Ambika Rao
Ambika Rao Image Credit: IMdB

Malayalam actress and assistant director Ambika Rao, whose credits include ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ and ‘Salt and Pepper’, died on June 27 following a cardiac arrest. She was 58.

According to reports, Rao was admitted into a private hospital in Kochi after contracting COVID-19. As soon as news of her death surfaced, actors including Prithviraj expressed their condolences.

Rao made her plunge into the Malayalam film industry as an assistant director in 2002 with ‘Krishna Gopalakrishna’, led by Balachandra Menon. Over the last two decades, she has assisted directors as they worked on films such as Prithviraj’s ‘Vellinakshathram’ and Mammootty-starrer ‘Rajamanikyam’. Her acting credits include playing supporting roles in films such as ‘Anuraga Karikkin Vellam’, ‘Thamasha’ and ‘Vellam’.

But it was the meditative slice-of-life blockbuster ‘Kumbalangi Nights’ that made her a household name. She played the mother of Anna Ben and Grace Antony’s characters.