Yavanika (1982), directed by K. G. George, established him as one of the leading Malayalam heroes. The movie was a big commercial success and Mammootty received great reviews for his style and dialogue delivery. However Mammootty balanced his work as he appeared in both art and mainstream films. It was for Ahimsa in 1981 that Mammootty received his first Filmfare Awards for Best Supporting Actor. In his career a number of awards followed. These included the 3 National awards, 6 State awards and 9 Filmfare Awards in the Best actor category. In 1998 he was felicitated with Padma Shri for his outstanding contributions to Indian cinema.
Mammootty's commercial success continued with flicks such as Padmarajan's Koodevide and Joshy's Aa Raathri. His performances in movies like Aalkootathil Thaniye and Adiyozhukkukal simultaneously established him as a serious actor as well. Mammootty is known for his spontaneity and subtlety. It was character of Karunan in Adiyozhukkukal directed by I.V. Sasi that fetched him the Best Actor State Award and Filmfare Award. On the other hand Balu Mahendra's Yathra brought Mammootty State special jury award and once again the Filmfare Award for the Best Actor. One film that created history in Malayalam films was Nirakkoottu, directed by Joshy. This film brought loads of critical acclaim.
Mammootty came back with a bang with his next project New Delhi and Thaniyavarthanam in the year 1987. In the former he portrayed the role of a journalist who took revenge on politicians who flattered him. In 1988 Mammootty once again delivered another big hit, Oru CBI Diary Kurippu. This time the film won hearts in both Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Mammootty touched the height of his career in Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha. The film was directed by T.Hariharan. He performed the role of a gallant warrior but he is maligned by circumstances. This film won him the first National Film Award for Best Actor.
He appeared in Mathilukal directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan and also as Varunni in Mrugaya directed by I.V. Sasi. Mammootty won the Filmfare award for Amaram directed by Bharathan. He also appeared in TV Chandran's Ponthan Mada. After this several films hit the theatres: Valtsalyam directed by Cochin Haneefa, The King directed by Shaji Kailas and Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar directed by Jabbar Patel. Being a fighter Mammootty once again returned to the silver screen with Chronic Bachelor (2003) and Sethurama Iyer CBI (2004). The latter became a huge hit and broke all records at the box office in the year 2004. A few of his later films dealt with social issues. One such film would be Kaazhcha. Mammootty won the State Best Actor Award for his impressive performance as 'Operator Madhavan'. In 2004-2005 Mammootty's career graph rose stunningly after the release of Rajamanikyam which was directed by Anwar Rasheed. In 2006, Mammootty continued his meteoric rise with the entertainers like Turuppugulan. Mammootty delivered the biggest hits in the year 2007. His action comedy Mayavi was the top grosser. He balanced his commercial success with a more serious role in Shyamaprasad's Ore Kadal. He also came up with Big B which was directed by debutant director Amal Neeradhe. The film was appreciated for its efficient presentation.
In 2008 his first hit film was Annan Thambi. He was donned as the biggest crowd puller with the film releasing at 75 centers across the state of Kerala. Setting a glaring example for the newcomers Mammootty has also tried out his luck in films in other Indian languages as well. He has acted in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi movies as well. In 1989 he made his Tamil debut in Maunam Sammatham. It was directed by K. Madhu. In 1993 Mammootty starred in Fazil's Kilippechu Kekkavaa. The film had the Malayalam superstar in a romantic role. The movie is remembered for its unusual climax. He was also pitted against the Tamil megastar Rajinikanth in Thalapathi. Next he went onto star in Rajiv Menon's Kandukondain Kandukondain in 1995. The film was based on Jane Austin's Sense and Sensibility. Despite being a multi-starrer with Ajithkumar, Tabu and Aishwarya Rai, Mammootty stole the limelight. It gave a boost to his popularity in North India as well. The commercial success of Marumalarchi won him a long term associate in Henry, the producer of this film.
Mammootty entered the Hindi film industry with Thriyathri in 1989. However, his first Bollywood film as hero was Dhartiputra. The film failed to create any ripple at the box office. Mammootty's Sau Jhooth Ek Sachwon critical acclaim it was not commercially successful. His Telugu film Swathi Kiranam was also well received by the audience and critics. His famous work Mathilukal was shown in around 40 International Film festivals beginning with Venice.
His social commitment is unprecedented. It is quite evident from the fact that he is involved in various charitable projects which help then needy and downtrodden. From setting up educational institutes to promoting several social causes--- Mammootty has never backed out from a good cause.
Some of the Films of Mammootty are mentioned below: