Kudamaloor Karunakaran Nair earned the love of a large mass of people by his expertise and
charming portrayal of feminine characters in Kathakali for several decades.His gestures,
expressions and graceful movements resembled real woman and so it was always enjoyable.
He was born at 'Ilayidathu family' in Kudamaloor of Kottayam District in
Kerala on 9 Dec 1918.His father was Vasudevan Nampoothiri of "parathan Illam' and mother
was Narayani Amma.
He started to get trained in Kathakali at the age of 12.Kurichi Rama Panikker,Kudamaloor Kunchu Pillai,Nattakam Velu Pillai,Kurichi Krishna Pillai,Thottam Sankaran Nampoothiri and
Kavalappara Narayanan Nair were his 'Gurus'.
His 'Arangettam' (debut) was held at 'Aarpookkara Temple of Kottayam.
From 1950 on wards he got fame as a main female character artist of Kathakali dance.
His portrayal as Damayanthi,Sairanthri,Devayani,Mohini,Lalitha,Droupathi etc won the appreciation from critics and audience alike.
Eminent Kathakali masters like Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair etc also liked to enact with him
He was serving as trainer at FACT Kathakali School for many years from 1968.Later he
worked with Kudamaloor Kala Kendra for training Kathakali aspirants.
He was given Central and State Sangeetha Nataka Academy Award.
He was able to visit America,Italy,Germany and other European Counties also.
Apart from female characters he used to portray characters like Kuchela and Narada also.Kudamaloor Karunakaran Nair died on 17 Oct 2000.