Kaviyoor Ponnamma has played mother in about 600 films in a career spanning more than four decades. She is sometimes referred to as "Mohanlal's Mother" because she has acted as his mother in a great amount of movies. While she was doing the first of those roles in `Kudumbini' in 1964, she had no intentions of doing a similar role in another film, though. She, in fact, did not want to act at all.
She wanted to be a classical singer like M.S. Subbulakshmi. But destiny had other plans for her.
Although her first film was `Sreerama Pattabhishekam,' in which she played Mandodari, it was with `Kudumbini,' her second, that she was noticed.
Her best performance was in Padmarajan's `Thinkalazhcha Nalla Divasam,' in which she played the central character. She brought out the pain of loneliness and old age without going overboard. Her roles in `Pravaham', `Odayil Ninnum,' `Theerthayathra,' `Abhijathyam,' `Thaniyavarthanam,' `Arayannangalude Veedu,' `Nandanam' and `Kireedom' are also dear to her. `Kireedom' saw her playing mother to Mohanlal, who has played her son in about 50 films.