Actor, Film actor
1939 – 1980
Who was Jayan?
Krishnan Nair, better known by his stage name Jayan, was an Indian film actor, naval officer, stunt performer and cultural icon of the 1970s. He has starred in over 120 Malayalam films. During his film career, he was primarily an action star and was particularly famous for his macho image and unique style. He was reputed for his chauvinistic appeal, masculine persona and well known for performing stunts of dangerous nature on his own. By late 1970s, he became the most popular lead actor and bankable star of Malayalam cinema and has been acclaimed as the first action hero of Malayalam cinema.
Jayan was a Master Chief Petty Officer in the Indian Navy, before he came to films and rose to fame as an actor in a very short time, appearing as an action hero in numerous films during the 1970s. He died at the age of 41, at the peak of his popularity, as a result of an accident while filming a dangerous stunt involving a flying helicopter that crashed while he was hanging on to it. He has since then become a legendary symbol of daredevilry and masculinity with numerous inspirations, imitations, his unfading popularity being widely used to promote new-age movies, actors and brands and an ever-growing fan-base spanning generations.