Innocent (actor) Wiki, Age, Death, Wife, Family, Biography & More



Innocent (1948-2023) was an Indian actor, writer, and politician. He is known for starring in comedic roles in various Malayalam films like Ramji Rao Speaking (1989), Kilukkam (1991), Godfather (1991), and Vietnam Colony (1992). He also worked in the Hindi, English, Tamil, and Kannada film industries. He served as the MP from Chalakudy from 2014 to 2019. On 26 March 2023, he died at VPS Lakeshore Hospital in Kochi due to multiple organ failure and cardiac arrest.


Innocent Vareed Thekkethala was born on Saturday, 28 February 1948 (age 75 years; as the time of death) in Irinjalakuda, Thrissur, Travancore-Cochin (now Kerala), India. His zodiac sign is Pisces. He did his primary schooling at Little Flower Convent High School, Irinjalakuda, where he took the stage for the first time when he was in Class 1. Recalling the same in an interview, he said,

I wore a small towel and there was makeup on my face…I played the drums.”

Later, he pursued his schooling at Don Bosco Higher Secondary School and Sree Sangameswara NSS School, both in Irinjalakuda. He grew up participating in several skits at school. He was a popular student in his school and would often imitate people to make his friends laugh. When he was in class 6, he joined a cultural organisation, which staged plays. The rehearsals of the cultural organisation began at 10 pm, and it was held at some distance from his house. Innocent would return home at 2 am, which his family did not approve of. What fueled his parents’ anger was that he was bad at academics. He failed in classes 6, 7, and 8. While his fellow students enrolled in colleges, he was still in school. Finally, he dropped out of school when he was in class eight. After that, he tried his hand at entrepreneurship by establishing a shop, doing leather trading, and opening a matchbox factory, but all of them failed.

Innocent in his younger days

In 1969, he moved to Chennai, seeking an opportunity to enter the entertainment industry. After making his acting debut with the 1972 Malayalam film Nrithasala, he secured roles in a few other films, but they remained paltry and he returned to Irinjalakuda in 1971. As urged by his friends, Innocent contested and won the 1979 municipal elections in Irinjalakuda as an independent candidate. However, he was passionate about acting and continued to try his luck in showbiz.

Physical Appearance

Height (approx.): 5′ 5″

Hair Colour: Black

Eye Colour: Dark Brown


He belonged to a Catholic family hailing from Irinjalakuda, Kerala.

Parents & Siblings

His father’s name is Vareed Thekkethala, and his mother’s name is Margaret. Innocent had seven siblings. He was the fifth child of his parents and had two elder brothers and sisters.

Wife & Children

In 1976, he got married to Alice. His son’s name is Sonnet Parppidam (Sonnet Innocent). His grandson is also named Innocent after him.

Innocent and Alice

Innocent with his wife, son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren


Innocent followed Christianity.




In 1972, he made his acting debut with Malayalam film Nrithasala in which he played a blink-and-miss role of a news reporter, who goes to a carnival in a village and asks questions.

Nrithasala (1972)

In 1982, he came into the limelight with the film Ilakkangal in which he played the role of Devassikutty. The film was adapted from a literary work by M Raghavan. A turning point in Innocent’s career came with the film Avidathe Pole Ivideyum (1985) in which he played an obsessed businessman who enquires a man about the death of his mother. However, when the man narrates the incident, the businessman shows a complete lack of interest. Although the film failed at the box office, many people called Innocent and appreciated his acting skills. He gained popularity for playing the comedic role of Mannar Mathai, the owner of Urvasi Theatre, in the film Ramji Rao Speaking (1989). He rose to prominence for speaking with an accent unique to the people of Thrissur and his trademark mannerisms.

Malayalam actor Innocent as Mannar Mathai in the film Ramji Rao Speaking (1989)

He played villainous roles in Mazhavilkavadi (1989), Ponmuttayidunna Tharavu (1988), and Ganamela (1991). Other notable Malayalam films under his belt include Kathodu Kathoram (1985), Nadodikattu (1987), Kilukkam (1991), Godfather (1991), Vietnam Colony (1992), and Devaasuram (1993).

