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Joe Abeywickrama
Joe Abeywickrama (1927-2011).jpg
Born June 22, 1927
Lellopitiya, Pelmadulla-Ratnapura, Sri Lanka
Died 21 September 2011(2011-09-21) (aged 84)
Nationality Sri Lankan

Gammana Patabendige Don John "Joe" Abeywickrama (Sinhala:ජෝ අබේවික්‍රම) (22 June 1927 – 21 September 2011), known as Joe Abeywickrama, was an award-winning Sri Lankan actor. He began acting in 1955 and achieved fame as a comedic actor. Since 1965, Abeywickrama has also done dramatic roles.[1][2]

He has won 18 Sarasavi Awards and Pesidential Awards.[3] At the 1999 Singapore International Film Festival, Abeywickrama won a Silver Screen Award for Best Asian Actor for his portrayal of a grieving father in Pura Handa Kaluwara (English: Death on a Full Moon Day), a first for a Sri Lankan.[4] He is considered by many to be the finest character actor the country has produced[5][2]


Life and career[edit]

Early life[edit]

Gammana Patabendige Don John "Joe" Abeywickrama was born in Lellopitiya (near Ratnapura), Sri Lanka and grew up in a rural area. He was the eldest of four children. His surroundings instilled in him a strong appreciation of nature and hard work.[6]

Abeywickrama graduated from Sivali Central College in Ratnapura. In the 1940s he settled in Colombo and started working for Sirisena Wimalaweera's studio Nawajeewana. Initially limited to doing office chores, Abeywickrama eventually became involved in films screened in Ratnapura by the studio. He made contacts with film industry insiders while with the studio, and on his leave obtained a role in Devasundari.[7]

Film actor[edit]

Abeywickrama has acted in more than 100 films and began his acting career in stage plays and made his film acting debut in ‘Devasundari’ in 1955.[2] Abeywickrama's first notable role was in Saradama as an eccentric police officer who collected ants. He obtained the role with the help of his friend Florida Jayalath and considers it to be his first real role and a turning point in his career. After Saradama Abeywickrama was in demand as a comedic actor.[7]

Abeywickrama began taking more dramatic roles with Shesha Palihakkara's Saravita, an award winning film. With D. B. Nihalsinghe's Welikathara Abeywickrama continued in this field. In the 1971 film he portrays the stern Goring Mudalali.[7] He also starred in Mahagama Sekera's Tun Man Handiya in 1970.


Author[edit]

Abeywickrama published his first novel Maha Bambata Muhunu Dekai in 1972.[6]

