After a 13 year stint in the Indian Army and Navy, Pillai took retirement from the Defence force and in 1954 started an illustrious film career and later ventured into TV and was active till two years back.
He has acted in over 300 films and portrayed the roles of villains and excelled when he played roles in films based on popular ballads in the state.
A hugely respected actor, Pillai's baritone voice was his stand out feature which won him many roles and several film awards.
In between, he also dabbled in politics and was seen in Congress party circles too.
He is survived by six children, while his wife predeceased him.
Hailing from the capital city district, he was a popular figure at many events.
The last rites would be held later in the day, here.