Thiruvananthapuram: The unexpected demise of popular Malayalam actress Kalpana on Monday morning has left the Malayalam film industry shocked.
The 50-year-old actress, who began her career as a child artiste in 1983, has been hugely popular on and off the screen due to her jovial and happy-go-lucky nature.
She was in Hyderabad to take part in a film's shooting and to attend an awards function. But when the staff of a hotel she was staying in failed to get a response from her room, they forced open the door and saw her in an unconscious state.
Kalpana was rushed to a hospital where the doctors declared her brought dead. She is believed to have suffered a cardiac arrest, said film director Sibi Malayil.
Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) president and Lok Sabha member Innocent said: "We acted together in so many films... (she played) my sister, wife and what not. Even though she might be referred as a comedy artiste, I will rate her as a wonderful actor and a real spirited one too."
"I knew she had some health problems, but never knew she had a heart problem. It's a very sad day for the Malayalam film industry."
Veteran film actress Kaviyoor Ponnamma wailed when she was told of Kalpana's death.
"What's that you are saying that Kalpana is no more... No way, I just can't believe it. She was always concerned about my health and see what has happened," said Ponnamma, who has essayed a mother on screen several times.
Actress KPAC Lalitha said Kalpana will always be alive in her heart.
"She has been a very strong supporter for me in all my trials and tribulations. We used to be in regular touch, and this is heartbreaking for me," said Lalitha.
According to another of Kalpana's co-star Maniyan Pillai Raju, her body will be brought to Kerala later in the day.
In a career spanning over three decades, Kalpana had donned the greasepaint in more than 300 films, including numerous Tamil films. Her sisters Urvashi and Kalaranjini are also actresses.
"Charlie", presently running to packed houses in the state, was her last film and all through her career she was often seen in comedy roles. Her most popular films include "Dr. Pasupathy", "Kowethuka Varthakal" and "Butterflies" to name a few.
She won a National Award for the Best Supporting Actress in the film "Thanichalla Njan" in 2012.
Survived by one daughter, Kalpana had separated from film director Anil Kumar in 2012.