Chennai: Eminent filmmaker and Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner K Balachander died here Tuesday at a private hospital after prolonged illness.
Hailed as “Iyakunar Sigaram” (Peak among directors) in Tamil film industry Balachander, 84, was hospitalised following age related ailments on December 3. He breathed his last at 7.02 pm today, Hospital authorities said.
He is survived by his wife, son and daughter. His other son, Kailasam died on August 15 this year.
A multi-lingual filmmaker, Balachander debuted with his Tamil film ‘Neerkumizhi’ (by adapting his play of the same title) in 1965. He has directed films in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi and has written, directed and produced more than 100 films.
He has launched more than 65 actors, actresses and technicians in the Tamil film industry.
His blockbuster movies include ‘Aval Oru Thodarkathai’, (Tamil) which was remade as ‘Anthulaney Katha’ in Telugu, ‘Maro Charitra’ (Telugu), ‘Ek Dhuje Ke Liye’ (Hindi), and ‘Thillu Mullu’ (remake of Golmaal in Hindi).
He introduced several top stars including Rajinikanth (‘Aboorva Ragangal’), Kamal Haasan (‘Arangetram’), ace villain actor Prakash Raj (‘Duet’), comedian Vivek (‘Manadhil Urudhi Vendum’) and character artist Nazar (‘Kalyana Agathigal’).
He has received several accolades including Dadasaheb Phalke award (2010), Padma Shri (1987), Kalaimamani Award (Tamil Nadu) Nandi and Golden Nandi (Andhra Pradesh) besides many film awards like Filmfare among others.