P.J.Antony was given the National award for best actor for the first time in Kerala in the year 1974.At that time it was known as 'Bharat' award.He got that award for his brilliant performance in the film 'Nirmalyam' which was directed by 'Gnyan Peeth' award holder novelist/writer/Director M.T.Vasudevan Nair.That film was developed from a short story 'Pallivalum Kalchilambum' written and published by M.T.Vasudevan Nair earlier.
P.J.Antony was born on 1st January 1925 at Pachalam, Kochi. His parents were Joseph and Elizabeth.He had been in the Navy service for a short period and then returned and joined the famous K.P.A.C. Drama troupe.He was more interested to act on stage rather than acting in films.He established two professional drama troupes by the names P.J.Theaters and Prathibha Theaters.
P.J.Antony was a man of letters also.He wrote many short stories,so many songs and poems,wrote a film screen play, and published two novels also.His novels are 'Itha Manushyan' and Oru Gramathinte Athmavu'.
He directed one Malayalam film by name 'Periyar'.
His cinema entry was in the year 1957 with the debut film 'Randidangazhi' which was based on a novel written by 'Gnyana Peeth' award holder 'Thakazhi Siva Sankara Pillai'.Later Antony acted as hero in the film 'Rosy'.
Then came a blockbuster film 'Bhargavi Nilayam' in which actor Madhu and Prem Nazir was in the main roles. Vijaya Nirmala was the heroine whose character dies and appears as a ghost.The reasons for her death was revealed with several clues.Since ghost stories were rare during those days the film was a big success.P.J Antony had his own contribution for the betterment of that film.The evergreen song of K.J.Jesudas 'Thamasamenthe Varuvan.. Pranasakhi ente munpil ..' is of Bhargavi Nilayam.
'Murapennnu' a fantastic movie released in 1965 for which story and screenplay was written by M.T.Vasudevan Nair was another noted picture of P.J.Antony.Prem Nazir and Sarada were in the main characters of that film.P.J.Antony acted as uncle of Prem Nazir's character 'Balan'. The strict and majestic uncle character of P.J.Antony was superb in that film.The story dealt with the decline of a big joint family.The song 'Karayunno puzha chirikkunno..' created much sentimental feelings to the audience.Then followed the historical movie 'Kunjalimarakkar' and afterwards 'Balyakala Sakhi' which was written by famous novelist 'Vaikom Muhammed Bashir'.In 1967 another blockbuster film arrived 'Anveshichu Kandethiyilla' in which Sathyan and K.R.Vijaya were in main roles.
'Asuravithu' was another nice film of Antony and then followed 'Nadhi' which was a super duper hit.Prem Nazir and Sarada were in the main roles but P.J.Antony and 'Thickurissi Sukumaran Nair' had much importance in that film.The theme of that film was also unusual which attracted the audience.Adoor Bhasi,Ambika,Nellikkodu Bhaskaran,Baby Sumathy etc were all in their best in 'Nadhi'.Two families spending their vacation on two houseboats and the consequences thereupon was the theme of that film.The song 'Aayiram Padasangal kilungi, Aluvapuzha pinneyum ozhuki..... sung by Jesudas is still very popular.
In 1973 released 'Nirmalyam' which was written and directed by M.T.Vasudevan Nair.As a director it was M.T's first venture.In that film P.J.Antony was in the main role as the 'Velichapadu' of a 'Bhagawathi' temple.'Velichapadu' is a mediator between the 'devi' and the devotee as a belief,custom and practice of northern Kerala.P.J.Antony was exceptionally great as the 'Velichapadu' with correct movements,gestures and mannerisms which was acclaimed by all.Being a Christian and not familiar with the Hindu rituals how he managed to create the 'Velichapadu' precisely well is a wonder.In the last part of the film there is a dance performance of the 'Velichapadu' during the temple festival which he did with extreme efficiency and perfection which was acclaimed by all. From this example it is evident that intelligent actors with keen observation, study and grasp the required necessities from the society to glorify their characters.
Nirmalyam was not a commercial film but it was a neatly presented work of 'M.T' which was accepted by all the sectors of the society.Pune Film Institute Diploma holder Ravi Menon was the hero of that film as a young temple priest and 'Sumithra' was the heroine as daughter of the 'Velichapadu'.In his whole film career Ravi Menon excelled perfectly well as the character in Nirmalyam and deserves much appreciation.It was actor 'Sukumaran's debut film.Kaviyoor Ponnamma was the 'Velichapadu's wife.The black and white film was a brilliant creation by all means.P.J.Antony was selected for both National film award for best actor and Kerala Government best actor award for Nirmalyam..In 1980 he acted in another film 'Manninte Maril'..
P.J.Antony published two books as his stage memories by the names 'Ente Nadaka Smaranakal' and
|P.J.Antony and Prem Nazir in Bhargavi Nilayam|
|P.J.Antony and Prem Nazir in 'Rosy'|