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TKB - The Glorious Journey in Tinsel World

Born on February 2, 1928 at Thiruvananthapuram as fifth child of Kunjampillai and Parukutty Amma,T.K.Balachandran could only get a very limited schooling. He had developed fascination towards acting at that very young age. His attempts to get his desire endorsed by his parents were successful without much of hurdles, since his father, even though not by profession, was also a stage artiste. His break through came at the age of 13, in the form “Prahaladhan” in 1941– the third talkie film in Malayalam and went on to be part of film industry for over 5 decades.

In order to pursue his career in acting he joined the Boys Drama Troupe of Shri. Nawab Rajamanickam, the doyen of social dramas in Tamilnadu.

He continued his stint with the troupe, acting in almost all the popular dramas staged by them in Kerala and Tamilnadu. The child artiste grew up to start a professional troupe later, The People’s Drama Troupe, staging number of Tamil dramas in Tamilnadu for various social causes. Various political leaders offered him their stage for his dramas, the theme of which were highlighting the plight of the working class, downtrodden and the needy.

He also pursued his interest in dance by becoming a student of the renowned dance exponent Shri.Guru Gopinath. This helped him to a very large extend to perform dance numbers with much elegance and ease in various films.

His oratory talents and leftist affinity brought him close to some of the great leftist leaders like EMS and A.K.Gopalan. Needless to mention that even though his thoughts were more of leftist ideology, his circle of friendship had no bounds.

Fondly addressed as ‘TKB’ by his friends and co-artistes, he has acted in over 400 feature films in Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada. Select few being Christmasrathri, Aniyathi, Vipllavakarikal, Agni Puthri, Anubavangal Palichaga,l Kumarasambhavam, Sree Rama Pattabhishekam, Sree Guruvayoorappan in Malayalam.

Jathakam,Paadhai Theriyuthupar, Pandithevan, Yar Manamagan, Madappura, Nadodimannam, Andhanal, Needhi, Karpooram, Kula Vilaku, in Tamil.

Shukradasa, Jathakapala in Kannada. He has the distinction of being the first artiste in Malayalam to perform a double role both as hero and villain in the film ‘Poothali’ produced by Neela Productions and Directed by Shri P.Subramaniam.

His most popular role as Narada in popular mythological films like Kumarasambhavam has been widely acclaimed as his best. Film admirers visualize the image of TKB as Narada when they hear the song “Pol Thingal Kala” rendered by Shri. K.J.Yesudas.

He has produced 18 Malayalam Films under his own banner, TEAKEBEES Movie Makers. Popular few being Poimughangal, Prasadam, Deeparadhana, Sahakaley Munnotu, Raktha Sakshi, Kaatukallan, Pralayam, T.P.Balagopalan M.A- which earned the Kerala State’s Best Actor Award to Shri. Mohanlal.

TKB has also written the Story and Screenplay for few of the movies produced by him.

TKB has translated, dubbed and penned lyrics for 17 Children’s films produced by the Children’s Film Society of India, from Hindi to Malayalam. The notable being, Deepak, Javab Aayega, Kuthe Ki Kahani, Thriyathri etc.,

In recognition of his meritorious service to the film industry he was honoured with a Gold Medal in 1980 by the then President of India Shri.Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy.This Honour was bestowed to him by The South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce.

In 1975 the Travancore Devaswam Board honoured him with a Gold Medal and “Kalarathnam” title.

In 1996, the Govt. of Kerala honourned him, in recognition of his service and contribution to the growth of Malayalam Film Industry.

In 1998 the leading Movie Production house in Tamil, AVM, honoured him for his contribution to Tamil industry. The then Hon.Chief Minister of Tamilnadu Shri.Karunanidhi presented him a shield for the same.

In 1997 he received the Vayalar Memorial Cultural Award.

In 2002, Soorya Stage and Film Society honoured TKB along with veterans of Indian Film Industry for his outstanding contribution to Indian Cinema.

In 2003, Malayalam Film Producers Association honoured him along with veterans of Malayalam Film industry.

TKB has been an office-bearer of various associations like Malayalam Film Producer’s Association and Malayala Chalachitra Parishad.

He was also executive committee member in various trade bodies like National Film Development Corporation. He was the executive committee member of the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce for over 25 years. He had the admiration and faith of film employees of other languages who looked upon him during turbulent times of the industry. He was instrumental in mediating amoung various trade unions of film industry and was appreciated for his ability to solve problems concerning issues like wages, working hours etc., amicably in his capacity as an Executive member of SIFCC.

In 1998, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada film industry members unanimously elected him as the President of South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce for the year 1998-99.

Even though he had spend the major period of his life time in Chennai, the then District of Madras, in Tamil Nadu, he has always been in forefront to take up the cause of the artistes and employees of Malayalam Film industry. TKB’s happiness had no bounds when years later

AMMA - The Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes took up the cause and has been extending monthly financial help to a wide range of Malayalam film artistes most efficiently and effectively through the scheme “Kaineetam”. Film fraternity from other parts of India has been admiring this effort and has shown keenness to emulate the scheme.

TKB was part of the World Tour delegation organized by ORWO Films to various European countries.

TKB’s glorious journey with Indian Cinema came to an end on the night of 15th December 2005. The great soul has departed, but memorable roles donned by him will never be forgotten by his colleagues of film industry, friends and film lovers. His substantial contributions would never go unnoticed.

The phrase “Efforts Never Fail” has been the most inspiring words in TKB’s life.