Kunjalu Kochumoideen Padiyath (1930 – 22 May 2000), known by his stage name Bahadoor, was a Malayalam film comedian who, along with Adoor Bhasi, redefined the way in which comedy and funny scenes were perceived in Malayalam cinema. They made a significant contribution toward establishing comedy as the predominant genre of Malayalam cinema. Bahadoor also appeared in some serious roles and in professional plays.
Bahadoor was born as P. K. Kunjalu in 1930 in Kodungalloor, near Thrissur, British India. As one of the nine children of Padiyath Blangalil Kochumoideen and Khadeeja. Out of his eight siblings, seven were sisters. His family was financially poor and the seven young women added to the burden as the Kerala social system openly supported dowry at that time. He had affinity towards plays from very young age itself. He passed 10th Standard with First Class and joined Farook College, Calicut for Intermediate. He could not complete his studies due to financial troubles and had to start working for a living. He found his first job in a private bus as the bus conductor. He still wished to be an actor. He met Thikkurussi Sukumaran Nair through a relative. Thikkurussi gave him the chance to act in films and renamed him Bahadoor.
He was married to Jameela. The couple have three children, Siddhiq, Muhammed and Rukiya.
Bahadoor made his debut with a minor role in Avakasi (1954). At that time he also acted in Akashavani and amateur-professional plays and got established as a good actor. Bahadoor got his first break with his role as Chakkaravakkal in Neela Production’s Padatha Painkili. The film which went on to become a big hit marked Bahadoor’s presence in the industry. He along with Adoor Bhasi formed a box-office ruling combination and the duo is being compared to Laurel and Hardy. Bahadoor became hero in Neelisali and Mucheettu Kalikkarante Makal. Bahadoor found time in acting in plays as well. He partnered a play production theatre which made blockbuster plays like Manikyakkottaram and Ballatha Pahayan. These plays were later made into feature films by him. Bahadoor started a black and white processing studio in Trivandrum named K. C. Lab. But the studio’s establishment was ill-timed as films were shifting to colour. This caused financial troubles for Bahadoor and finally the studio was taken over by people to whom Bahadoor was indebted. Bahdoor also started a film distribution company only to face failures. He produced few films all of which failed at the box office. Even with his commercial debacles from the industry, he could meet his family’s monetary requirements and mark his presence in the field of acting. Bahadoor was last seen in Lohithadas’s Joker (2000). He did the role of a mentally ill veteran joker in a circus camp. In the film, he commits suicide by letting himself into the lion’s cage in the circus den.
On 22 May 2000 around 10 am, Bahadoor felt severe chest pain and was taken to Vijaya Hospital. He died at the hospital by 3 pm due to internal bleeding in his brain.