Veteran Malayalam actor K N Jagannatha Varma passed away in a private hospital in Thiruvanathapuram after prolonged pneumonia. He was 77. The actor, who is also a Kathakali artist, graced Kollywood for over three and half decades with nearly 500 films and many TV serials in his repertoire. He made his debut in Malayalam films in 1978 with Mattolay. Varma ventured into the film industry after quitting Kerala police force. He retired as a superintendent of police. He also essayed many roles as a police officer, judge, priest or top bureaucrat. The actor is known for his hit films like New Delhi, Pathram and Lelam. He learned Kathakali from Kalamandalam Raman Namboothiri. His younger brother Surendranatha Varma, a retired college professor, is also a Kathakali artiste. sVarma was born in Cherthala in Kerala. His son Manu Varma is also an actor and his daughter is married to Malayalam film director Viji Thampi.