Gopalakrishnan Padmanabhan, better known by his stage name Dileep, is an Indian film actor, producer and businessman, who predominantly works in the Malayalam film industry. He has acted in more than 150 films and has won four Kerala State Film Awards, a Filmfare Awards South and several other awards.
Beginning as an impressionist in stage shows, Dileep attained popularity after being cast on the television comedy series Comicola on Asianet and its successor Cinemala. Dileep with Nadirshah produced and performed in the audio cassette series named De Maveli Kombathu, a successful sketch comedy, which later turned into a television series on Asianet. He began his film career as an assistant director and worked under director Kamal in nine films, beginning with Vishnulokam in 1991, and made his acting debut with a minor role in Kamals Ennodu Ishtam Koodamo (1992). He acted in a principal role in the 1994 film Manathe Kottaram taking the screen name Dileep. He established himself as a leading actor during the late 1990s, mostly doing comedic roles.
The box office success of the 2002 film Meesa Madhavan significantly raised his stardom in Malayalam cinema, the film also won him the Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Malayalam. In the same year, he won the Kerala State Film Award - Special Jury Award for his performance in Kunjikoonan, and three years later, he received a Special Mention for his role in Chanthupottu (2005). In 2011, his role in Vellaripravinte Changathi won him his first Kerala State Film Award for Best Actor. Two of his films, Two Countries (2015) and Ramaleela (2017), grossed over ?50 crore (?500 million) and were ranked among the top ten highest-grossing Malayalam films.In 2003, Dileep ventured into film production and founded the company Graand Production, its debut production was C.I.D. Moosa. He won the Kerala State Film Award for Second Best Film for his production Kathavasheshan in 2004. In 2008, he produced Twenty:20 in order to raise funds for the Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA). The film starred almost all actors in the guild and became the highest-grossing Malayalam film up until then. He owns the multiplex theatre D Cinemaas in Chalakudy and the restaurant chain Dhe Puttu.