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India’s Cochin Haneefa dies

Actor-writer-director appeared in 380 films

Indian film actor-writer-director Cochin Haneefa died in Chennai Tuesday following complications arising from a chronic liver ailment. He was 61.

Haneefa had acted in more than 300 Malayalam-language films and 80 Tamil films. Born Salim Ahmed Ghoush, the actor was better known as Cochin Haneefa, his stage name for the Cochin Kalabhavan comedy troupe.

Haneefa began acting in villainous roles in Malayalam cinema, starting with “Mamangam” in 1979. He soon shifted to comedy and became enormously popular in humorous roles in Malayalam- and Tamil-language films.

Between 1984 and 1994, Haneefa also wrote and directed several features, including “Vatsalyam” (1993).

January saw the release of two of Haneefa’s films, Tamil-language “Vettaikaran” and Malayalam-language “Bodyguard.” His last release will be Tamil film “Madrasapattinam.”

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