Malayalam and Tamil film actor, director and producer V M C Haneefa popularly called ‘Cochin’ Haneefa died at a private hospital on Tuesday. He was 58 years old.

Born Salim Ahmed Ghouse in 1951, he came to be known in the film and theater industry as Cochin Haneefa, after he played a role by that name in a play as part of the Cochin Kalabhavan Group.

Sri Sai Productions introduced Haneefa in movies through their film Hello Darling in 1976. He went on to act in more than 300 films in Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil, apart from foraying into the fields of script writing, screenwriting and direction. He directed his first film in 1985, Oru Sandesam Koodi, starring Mammooty and Rohini. He has worked with all leading actors of the Tamil and Malayalam industry, including Jayaram, Mammooty, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, who introduced the actor in Tamil in the film Mahanadhi, in 1993. He later went on to be a respected comedian and villain, and is known for his roles in Kadhala Kadhala, Leysa Leysa, Sivaji The Boss, Citizen, Kireedam and more recently, Vettaikaran.

Cochin Haneefa  passed away

The family drama Valsalyam and Oru Sandesam Koodi earned him critical acclaim. In 2001 he won the State Award for “Best Supporting Actor” in Soothradharan. His last Malayalam film to hit the screens was Dilip-Nayanthara starrer Bodyguard, while in Tamil, it will be Arya’s ‘Madrasapattinam’.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has offered condolences to his family. The Chief Minister said Haneefa had acted in several Tamil movies and also in a Tamil movie for which he (Mr. Karunanidhi) penned the dialogue. Haneefa’s body will be brought to Kochi on Wednesday where it will be buried at the Central Juma Masjid.

We at offer our heartfelt condolence to Haneefa family.