Kalabhavan Mani was born as the sixth among seven children to Chenathunad Kunnisseri Veettil Raman and Ammini in Chalakudy Thrissur District, Kerala State on New Year's Day in 1971. He had an elder brother, Velayudan (deceased), younger brother, RLV Ramakrishnan (dancer) and four sisters, Thankamani, Leela, Santha and Ammini, Jr. He studied at Glps East school Chalakudy till fourth grade and Government Boys School, Chalakudy till tenth grade.
Mani was married to Nimmy on 22 September 1999 and has a daughter. He was once an autorickshaw driver from Chalakudy. His brother, R.L.V. Ramakrishnan acted in Bamboo Boys in a cameo role, starring alongside Cochin Haneefa, his brother, Harishree Ashokan and Salim Kumar.
He started his career as a mimicry artist with the drama group Cochin Kalabhavan. He started his acting career in the Malayalam film Aksharam as an auto rickshaw driver.He got his first major breakthrough in Sallapam (1996). Since then, he has acted in several movies as a comedian. His first leading role was in the film Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum. His first music album was (Thushima Guntharo)Kannimanga Prayathil. He has since established a parallel industry of folk songs (nadan pattu) selling a record number of releases. He has also released a few religious songs and Mappila Pattukal. Mani started his career portraying comic roles in Malayalam films which later shifted to character and villain roles. He was cast as the protagonist in movies like Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum, Karumadikuttan, Ben Johnson, Ayirathil Oruvan, Valkannadi, Lokanathan IAS, Kerala Police, Red Salute etc. Eventually he portrayed negative characters. Mani is well known for providing humanitarian assistance to people in need. Mani was approached and was offered a seat in the 2016 Kerala Legislative Assembly election by LDF. He had openly told that he was a Leftist and used to Campaign for CPI(M) and left parties during elections.
Mani provided generosity and charity work to people living in poverty. Reportedly, on an average day, around 20 people from less privileged backgrounds used to come to visit him at his residence. He then wholeheartedly donated money, repaid debts and offered to help them. He therefore often referred to as the title of "poor man's superstar" in Kerala. As a fund-raiser and performer, he also had contributed money to the local festivals of the religious organisations and provided funds to the schools in his village. He adopted two Adivasi Colonies in Athirappilly area and fed them. He used to take Adivasi kids to Tour and used to spend time with them. He also helped Hannan khalil and Mannan Khalil to achieve their goals.
Kalabhavan Mani died on the night of 6 March 2016, aged 45. At the first stage, he was admitted at Amrita Hospital, Kochi. The police registered a case as unnatural death due to the presence of excessive methyl alcohol (a toxic chemical found in illicitly distilled liquor, Arrack) with acetaminophen in Kalabhavan Mani's body.
On 8 March 2016, based on the initial autopsy report and statements of witnesses, the police said that serious liver illness along with alcohol consumption may have caused his death and it might have been a suicide attempt. Four months prior to his death, doctors had categorically warned him against drinking alcohol and was counselled for severe depression. However, Mani in his phase of depression and informed severe liver damage conditions, ignored the doctors' warnings and continued with alcoholism. Even on the day before he died, he was allegedly reported consuming alcohol (beer) with friends in the outhouse of his house.
