Gopi made his screen debut with a cameo in Adoor Gopalakrishnan's 'Swayamvaram' (1972). A known amateur theatre artiste and activist before his entering films, Gopi won the national award for the best actor for his portrayal of Sankarankutty in Adoor's Kodiyettam (1977)-- his second film, and the first in the lead role. He is known for his sterling performances in almost all the films he did (Kodiyettam, Ormakkayi, Yavanika, Kallan Pavitran, Sandhya mayangum neram, Chidambaram, ..to name a few). His has also acted in two hindi movies-- Aghat (directed by Govind Nihalani) and Satah se udta admi (directed by Mani Kaul).Gopi has directed three films, one of which (Yamanam) was adjudged the best film on social issues by the natonal award jury of 1991. He has also won the national award for the best book on cinema for his "Abhinayam Anubhavam" (An Actor's experience). He joined the political party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) recently. His recent release is "Rasathantram" (directed by Satyan Anthikad)
Special Jury award at the Asia Pacific International Film Festival, Tokyo (1985) National award for the best actor--kodiyettam- 1977. Five state awards for best actor (1977, 1980 (supporting actor), 1982,1983,1985). Four filmfare awards. Four critics awards. National award for the best film on social issues--Yamanam--1991. National award for the best book on cinema--Abhinayam Anubhavam. V. Shantaram award for the producer of the Best film--Padheyam--1991 Awarded Padmasri in 1991.