Girish Kasarvalli pays tribute to Vishnuvardhan

Today, Karnataka has lost one of its greatest actors. The death of the Sahasasimha Dr Vishnuvardhan has left a vaccum in the film industry and many say that this space can never be filled up.

Renowned director Girish Kasarvalli pays a fitting tribute to the superstar and takes us through his thoughts of Dr Vishnuvardhan, originally known as Sampath Kumar.

The Kannada industry has seen many stars. What made Dr Vishnuvardhan unique was his style of acting.

He was effortless when it came to acting. I would say that he is one of the most sensitive actors the industry has ever produced. The manner in which he approached every role was simply amazing. There was a sensitivity that was involved in the manner in which he handled roles given to him and this was one of the primary reasons why he stood above the rest.

Vishnuvardhan had the courage to attempt a lot of roles. He handled the roles with such ease. Look at the manner in which he played an angry young man in Naagarahavu.

Although he was largely accepted at that time as an angry young man, he did not stagnate. Instead, he attempted various other roles and played them with such ease that they were also successful.

I would like to mention two films here, Muthina Haara and Bandhana. The characters played by him in these movies gave his career a new dimension. His role as an army officer in Muthina Haara is worth a mention since it has several shades.

His performance in Bandhana was path-breaking too. He plays a romantic hero and has handled it with such ease. I feel that these are two very important movies in his career, which propelled him to superstardom.

Younger film actors can learn a lot from Dr Vishnuvardhan. Besides his acting skills, I would tell youngsters to follow the way he delivers his dialogues. I feel he had the best dialogue delivery in the industry. The power and ease with which he delivered his dialogues is something that every young and aspiring actor can learn from.

As a human being, Vishnuvardhan was an extremely decent man, who never turned down anyone who needed help. He had many friends in the industry and all of them swear by him till date. That is quite a rare trait for a big star.

The loss is unbearable and terrible. It is impossible for us to reconcile this loss. All I would like to say that he is one of the most popular actors and a noble human being who will be missed by all of us.

‘Sahasasimha’ Vishnuvardhan passes away

Leading Kannada film actor Dr Vishnuvardhan passed away at Mysore in the wee hours of Wednesday following a cardiac arrest.

The 54-year-old actor, popularly known as Sahasasimha, had complained of chest pain on Tuesday night. However, he passed away at around 2.30 am while being taken to Vikram Hospital in Mysore, where he was being treated for a leg problem.

The actor’s body has been kept at National College grounds in Bengaluru for visitors to pay their last respects on Wednesday.

Thousands of fans and celebrities had gathered at Vishnuvardhan’s Bengaluru residence at 4th block, Jayanagar, where his body was first kept.

The actor is married to Bharathi, a Kannada actress, and has two adopted daughters Keerthi and Chandana.

Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, who was one of the first to reach the residence, said the state had lost one of its greatest actors.

He said he would declare the mourning period in the state and that Vishnuvardhan’s last rites would be done with complete state honours.

Yeddyurappa also called on the Fans Association to maintain calm.

Vishnuvardhan’s wife Bharathi also appealed for calm among the fans, saying her husband was a peace loving person.

Movie theatres in Karnataka will remain shut on Wednesday in respect to the departed star.

Just a day ago, the Karnataka film industry had lost another great artiste, music composer C Aswath.

Vishnuvardhan, who has acted in 190 films, was not only known as one of the greatest actors of Kannada film industry following Dr Raj Kumar, but also as a simple and generous human being.

Two of his films Aaptha Rakshaka — his 200th film — and Aaptha Mithra were to be released shortly.

Born on September 18, 1950, in Mysore as Samapth Kumar, the actor adopted the screen name Vishnuvardhan at the insistence of Puttana Kanagal, who directed him in his film Nagarahavu.

He made his debut in the film Vamshavruksha directed by Girish Karnad. The movie won a National Award.

However, it was the film Nagarahavu that took the actor to meteoric heights of fame.

Prior to becoming an actor, Vishnuvardhan had started off as a singer and has sung for selected films and devotional albums.

Karnataka minister Suresh Kumar said the state was “devastated over the death of the greatest actor of the Kannada film industry”.

Some of his biggest hits were Vamsha Vruksha, Nagarahaavu, Suprabhatha, Leela, Bandhana, Kaidhi, Yajamana and Aaptha Mithra among others.

The actor has also won many prestigious awards, including seven state awards and five Filmfare awards.