Veteran filmmaker K Viswanath dies after suffering from age-related issues
Hyderabad: Dadasaheb Phalke awardee and renowned filmmaker Kasinadhuni Viswanath died at a private hospital here. He was 92.
Viswanath was unwell for some time and was suffering from age-related issues, sources said. He passed away at the hospital around midnight Thursday.
Popularly known as 'Kalatapasvi', Viswanath was born in February 1930 in Andhra Pradesh.
A prominent name, not just in Telugu cinema but also in Tamil and Hindi films, he became the 48th recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest recognition in Indian cinema. He was conferred with the award for the year 2016.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expressed his condolences over the death of Viswanath.
"Viswanath was a rare distinguished film director who chose ordinary story and turned it into a classic movie on the silver screen with his amazing talent," he was quoted as saying in a statement from the Chief Minister's Office said.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, in a tweet, expressed his grief over the death of the filmmaker.
"Vishwanath is a mirror of Telugu culture and Indian arts. Films under his direction have brought unparalleled respect to the Telugu film industry. He will remain forever in the hearts of Telugu people as an artist," Reddy said.
Former vice-president M Venkaiahn Naidu tweeted, "Deeply grieved to hear of the demise of renowned film director K Viswanath. As a filmmaker he brought depth and dignity to the medium, earning global recognition for his movies with a message. May his atma attain sadgati! Om shanti!."
Viswanath, who started his journey in the film industry as a sound artist, went on to direct award-winning films such as "Sankarabharanam", "Sagara Sangamam", "Swati Mutyam", "Saptapadi", "Kaamchor", "Sanjog" and "Jaag Utha Insaan".
His long career included an equally successful stint in front of the camera. He made 50 movies since 1965.
He debuted as a director with "Aatma Gowravam", which starred Akkineni Nageswara Rao and won the Nandi Award for the best feature film. He followed it with "Chelleli Kapuram", "O Seeta Katha", "Jeevana Jyoti" and "Sarada".
Venturing into mainstream acting, he worked in movies like "Swarabhishekam" (which he directed as well), "Pandurangadu", "Narasimha Naidu", "Lakshmi Narasimha" and "Seemasimham", "Kuruthipunal", "Kakkai Siraginilae" and "Bagavathi", among others.
Besides Dadasaheb Phalke Award, he was also felicitated with Padma Shri in 1992, five National Awards, 20 Nandi Awards (given by the Andhra Pradesh government) and 10 Filmfare trophies, including the Lifetime Achievement award.
"Shocked beyond words! K Viswanath's loss is an irreplaceable void to Indian/Telugu Cinema and for me personally! Man of numerous iconic, timeless films! The Legend Will Live on! Om Shanti !!," actor Chiranjeevi tweeted.
Several film industry personalities also paid their last respects to Viswanath.