Noted Malayalam actor and mimicry artiste Kalabhavan Abi has died at a private hospital in Kochi. He was 52.
Mathrubhumi reported that Abi was undergoing treatment for complications following an attack of dengue.
Abi, or Habib Muhammed, acted in more than 50 films, but it's through his mimicry acts with groups like Kalabhavan and Harishri that he became popular among audiences in Kerala. He was also famous for voicing Amitabh Bachchan's Malayalam lines in commercial ads.
Abi's son Shane Nigam is an upcoming actor in Malayalam and has played important roles in a few recent releases.
Habib's last rites would be conducted here on Friday.
Shameer, the actor's close friend and manager told the media that he got a call from Habeeb on Thursday morning saying he was not feeling well.
"He had just returned from a foreign tour with a troupe. He was suffering from a blood-related ailment for the past two years," said Shameer, who was crying as he was speaking to the media.
Habib was an integral part of most stage shows outside the country. Just before he arrived after his latest show abroad, he had presented an award to his son in Dubai, a few days back.
Veteran director Siddiq told the media that none was aware that Habeeb was suffering from a rare ailment.
Habib rose to stardom by imitating Amitabh Bachchan and his most sought-after stage programme was the one where he portrays the megastar. He has also dubbed for advertisements featuring Bachchan.
(With Inputs from IANS)