Malayalam cinema superstar Mohanlal celebrated his 56th birthday on 21 May.
Mohanlal - who has starred in over 300 Malayalam films since his debut in 1978 - has previously said that there is no language barrier in the world of cinema. And he has gone on to prove it by being a part of a number of film projects in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada.
On his 56th birthday, here are a few lesser known facts about Mohanlal:
1. Mohanlal's real name is Mohanlal Viswanathan Nair. Among his fans, he is fondly known as 'Lalettan'.
2. Before he ventured into the world of cinema, Mohanlal was a professional wrestler. He won the Kerala state wrestling championship in 1977-78.
3. He started his acting career at the age of 18 in an unreleased film called Thiranottam.
4. In a career spanning over 36 years, Mohanlal has acted in more than 330 films.
5. Mohanlal is famous for his dedication. He holds the record of featuring in the maximum number of films and the maximum number of hits by a lead actor in a year.
6. In 1986, 34 films of Mohanlal were released. Of these, 25 films were clean hits at the Box Office.
7. His 1997 fantasy film, Guru, was the first Malayalm film to be selected as India's official entry to the Oscars for nomination under the Best foreign film category.
8. Mohanlal has been honored with four National awards, 17 Kerala state awards and 11 Filmfare awards.
9. He is the only South Indian actor to receive IIFA award, for his performance in Bollywood film, Company.
10. In 2001, Mohanlal was honored with the Padma Shri by the Government of India for his contribution to Indian cinema.
11. In 2006, he was selected as the most popular Keralite of the century in an online poll conducted by CNN-IBN on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Kerala's formation.
12. In 2009, Mohanlal became the first Indian actor to be given the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army of India.
13. Bollywood Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who is a self-confessed Mohanlal fan, once called him "the most realistic actor India has ever produced".
14. Tamil film maker Mani Ratnam once said that he had a tough time directing Mohanlal in the 1997-film, Iruvar. The acclaimed director said that while shooting for the film, he would often forget to say cut as he was transfixed by Mohanlal's acting prowess.
15. It was Iruvar which saw the acting debut of former Miss World, Aishwarya Rai. She was cast opposite Mohanlal.
16. He is the first South Indian actor to to be given the honorary Black Belt Of Taekwondo by The World Taekwondo Headquarters, in Seoul, Korea.
17. His 2013 Christmas release, Drishyam is the highest grossing Malayalam film ever.
18. He is an active blogger and often writes about cultural and politically-relevant topics in his blog, The Complete Actor.
19. Mohanlal is the highest-paid actor in the Malayalam film industry.
20. He owns an apartment on the 29th floor of world's tallest building, Dubai's famed Burj Khalifa.