Renowned Sri Lankan actor Lionel Wickrama has passed away at the age of 77. With a career spanning stage, cinema, and television dramas, Wickrama was a prolific figure in the entertainment industry, having acted in over 200 teledramas.
Lionel Wickrama, who initially worked as a technical officer in the Highways Department, entered the world of acting on the encouragement of his friend Somesiri Dehipitiya, a storekeeper. His debut in Tissa Abeysekara’s “Karumakkarayo” marked the beginning of a successful acting career.
Wickrama gained popularity with roles like Hiragedara Dostara in Gamini Fonseka’s “Saagarayak Meda” and “Sakvithi Suva.” He collaborated with director Dharmasena Pathiraja on numerous productions, contributing both as an actor and in technical aspects.
His portrayal of ‘Aarti Hamu’ in the tele-drama “Batti” remains one of his most memorable performances. Initially intended to appear in around 20 episodes, Aarti Hamu’s character, played by Wickrama, became a pivotal figure in the mega teledrama, lasting for about 400 episodes.
Despite retiring from work, Lionel Wickrama continued to lead a remarkable career in acting until his passing. His death marks the loss of another living example of Sri Lanka’s theater legacy.