Jayan (25 Jul 1939 to 16 Nov 1980) was a famous Malayalam action hero. His birth name was Krishnan Nair. He had created an unforgettable wave of unique dressing and style. In 2011 he was recreated by computer graphics and made the hero of the film ‘Avathaaram’.

Life History

His father Madhava vilasam Madhavapillai was a supervisor in the Thevally Branch of Travancore Royal Family. His father was also known as Kottarakkara Madhavapillai or Sathram Madhavapillai. His mother was Olayil Bharathiyamma. Jayan was killed in a helicopter accident on 16th November 1980 during the shooting of ‘Kolilakkam’. He did his primary schooling in the Malayali Mandiram school. Then he continued his studies in a boys school. He was an active artist during his school days. He was also a good singer. He got direct entry into the Indian Navy since he was the best NCC cadet in the school.

Indian Naval Life

He served in the Navy for fifteen years and retired as a Chief Petty Officer. Life in the Navy was a large book of experience for Jayan.

Cinema Life

Jayan marked his debut in the Malayalam movie in the 1974 film ‘Saapamoksham’. Then he began to get minor roles, most of which were villain roles. His growth from minor villain role to main role and from their to minor character role to main roles was very fast. ‘Sarapancharam’ directed by Hariharan gave him a chance to open his career as a Hero. Within six years, From 1974 to 1980, he acted in 116 movies including a Tamil film. Ninety percent of his pictures were either hit or super hit. The film ‘Angadi’ directed by IV Sasi produced under the banner of Gruhalakshmi Productions gave him the image of a social artist. The movie broke all collection records. When he roared as an educated head loader in the market place, even the uneducated viewers applauded. He was attracted towards dangerous acting and stunts. He used to act without any dupe. And, that has taken his life.


Jayan was succumbed to death in a helicopter accident during shooting of the film ‘Kolilakkam’. It took place at Sholavaram near Chennai while shooting the climax scene of the movie. The director was satisfied at the first shot, but, Jayan compelled to retake the scene. During retake the helicopter lost control.

After his death, news video was included in the film ‘Deepam’. Some viewers cried and ran out of the theater, some have sat frozen and some did not believe this, they thought it is his next film’s trailer.

Following his death many stories began to circulate because his co-actor Balan K Nair and the pilot had escaped with minor injuries.