Malayalam actor Innocent as Kittunni in the film Kilukkam (1991)

His last film, which was released before his death, is Kaduva (2022) in which he played the role of Fr. Vattasseri.

Kaduva (2022)

At the time of his death, his film Paachuvum Albhuthavilakkum was in post-production, and he was working on the film Philip’s.

Paachuvum Albhuthavilakkum (2023)

Other languages

He made his Bollywood debut in 1998 when he played the role of Colonel Vincent in the film Doli Saja Ke Rakhna, starring Akshaye Khanna and Jyothika in lead roles. He starred in the 2003 Tamil film Lesa Lesa. In 2004, he appeared in the bilingual English and Malayalam film Nothing but Life in which he played the role of Professor Ponnachan PhD. Another Tamil film in which he starred was Naan Avalai Sandhitha Pothu (2019). In the 2006 Hindi comedy film Malamaal Weekly, Innocent played the role of Anthony, a drunkard who dies of happiness after winning a lottery.

Innocent as Anthony in Malamaal Weekly (2006)

In 2008, he appeared in the Telugu film Swagatam in which he played the role of Labrador bhai. He appeared as Sitharam Setu in the 2012 Indian bilingual Kannada and Malayalam film Shikari.


Innocent authored five books, Njan Innocent, Cancer Wardile Chiri, Irinjalakudakku Chuttum (memoirs), Mazha Kannadi (collection of short stories), and Chirrikku Pinnil (autobiography). Cancer Wardile Chiri (Laughter in the Cancer Ward) narrates his experience as a cancer patient. In 2020, Irinjalakudakku Chuttum won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Humour.

Cover page of Innocent’s book Cancer Wardile Chiri (Laughter in the Cancer Ward)

He is the story writer of the Malayalam films Pavam I.A. Ivachan (1994) and Keerthanam (1995).


Following the footsteps of his father, Innocent wanted to join the Communist Party of India (Marxist), but instead, he joined Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), which appointed him the Thrissur District Secretary in the 1970s. In 1979, he was elected as the Municipal Councillor of Irinjalakuda; he served in that capacity till 1982. He contested the municipal council elections as a CPM-backed candidate. Innocent contested and won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Chalakudy Lok Sabha constituency as an LDF-backed independent candidate. The alliance LDF consisted of CPI(M), CPI, KC(M), NCP, JD(S) and various smaller parties. In 2019, he contested the Chalakudy Lok Sabha seat on CPM’s ticket, but he lost the elections to INC candidate Benny Behanan.

Innocent during a political rally before the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections


From 2003 to 2018, Innocent served as the president of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), a guild of Malayalam artists. He held the post for the last four consecutive terms. In 2018, he stepped down from the post citing his busy schedule and his deteriorating health. Besides acting, Innocent co-produced various Malayalam films like Ormakkai (1982) and Lekhayude Maranam Oru Flashback (1983). As a playback singer, Innocent lent his voice to various Malayalam songs like Aanachandam from Gajakesariyogam (1990), Kandallo from Sandram (1990), Kunukupenmaniye from Mr Butler (2000), Onnam Malakeri from Kalyanaraman (2002), and Sundarakeralam from Doctor Innocentanu (2012).


Unwarranted Remarks on Casting Couch

In 2017, he stirred controversy by commenting about the casting couch in the Malayalam film industry, saying that ‘bad’ actresses might share ‘the bed’ at will. In an interaction with the media, he denied the existence of casting couch in the Malayalam cinema, saying,

Those days are long gone. The moment you make an imprudent request to a woman in this day and age, it will be shared with people like you. They will speak about it openly…But if the women are bad, they may share the bed.”

Innocent received immense criticism for his remarks. The Women In Cinema Collective (WCC), a women-oriented organisation in the Malayalam film industry, criticised the MP in a Facebook post, saying,

New artistes face several forms of sexual abuse while entering the film industry. Even our colleagues, like Parvathy and Lakshmi Rai, have spoken about casting couch openly… We cannot accept the statement that the film industry is free from all kinds of sexual exploitation and there should be cautiousness in making statements in public.”

