Born on 1 July 1943 in Karikkad village in Thrissur district of Kerala, Shri Kalamandalam M.P.S. Namboodiri received his training in Kathakali at the Kerala Kalamandalam, Cheruthuruthy, studying under Kalamandalam Gopi, Kalamandalam Ramankutty Nair, Kalamandalam Padmanabhan Nair and Vazhenkada Kunju Nair. On completion of his studies he joined the Kalamandalam faculty in 1968, and retired as Principal in 1998. He was reappointed at Kerala Kalamandalam as Dean of the Department of Kathakali in 2007 when the institution was upgraded as Deemed University. He is at present Director of the Nila campus of Kerala Kalamandalam which offers postgraduate courses in Kathakali and other arts.
Kalamandalam Namboodiri is among the reputed artists and teachers of Kathakali today. He has excelled in Pachha, Kathi and Vellatadi veshams, and received critical acclaim for his roles as Krishna, Duryodhana, Hanuman, Kattaalan, Hamsam and Brahmin . He has performed mainly as a member of the Kerala Kalamandalam troupe, touring cities in India and other countries. He has visited the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Canada, Peru, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka on performance tours.
Besides, Shri Namboodiri has been Visiting Professor at the University of Hawaii (1979), the University of California at Los Angeles (1980), and the University of Wisconsin at Madison (1992, 1998) in the United States. He has contributed to seminars on traditional theatre at Padatik in Calcutta (1985), in Hawaii (1979), in Denmark (1985), and in Germany (1999). His book on the hist ry of Kathakali performance, co-authored by Killimangalam Vasudevan Namboodiripad – Kathakaliyude Rangapadha Charithram - has been published by Mathrubhumi in 2007.
He has also published several articles on Kathakali in Malayalam and English.
Shri Namboodiri is a recipient of several honours including the Kerala Kalamandalam Award for Best Actor (2009).
Shri Kalamandalam M.P.S. Namboodiri receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for his contribution to Kathakali.