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Film Role
1957 Saradama police officer
1959 Avishwasaya
1959 Sri 296
1959 Gehenu Geta
1959 Sirimalee
1960 Nalangana
1960 Pirimiyek Nisa
1961 Daruwa Kageda
1962 Ranmuthu Duwa
1962 Deva Sundari
1963 Wena Swargayak Kumatada
1963 Deepashika
1964 Hete Pramada Wediyi
1964 Getawarayo Semanaris
1964 Suba Sarana Sepa Sithe
1964 Sithaka Mahima
1965 Chandiya
1965 Sathutu Kandulu
1965 Sarawita Saraiya
1965 Hithata Hitha
1965 Allapu Gedara
1965 Satha Panaha
1965 Sweep Ticket
1965 Landaka Mahima Mohan
1966 Sengawena Sewanella
1966 Mahadena Muththa Polbemuna
1966 Senasuma Kothenada
1966 Athulweema Thahanam
1966 Seegiri Kashyapa
1966 Kapatikama
1966 Parasathu Mal
1967 Sorungeth Soru
1967 Manamalayo
1967 Daru Duka
1967 Sendol Kandulu
1968 Punchi Baba Sena
1968 Akka Nago
1968 Amathikama Mudalali
1968 Dahasak Situwili Sagara
1968 Adarawanthayo
1968 Ataweni Pudumaya
1969 Senehasa
1969 Oba Nethinam
1969 Narilatha
1969 Hari Maga
1969 Baduth Ekka Horu
1969 Uthum Sthree
1969 Prawesam Wanna
1969 Para Walalu
1969 Pancha
1969 Romeo Juliet Kathawa
1970 Lakseta Kodiya
1970 Thewatha
1970 Tun Man Handiya Abilin
1971 Seeye Nottuwa
1971 Welikathara Goring Mudalali
1971 Haralaksaya
1972 Chandar, the Black Leopard of Ceylon Father
1972 Weeduru Gewal
1973 Mathara Aachchi
1973 Thushara
1973 Sadahatama Oba Mage
1974 Kalyani Gangaa
1974 Onna Babo Billo Enawa
1974 Niyangala Mal
1975 Raththaran Amma
1975 Tharanga
1974 Sooraya Soorayamai
1975 Sikuruliya personal driver
1975 Sadhana
1975 Kalu Diya Dahara
1975 Desa Nisa Nirudaka
1976 Wasana
1976 Madol Duwa Headmaster
1976 Kolomba Sanniya Andare
1976 The God King Swami
1976 Unnatha Dahai Malath Dahai
1976 Onna Mame Kella Panapi
1977 Hithuwoth Hithuwamai
1977 Yali Ipade
1977 Siripala Ha Ranmenika
1978 Gehenu Lamai
1978 Siripathula
1978 Selinage Walauwa
1978 Sara
1978 Veera Puran Appu Gongalegoda Banda
1978 Bambaru Avith Anton Aiya
1978 Sally
1978 Kumara Kumariyo Dharme
1978 Sandawata Rantharu
1979 Jeewana Kandulu
1979 Hingana Kolla
1979 Raja Kollo
1979 Wasanthe Dawasak
1979 Visi Hathara Peya
1979 Hari Pudumai
1980 Tak Tik Tuk
1980 Jodu Walalu
1980 Ektem Ge Wilson
1980 Seetha
1980 Aadara Rathne
1980 Siribo Aiya Siribo Aiya
1980 Bambara Pahasa
1980 Dandu Monara
1980 Muwan Pelessa 2
1980 Para Dige
1980 Sinhabahu
1981 Kolam Karayo
1981 Taranga
1981 Baddegama Silindu
1981 Sayuru Thera
1981 Soldadu Unnahe Soldier
1981 Sathara Pera Nimithi
1981 Pinhamy
1981 Sathara Diganthaya
1982 Thana Giravai Doctor Siri
1982 Wathura Karaththaya
1982 Major Sir
1982 Kele Mal
1982 Malata Noena Bambaru Sunny
1982 Rail Paara
1982 Kadaunu Poronduwa
1983 Ran Mini Muthu
1983 Sandamali
1983 Sumithuro
1983 Niliyakata Pem Kalemi
1983 Samuganimi Ma Samiyani
1983 Suboda
1983 Muwan Pelessa 3
1983 Monara Thenna 2
1983 Peter of the Elephants
1983 Muhudu Lihini
1984 Shirani
1984 Thaththai Puthai
1984 Podi Ralahami Podi Ralahami
1984 Sasara Chethana
1984 Wadula
1984 Hima Kathara
1984 Sahodariyakage Kathawa
1985 Suddilage Kathaawa Ex-Village Headman
1986 Maldeniye Simion Simion
1986 Dev Duwa Mohomed
1986 Pooja Jamis (the executioner)
1986 Aadara Hasuna Army officer (Colonel)
1987 Viragaya Aravinda's father
1988 Rasa Rahasak Businessman
1988 Angulimala Disapamok
1990 Palama Yata Uncle
1991 Golu Muhude Kunatuwak Podi Mahaththaya
1991 Cheriyo Doctor Chief psychiatrist
1991 Sthree Appuhamy
1992 Umayanganaya The eldest brother
1994 Ambu Samiyo Doctor
1995 Awaragira K.B. Sethigala
1995 Cheriyo Captain Captain Doson
1996 Hitha Honda Gahaniyek
1996 Loku Duwa Punna's father
1996 Cheriyo Darling Chief psychiatrist
1996 Bithu Sithuwam Senaka
1997 Suddu Akka Blacksmith
1998 Vimukthi
2000 Saroja Indigenous doctor
2001 Pura Handa Kaluwara Vannihamy
2001 Aswesuma Guneris – old age
2006 Dheewari Mudhalali


References[edit]

  1. ^ "The struggle of the common man for self-dignity is very profound". World Socialist Web Site. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  2. ^ a b c "Joe Abeywickrama passes away". Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). Retrieved August 05, 2014.
  3. ^ "Sinhala Cinema database" Films lk.Retrieved August 05, 2014.
  4. ^ "Awards for Joe Abeywickrama". Internet Movie Database Inc. Retrieved December 18, 2006.
  5. ^ "Joe Abeywickrama the actor extraordinaire". Sunday Observer (Sri lanka). Retrieved August 05, 2014.
  6. ^ a b "Meet Joe Abeywickrema, the writer". Sunday Times. 1998. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  7. ^ a b c "Face of a thousand expressions". The Nation. 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 

External links[edit]


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