Popular mimicry artiste Abi Habeeb, who was popularly known as Kalabhavan Abi, passed away on Thursday, his friends from the industry said . Habeeb, who has also donned the grease paint in several Malayalam films, was 54.

Habeeb’s last rites would be conducted here on Friday.

Shameer, the actor’s close friend and manager told the media that he got a call from Habeeb on Thursday morning saying he was not feeling well.

“He had just returned from a foreign tour with a troupe. He was suffering from a blood related ailment for the past two years,” said Shameer, who was crying as he was speaking to the media.

Habeeb’s son Shane Nigam is an upcoming actor.

Habeeb was a hugely popular mimicry artiste and was an integral part of most stage shows outside the country. Just before he arrived after his latest show abroad, he had presented an award to his son in Dubai, a few days back.

Veteran director Siddiq told the media that none was aware that Habeeb was suffering from a rare ailment.

Habeeb rose to stardom by imitating Amitabh Bachchan and his most sought after stage programme was the one where he portrays the megastar. He has also dubbed for advertisement featuring Bachchan.