Mohanlal co-owns the Kerala franchise of Celebrity Cricket League- Kerala Strikers.
Mohanlal is a partner in Ashirwad Multiplexes. He owns a seafood restaurant, The Harbour Market, in Bangalore, and the Travancore Court in Kochi. His other business ventures include a seafood exporting company called Uniroyal Marine Exports, and an arts centre, Jose Thomas Performing Arts Centre (JTPac). Also, his film pre- and post-production studio and a college for dubbing artists, Vismayas Max, at KINFRA Park is taken up by the Aries Group. It is now renamed, Aries Vismaya Max.
Brand/ Goodwill Ambassador
Mohanlal has appeared in various commercials for major brands like Malabar Gold. He is the brand ambassador for MCR Dhotis, Oceanus, Kannan Devan Tea, and Goldmedal Electricals, among others. He is also the Goodwill Ambassador for the AIDS Awareness Campaign (2007), Kerala Athletics (2009), Kerala Handloom Industry(2010), Kerala State Road Safety Program- Subhayatra (2015), and Deceased Organ Transplantation Program- Mrithasanjeevani (2016).
Mohanlal learned to perform escape art called ‘Burning Illusion’ under the famous magician Gopinath Muthukad in 2012. The act required him to go inside a fire with his hands tied and escape from it. There was a fifty percent risk involved in this act which led to a wide request from fans and friends to withdraw. He conceded to their wish. In 2014, he performed a risk-free magic show, which included levitating a young girl.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- Mohanlal received Padma Bhushan in 2019 and Padma Shri in 2001.
- He is the recipient of 5 national awards and 9 state awards.
- He has received Filmfare awards multiple times.
- Mohanlal received an honorary doctorate from the Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit (2010)
Lip-Syncing during musical performance
The music band, Lalisom- The Lal Effect, faced strong criticism after they were accused of lip-syncing during their performance at the 35th National Games opening ceremony in Thiruvananthapuram. Mohanlal reportedly returned the remuneration of Rs 1.63 Crore, even after the Government of Kerala insisted on paying them.
Possession of elephant tusks
Mohanlal was charged with the possession of elephant tusks in 2012 by the Forest Department, but later the court dismissed the case as legal documents were submitted.
- Toyota Vellfire worth 90 Lakhs
- Toyota Land Cruiser worth 1.36 Crores
- Range Rover- Autobiography
Mohanlal got a tattoo on his right upper arm.
Mohanlal charges between Rs 8-17 crores per movie.
As of 2023, Mohanlal’s net worth is estimated to be $50 million.
- Food: Chef Pillai confirms that Mohanlal’s favourite food is simple, like Nadan Thattudosa and Chutney.
- Mohanlal is fondly called ‘Lalettan’ by his fans worldwide. He is also called ‘Lal’ or ‘Lalu’ by his peers.
- He applied to join the army and was bestowed with the title of honorary Lieutenant Colonel of the Territorial Army. He is the first actor in Indian cinema to get this title.
- Mohanlal was the Kerala State wrestling champion for the year 1977-78.
- Mohanlal founded the ViswaSanthi Foundation in 2015 in honour of his parents. It is a charitable organization focusing on creating and delivering healthcare, education, and socio-economic development programs for the underprivileged.
- He has an honorary blackbelt in Taekwondo from Taekwondo Headquarters, Kukkiwon, South Korea.
- Mohanlal is a well-known foodie and especially enjoys cooking. He often posts his cooking videos on his social media handles.
- He is an animal lover who has had more than 30 pets at one point in time.
- Mohanlal received a Golden Visa from the United Arab Emirates in August 2021.
- He is known to collect antiques and calls himself a custodian of history.
- Mohanlal owns properties in Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Chennai, Burj Khalifa (Dubai), Ooty, and Mahabalipuram.
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