Venu Nagavally was born on 16 April 1949 as the son of the noted play writer Nagavally R. S. Kurup and Rajamma. He completed his education from Government Model Boys Higher Secondary School, Thiruvananthapuram and University College Trivandrum. He had a bachelors degree in Politics and a Diploma in journalism.
Venu Nagavalli started his career as an announcer in Akasavani. He later sung a song in the movie Chottanikkara Amma (1976) but was noticed only in 1978 when he acted in the movie Ulkkadal directed by K. G. George, thus starting his acting career in movies. His noted movies as an actor are Shalini Ente Koottukari, Meenamasathile Sooryan, Pakshe, and Chillu.
Venu's first movie as a director was Sukhamo Devi (1986) which he himself describes as his own tragical love story. Later he directed the superhit movies Lal Salam, Aey Auto, Aayirappara etc. Venu has also written scripts for a few movies including the Priyadarshan directed blockbuster movie Kilukkam. His first movie as a script writer was Ee Ganam Marakkumo.
The movies for which he has sung songs include Chillu, Ente Ammu, Ninte Thulasi, Avarude Chakki, Oru Painkilikatha out of which the song Kochu chakkarachi pettu from the movie Ente Ammu, Ninte Thulasi, Avarude Chakki became quite popular.
Venu Nagavally died at Thiruvananthapuram on 9 September 2010. He is survived by his wife and son Vivek.