Ilukpitiya Mudiyanselage Vijaya Nandasiri (6 May 1944/1947 – 8 August 2016) was a Sri Lankan dramatist and actor. Considered a leading dramatist in Sri Lankan cinema, he was also a singer and producer.
He had a varied career beginning in theater and extending into film as a dramatic actor; his most recent roles were steeped in comedy and include credits in Sinhala sitcoms like Nonawaruni Mahathwaruni, Ethuma and Kathura.
Life and career
Born in 1944 or 1947 in a family of three, Nandasiri attended the Vidyakara Vidyalaya in Maharagama. He became interested in acting during his tenure there, and made his theater debut in 1966 in the stage drama Vidura-Diva produced by Amaradasa Gunawardena for the State Drama Festival. He first came to prominence from the movie Ran Kenda. He next obtained a role in Naribena, Jasaya saha Lenchina made by veteran drama producer Dayananda Gunawardena, who personally invited Nandasiri to become part of the cast.
Nandasiri was briefly a catering officer at the Katunayake Airport in the late-'60s as his acting career developed. His debut was in 1966, in Vuduru Diva by Amaradasa Jayathunga. He subsequently played in many stage dramas including Bakmaha Akunu by Dayananda Gunawardena, Thahanchi and Baka Thapas by Sathischandra Edirisinghe, Kontharaya, Wahalak Nathi Geyak and Sarade Sina by Prema Ranjith Thilakarathna and Bedde Goranaduwa by Ananda S. Wijesiri.
After Ran Kanda, Nandasiri was on demand, and starred in the or plays Subha Saha Yasa, Nariya Saha Keju Kella, Ekadipathi, Tharawo Egilethi, Rookada Raajje, Kuweni and Hunuwataye Kathawa among others. Over the next years he played the character of king Maname in Prof. Ediriweera Sarachchandra's Maname more than 1000 times, and appeared in Singha Bhahu, Mahasara and Ratnawalee. Nandasiri finally achieved fame in 1971 in the play Ran Kanda. In all, he has done over 40 plays staged island-wide.
As a dramatist, he has helmed several successful plays. These include Vrushaba Raja, and Kusa Pabawathie.
When he reached 46th anniversary as an actor in 2012, he celebrated his personal milestone by organizing Wijayanandaya' film festival from 20–25 March 2012 at John de Silva Theatre performing his most popular stage dramas.
Nandasiri simultaneously worked in all three aspects of cinema evenly. In last years, he worked on stage dramas like Malwadam Anawashyai, and Balloth ekka ba. He was working on with comedy drama Aluth horek one of Ajith Mendis at the Wayambe provincial council auditorium, Kurunegala, where he got sick next day and passed away.
In 1976, Nandasiri met K.A.W. Perera while staging T. B. Ilangaratne's Shailasanaya ශිලාසනය. Perera gave him his first film role in the movie Nedayo නෑදෑයෝ The character was a blind person(the song Sanasum Susuman Pavila සැනසුම් සුසුමන් පාවීලා is still a popular song among people as his starring in the scene was absolutely realistic), he has had roles in such films as Yasa Isuru, Sandakada Pahana, Bengali Walalu, Sasara and Rail Para. He won The Best Actor award for his role of the match maker in Sikuru Hathe and later in 2011 as the Best Comedian for King Hunther.
- No. denotes the Number of Sri Lankan film in the Sri Lankan cinema.
|1973||269||Mathara Aachchi මාතර ආච්චි||Police Officer|
|1976||334||Thilaka haa Thilaka තිලක හා තිලකා|
|1977||379||Tom pachaya ටොම් පචයා|
|1978||392||Siri Pathula සිරි පතුල|
|405||Sasara සසර||Upali Rankatiya|
|416||Higana Kolla හිඟන කොල්ලා||Ronald Jayarathne|
|1980||461||Mage Amma මගේ අම්මා|
|1981||500||Bangali Walalu බංගලි වළලු|
|2002||977||Pissu Double පිස්සු ඩබල්|
|985||Bahubuthayo බහුබූතයෝ||Drunken god|
|2004||1035||Left Right Sir ලෙෆ්ට් රයිට් සර්|
|2006||Ran Kevita සිකුරු හතේ||Father of Suran|
|2007||1092||Sikuru Hathe සිකුරු හතේ||Mangala Jaya|
|2009||1122||Sir Last Chance සර් ලාස්ට් චාන්ස්||Detective Sir Last Chance|
|2010||1137||Mago Digo Dayi මගෝ ඩිගෝ ඩයි||Mago|
|2011||1158||King Hunther කින් හන්තර්||King Hunther|
|1165||Ethumai Methumai එතුමයි මෙතුමයි||Minister|
|2012||1168||Sakwithi Dadayama සක්විති දඩයම||Maxim|
|2014||1217||Ko Mark No Mark කෝ මාර්ක් නෝ මාර්ක්||Mark/ Minister Palutupana (Dual Role)|
|2015||1237||Suhada Koka සුහද කොකා||Minister Rajamanthri|
|2016||1264||64 Mayam||Posthumous release|
|TBD||Breaking News බ්රේකින්ග් නිවුස්||Posthumous release|
Nandasiri's early television credits include Perera's Gamana and Pramada Wedei. He was later a producer of the teledrama Humalaya. He won the Award for the Best Comedian for his role in Sikka.
He became famous as a comedy actor with the character of "Gunadasa Premachandra" in the teledrama "Nonawaruni Mahathwaruni" and later through Yes Boss as "Senarath Dunusinghe". He was also acted in numerous teledramas like Ethuma, Methuma, Kawda Bole Ethuma 1, Kathura, Yes Madam, Class Sinhala Class as "Chaminda Sir", Satakapata, Hathare Kanuwa, Bhagya. He also hosted children's quiz program Punchi Pahe Man which was telecasted on Sirasa TV.
Nandasiri's wife is actress Devika Mihirani, who herself holds the record to be the main actress in Sri Lanka's first ever tele-drama, Dimuthu Muthu. Their first encounter was at Sudarshi Visual Arts Center, where Mihirani studied for dancing. Nandasiri was the one who invited Mihirani for the drama Subha Saha Yasa in 1974. They have two children, Navanjana and Rasanjana Suchitra. His daughter lives in Australia and son in America.
Illness and Death
Nandasiri was suffering from Diabetes over a long period of time, suffered by a wound on his leg. Due to severe infection, the leg was amputated and from that point, he was using an artificial leg.
On 8 August 2016, Nandasiri died while being taken to the Kalubowila Teaching Hospital after suffering from a cardiac arrest.