Mammootty was born as Muhammad Kutty Ismail Paniparambil in Chandiroor in the Alappuzha district and raised in the village of Chempu near Vaikom in the Kottayam district of the state of Kerala, India in a middle-class, Muslim family. He was the eldest son. He has two younger brothers, Ibrahim and Zakariah and three younger sisters, Ameena, Sauda and Shafina. He had his primary education from Govt. High School, Kulasekharamangalam, and Kottayam. Later Mammootty's father shifted his family to Ernakulam in the 1960s. His school life was at St. Albert's School and Government School Ernakulam. He did his pre-university course (pre-degree) at Sacred Heart College, Thevara. He married Sulfath in 1979 and has a daughter, Surumi (born 1982), and a son, Dulquer Salmaan (born 1986). Mammootty's younger brother Ebrahimkutty is an actor in Malayalam. Ebrahimkutty's son Maqbool Salmaan is also a film actor.
In a career spanning over three decades, he has acted in over 350 films. He has won 3 National Film Awards for Best Actor, 5 Kerala State Film Awards and 11 Filmfare Awards South for Best Actor. In 1998, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for his contributions towards the arts. He is the chairman of Malayalam Communications, which runs the Malayalam television channels Kairali TV, People TV and WE TV. He is also the goodwill ambassador of the Akshaya project. His first super hit film as a hero was Thrishna, released in 1981. After the success of Thrishna, Mammootty and I.V. Sasi together created many hits such as Aavanazhi and Inspector Balram.
In 1981, he got his first award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Ahimsa. The period 1982-1984 saw Mammootty evolve into a commercially viable hero in mainstream Malayalam cinema, Padmarajan’s Koodevide and Joshy’s AA Raathri were highly successful in the box office. His performances in films like Aalkootathil Thaniye and Adiyozhukkukal, scripted by M.T.Vasudevan Nair established him as an actor of substance. In 1997, he won the Filmfare Award for Best Actor for the movie Bhoothakannadi directed by Lohithadas. In 1999, Mammootty won his third national award for Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar, an English language movie about the life of B. R. Ambedkar, directed by Jabbar Patel. The film was sponsored by the National Film Development Corporation of India and the Ministry of Social Justice.
He co-owned a production company during the 1980s, Casino, along with Mohanlal, I.V. Sasi, Seema and Century Kochumon. The production house produced commercially successful films such as Nadodikkattu, Gandhi Nagar 2nd Street, Adiyozhukkukal and Karimpin Poovinakkare.
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