Harish Pengan was an Indian actor who predominantly worked in the Malayalam film industry. In 2011, he made his debut in the Malayalam film industry with the film Note Out. On 30 May 2023, he passed away due to liver-related ailments.
According to some sources, M. K. Haresh Kumar Nair Manoj K Varghese – Facebook Page was born in 1974 The Hindu (age 49 years; at the time of death) in Thuruthissery, Nedumbassery, Ernakulam, Kerala, whereas other sources reported that he was born in 1975 The Economic Times (age 48 years; at the time of death). He completed his schooling at Sadhana Mandir High School, Bolarum, Secunderabad, Telangana. He pursued a bachelor of commerce degree at the Mahatma Gandhi University (MG University), Athirampuzha, Kottayam, Kerala. He was fondly called Hari Manoj K Varghese – Facebook Page by his friends and family.
Height (approx.): 5′ 6″
Weight (approx.): 70 kg
Hair Colour: Salt and pepper
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
His father’s name was Karunakaran Nair. Karunakaran Nair, owned a hotel in Athani, Nedumbasery, Ernakulam. Later, Harish took over the hotel after his father passed away. His mother’s name was Sharadamma. He had two sisters, Sreeja M. Nair (twin sister) and Sindhu M. K.
Wife & Children
On 29 October 2018, he got married to Bindu K. Pillai. Bindu was a nurse working in Dubai. He had two sons, Rishi and Yadu. Rishi was an engineering student, and Yadu was a tenth-standard student.
He followed Hinduism.
Madavanakudi House, Thuruthissery, Nedumbassery, Ernakulam 683589
In 2011, Harish made his debut in the Malayalam film industry with Kutty Naduvil’s directorial Note Out; the actor played a brief role of a shop vendor. Harish played the role of a villager in the film Kunjiramayanam directed by debutant director Basil Joseph; the film was released in 2015. In 2016, Harish Pengan was cast as Tomy in Dileesh Pothan’s Maheshinte Prathikaaram. His character became popular among the audience and gave him his breakthrough in the film industry.
Later, he was cast as the hero’s grandfather in the film Honey Bee 2.5. In 2019, he played the role of Velichappadu in M. Padmakumar’s Malayalam-language period action film Mamangam. Later, he was cast as Anirudhan in the film Gauthamante Radham which was released in 2020. In 2021, Harish essayed on the role of Bento Mash in the Malayalam-language film Anugraheethan Antony. Harish was cast as Kunjumon in the Malayalam-language comedy-drama film Jan. E. Man released in November 2021.
In 2022, he played the role of security Gopalan in the comedy-drama film Priyan Ottathilanu directed by Antony Sony; the character was well-received among the audience. Later, Pengan essayed on the role of Rasheed in Anup Pandalam’s comedy-drama film Shefeekkinte Santhosham. In 2023, the actor was cast in the Malayalam-language film Charles Enterprises which was released in theatres on 19 May 2023; this was his last film.
Harish made his television debut with the Malayalam-language TV serial Kayamkulam Kochunni, which was telecasted on Surya TV between 2004 and 2007. Harish played the role of Pengan. The character was well-received among the audience, and the actor was part of the serial till its final episode. Later, he was cast in the Malayalam-language television serial Pookkaalam, directed by Vinayan J. Kottavattam.
In an interview, Rishi revealed that Harish complained of abdominal pain when he left home for shooting in early May 2023. Later, the actor was taken to the Amrita Hospital in Edappally, Kochi, Kerala, and underwent treatment. Some reports suggested that he was not a patient with a history of liver-related ailments; however, his condition was unstable, and he was moved to the ventilator. The hospital authorities reportedly suggested to the family that a liver transplant was the only option to save him as the actor’s health was quickly worsening. His twin sister, Sreeja M. Nair, agreed to be the donor and was a match; however, for the financially constrained family, to come up with the exorbitant transplant fees, which were reportedly around Rs. 30 Lakhs, was an onerous task. Initially, the news of Pengan being admitted to the hospital was not made public as per the request of the family not to make his elderly mother anxious; however, they were forced to reach out to the media and public as a means for scrounging the fund for his transplant.
Many celebrities and commoners reportedly came forward with donations of big and small amounts, and the family was hopeful about saving his life; however, Harish’s condition waned, reportedly due to some infections in his intestines, which later spread to his liver. These complications took a massive toll on his health, and the transplant was put on hold due to the infection. Pengan’s condition worsened on 30 May 2023, and he passed away at the Amrita Hospital in Edappally, Kochi, Kerala. Initially, it was announced that the last rites of the actor would take place on 31 May 2023 around 2.30 pm at his home in Thuruthissery, Nedumbassery, Ernakulam; however, the creation was preponed to 1.30 pm on 31 May 2023 due to an unexpected swelling of the body.
- The actor was also known as Harish Nair and Harish M. K.
- Later, when Pengan became busy in the Malayalam film industry, he rented out his father’s hotel in his hometown.
- In an interview, while Harish spoke about his acting career, the actor revealed that he coincidentally landed on his first character. Pengan pointed out that he met with the scriptwriter of the Malayalam-language TV serial Kayamkulam Kochunni while the serial was in its early stages of shooting; Harish confided in the scriptwriter about his desire to act; the scriptwriter informed that they would reach out to the actor if there were any characters which suited him. Later, Harish was cast as Pengan.
- Following the popularity of the character of Pengan, the actor later came to be known as Harish Pengan. While speaking about his reaction to being recognised through the name of a character, in an interview, the actor revealed that he was so proud of it and added that it was a huge honour.
- Later, while he was shooting for the Malayalam-language television serial Pookkaalam, Harish met with Benny Kattappana. Benny worked as a production controller in the Malayalam film industry. Reportedly, Benny Kattapana gave Harish an entry into the Malayalam film industry. The production controller also suggested him to Malayalam director Dileesh Pothan. Pengan’s character in the film Maheshinte Prathikaaram, directed by Dileesh Pothan, turned out to be a landmark for the actor in the Malayalam film industry.
- In an interview, he revealed that, although he appeared in some films before Maheshinte Prathikaaram, which was released in 2016, it was the character of Tomy from the film which made him famous; he added that people started to recognise him after the release of the Maheshinte Prathikaaram and he received more offers from the film industry.
- His sister, Sindhu M. K., was a former member of the Nedumbassery Panchayat in Ernakulam, Kerala.
- While speaking about his experience during the shoot of Honey Bee 2.5, in an interview, the actor pointed out that this was his first long role in the Malayalam film industry. He added that the director and writer gave him the freedom and space to improvise the character.
- Harish Pengan occasionally consumed alcoholic beverages. Following the news of the actor being admitted to hospital due to liver-related ailments went viral on media, many people reportedly accused him of being an alcoholic and the disease was caused to due to his excessive drinking; however, his friend and Malayalam director Manoj K Varghese denied these allegations and stated that Harish was not an excessive drinker.
- In 2019, Pengan essayed on the role of a tea shop owner in the Hindi-language Indian spy thriller web series The Family Man.
- Many famous personalities paid tribute to the actor, including the Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan. Pinarayi stated that many of the characters that Pengan played though small, would remain in the audiences’ minds. Members of the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) paid tribute to the actor through their official social media handles. Malayalam film actors such as Tovino Thomas, Basil Joseph, Unni Mukundan and Aju Varghese paid their respect through social media.
- According to some reports, many people criticised the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) for not coming forward to help the actor; however, later, it was clarified that the actor was not a member of the association, and so there were some limitations for the organisation to help him financially.