Born in 1938 at Mangode in Palakkad district of Kerala, Kalamandalam Kuttan started his training in Kathakali at the Kerala Kalamandalam in 1951 under Gurus Ramankutty Nair and Padmanabhan Nair; he was oriented in the Northern Kerala style of the traditional dance- drama. He performed extensively as a lead dancer of Kerala Kalamandalam and left the institution in 1958.
Shri Kuttan started teaching at the Unnayi Warrier Smaraka Kalanilayam in 1968, became its Vice-Principal in 1990, and was elevated to the position of Principal in 1995. He retired from the institution in 1998, having taught a large number of students over these thirty years. Quite a few of them are among our prominent Kathakali performers today. As an actor, Kalamandalam Kuttan has excelled in his portrayal of characters such as Nala, Arjuna, Bhima, Dharmaputhra, Kichaka, Duryodhana and Parasurama. Playing these and other roles, he has travelled widely in India and abroad, participating in prestigious events such as the Apna Utsav in Bombay and the Kathakali Mahotsavam in Delhi organized by Sangeet Natak Akademi in 1993.
He is the recipient of several awards including the Dr K.N. Pisharodi Memorial Puraskar (1988), the Pattikkanthodi Ravunni Menon Puraskar (2002), the Keerthi Pathram of Kerala Kalamandalam (2003), the Natyabhushana title conferred by the Thaliparambu Raja Rajeshwara Temple (2007), and the Kerala Kalamandalam Award (2007).
Shri Kalamandalam Kuttan receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Kathakali.