Leading Sri Lankan actor dies

Veteran Sri Lankan award winning actor Joe Abeywickrama died after a brief illness on Wednesday (September 21) in Colombo.

The 78 year old actor won several local and at the 1999 Singapore International Film Festival, he won a Silver Screen Award for Best Asian Actor for his portrayal of a grieving father in Pura Handa Kaluwara (English: Death on a Full Moon Day). 

Abeywickrama’s first notable role was in Saradama as an eccentric police officer who collected ants. He obtained the role with the help of his friend Florida Jayalath and considers it to be his first real role and a turning point in his career.

After Saradama, Abeywickrama was in demand as a comedic actor. Abeywickrama began taking more dramatic roles with Shesha Palihakkara’s Saravita, an award winning film. With D. B. Nihalsinghe’s Welikathara Abeywickrama continued in this field. In the 1971 film he portrays the stern Goring Mudalali. He also starred in Mahagama Sekera’s Tun Man Handiya in 1970.

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