Later, Innocent took to Facebook to defend himself and said that his comments were “reported out of context” by the media. A loose translation of his post in Malayalam reads,

I meant to say that compared to earlier years, there has been a healthy and women-friendly change in the environment in the film industry. I never said that there is no anti-woman factor in the film industry. It is a reality that certain social evils are present in the film industry like our society. AMMA will continue to work towards eliminating any kind of anti-woman practice in the industry. Media should refrain from focusing on words that are separated out of context.”


Kerala State Film Awards

  • 1989 – Second Best Actor – Mazhavil Kavadi
  • 1981 – Second Best Film (Producer) – Vida Parayum Munpe
  • 1982 – Second Best Film (Producer) – Ormakkayi

Kerala State Film Critics Award

  • 2009 – Best Actor – Patham Nilayile Theevandi

Asianet Film Award

  • 2001 – Supporting Actor Award – Ravanaprabhu
  • 2004 – Supporting Actor Award – Vesham
  • 2006 – Best Actor in a Comic Role – Rasathanthram, Yes Your Honour
  • 2008 – Supporting Actor Award – Innathe Chintha Vishayam
  • 2010 – Character Actor Award -Kadha Thudarunnu
  • 2011 – Character Actor Award -Snehaveedu, Swapna Sanchari
  • 2013 – Lifetime Achievement Award

Other Awards

  • 2004 – Filmfare Award South for Best Supporting Actor – Malayalam for Manassinakkare
  • 2008 – Annual Malayalam Movie Award (Dubai) for Outstanding Performance
  • 2013 – TTK Prestige-Vanitha Film Awards – Lifetime Achievement Award

Assets & Properties

Movable Assets

  • Deposits in Banks: Rs 2,31,02,896
  • Motor Vehicles: Rs 57,50,000
  • Other assets: Rs 2,89,167

Immovable Assets

  • Non-Agricultural Land: Rs 1,72,00,000
  • Residential Buildings: Rs 60,00,000

Note: The given estimates of moveable and immovable assets are as per the financial year 2018-2019. It does not include the assets owned by his wife and dependents.

Net Worth

His net worth in 2019 was Rs 5,19,06,263. It does not include the net worth of his wife and dependents.


He died at VPS Lakeshore Hospital in Kochi, Kerala due to multiple organ failure and cardiac arrest on 26 March 2023. He was hospitalised on 3 March 2023 following a cancer relapse. The actor complained of an acute throat infection. He also suffered from covid-related respiratory issues and was placed under extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support as his health deteriorated. His remains were kept at the Rajeev Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Kadavanthara and at the Irinjalakkuda Municipal Town hall for the public to pay their last respects. Later, a funeral service was conducted at the St Thomas Cathedral Church in Irinjalakuda.


  • Former ISRO chief K Radhakrishnan was Innocent’s classmate at a Thrissur school.
  • During his struggling days, he would sleep on a mat with many others on the floor of Uma Lodge, Kodambakkam. Sometimes, he even took his wife, Alice, and son there so that he could spend some time with them. Initially, as he struggled to make the ends meet, his family lived in a quaint one-room house.
  • Innocent had to pledge his wife’s gold ornaments in order to finance the film Vida Parayum Munpe (1981).
  • In 2013, both Innocent and his wife, Alice, were diagnosed with cancer. While Innocent was diagnosed with throat cancer (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma), scans showed that Alice had breast cancer. However, in 2015, the actor announced that he was cancer-free and chronicled his experience as a cancer survivor in his book titled Cancer Wardile Chiri (Laughter in the Cancer Ward).
  • 2020 was the only year after 1980 in which Innocent didn’t appear in any film as he was undergoing treatment for cancer.
  • Vallathol Narayana Menon is his favourite poet.
  • Once, Innocent asked businessman and Rajya Sabha member Vijay Mallya to get him three cups of coffee as he confused him for a Coffee Board waiter, owing to Mallya’s white and black outfit, similar to those worn by the waiters.