His unexpected death led to a case by his friends and family which has been filed for investigation through Kochi City Police. On 18 March 2016, based on the forensic test from the Regional Chemical Examiner’s Laboratory, death cause was identified with high probability a highly poisonous chemical, Chlorpyrifos—usually used in insecticides, which is banned in many countries for residential use, it is considered as a hazardous substance for general ecology. Presence of chlorpyrifos along with methyl and ethyl alcohol contents were found excessively in the test samples. The report suggests that Mani might have consumed the poison knowingly or unknowingly over the days before his death. Therefore, the Government of Kerala has ordered a comprehensive probe in the death of Mani. The police is rounding the case through whom Mani could have accessed this poisonous concoction for substance abuse. Under RLV Ramakrishnan's suspicion Mani's three close friends have been taken into custody for questioning to rule out activities of vested interest. On 11 June 2016, based on the recommendation of the state DGP, the Government of Kerala has decided the case to be investigated by CBI. On May 2017 CBI took over the case and submitted FIR in which it was stated that the death of Kalabhavan mani was due to unusual reasons and Dileep who got arrested for actress's kidnapping , was rumored connection with Mani's death
His sudden demise led to emotional reactions from his fans and many of his co-stars in the Malayalam Film Industry along with the rest of the South Indian Film Industry. The Mollywood film fraternity and thousands of fans of late actor Kalabhavan Mani paid homage to the versatile artiste during a memorial service on 13 March 2016, at Carmel Higher Secondary School in Chalakudy organized by well-wishers. Tributes were celebrated through the media with 2–3 hours programme special. Mani was cremated with full state honours at his home premises on 7 March. The shopkeepers of Chalakudy paid homage to Mani by closing their shops on the same day.may his soul rest in peace
In an interview with journalist John Britas, Mani stated that the State Government Award could easily have been bought off.
On 14 May 2013, Mani has been accused of assaulting two forest officials during a routine inspection at Athirappilly. However, those who had claimed to be travelling with Mani in the same car, had filed a complaint against the forest officials for abusing them. The police have registered cases against both Mani and the injured forest officials Later, Mani was arrested and charged when he surrendered to the police. He was granted bail by the High Court of Kerala with conditions on it. Mani and his friends had been on a trip to the tourist place when forest officials intervened and said they wanted to search his vehicle. It had alleged that the officials started having an argument with Mani, allegedly hit the actor, verbally assaulted his Other Backward Class caste and stated Kalabhavan Mani was a "Dalit" and misbehaved with his friends wives on The Car. T.P.Senkumar of then Kerala Police ADGP had said that Mani was unnecessarily harassed by the officials and the actual reason behind the assault case against Mani was that he belonged to a lower caste and that discrimination against the ordinary and lower class exists in the Kerala Police force. However, the High Court criticized ADGP regarding the statement. On the other hand, the officials had alleged that Mani was in a drunk condition and also a main accused in two other assault cases. During an interview at Kairali channel, Mani said that jealousy had caused the officials registering the false case against him and the police officer who beat him had a criminal background of four charges.
National Film Awards2000 – Special Jury Award – Vasantiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum
Kerala State Film Awards1999 – Special Jury Award – Vasantiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum
Filmfare Awards2002 – Best Villan (Tamil) – Gemini
Asianet Film Awards1999 – Best Actor Award – Vasantiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njanum2007 – Best Actor in a Villain Role – Chotta Mumbai
Vanitha awards2008 – Vanitha Chandrika Award for Best Actor in Villain Role– Chotta Mumbai
Jaihind TV awards2010 – Special Jury Award
Other awards2014 Bharat Gopi Foundation Award
KSammanam (1995)Kottaram Veettile Apputtan (1998)Kannezhuthi Pottum Thottu (1999)Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum pinne njanum (1999)O Priye (2000)Achaneyanishttam (2001)Akasthile Paravakal (2001)The Guard (2001)Karumadikkuttan (2001)Bamboo Boys (2002)Kanmashi (2002)Vaalkannadi (2002)Kusruthy Kannan (2003)Kanninum Kannadiykkum (2004)Kazhcha (2004)Malsaram (2004)Ananthabhadram (2005)Ben Johnson (2005)Chacko Randaaman (2006)Kissan (2006)Red Salute (2006)Abraham Lincoln (2007)Evan (2007)Kabadi Kabadi (2008)Twenty Twenty (2010)Chakorandaman (2006)indrajith(2006)Aandavan(2007)MLA Mani Pathaam Classum Gusthiyum (2012)Manimelam as host (Kairali TV)Vinodsala (Doordarshan)Chiri Arangu (Doordarshan)