'Iyakunar Sigaram' K Balachender no more!

A week after he was admitted in a private hospital, veteran filmmaker Iyakkunar Sigaram K Balachander passed away.

Photo: #RIP #IyakunarSigaram #KBalachander
A week after he was admitted in a private hospital, veteran filmmaker Iyakkunar Sigaram K Balachander passed away.
The director, who had fainted at his residence last week was brought to the Kauvery Hospital in Alwarpet and was admitted there last Monday.

He was 84 and had undergone a surgery to remove a brain tumour only a month prior. A week later, his condition quickly deteriorated and he slipped into a coma.

After a day long struggle, the man who was the uncontested guru of Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan was declared dead at 7 pm.

He had suffered a massive heart attack at 6.40 pm and had succumbed to it. "His infection had heightened and his weakness did not help. The fever was under control but there was very little that we could do given his age," said a hospital spokesperson.

The genius behind evergreen hits like Thillu Mullu and several other films, KB as he was fondly known, was improving with care - but it did not last. There were signs that he may well beat this bout of bad health, but despite the doctors' best efforts, KB passed on.

During the end, just before he was pronounced dead he was surrounded by his son Prasanna, his daughter Pushpa and his assistant Mohan besides a few others. Immediately after, they were inconsolable and had to be removed from the ICU, given their state of grief. His funeral is expected to be held on Thursday, pending a‎rrangements.

Hospital sources added that he had been on dialysis for ‎the last 4 days, as his kidneys were completely damaged, "The urinary infection that he had come in with had affected his kidneys badly. He had improved on dialysis, but his age factor was too much to battle. He went into kidney failure and then passed away after he had a cardiac arrest," said the source.

K. Balachander (1930-2014)

Veteran filmmaker K. Balachander passed away on December 23, 2014.

Director K. Balachander has donned many roles in the film industry. He was also a screenwriter, producer, actor and play-writer.

Born in July 1930, KB as he is popularly known in the industry, has directed over 100 films in various languages in his 45-year career span.

Also known as Iyakunar Sigaram, he entered the film industry as a scriptwriter for the MGR starrer Dheiva Thaai.

KB established himself as a director with Neer Kumizhi. The film won a National Award. Since then, his association with actor Nagesh went a long way. He directed many films with the late actor as lead in many films such as Major Chandrakant, Ethir Neechal, and Bama Vijayam. File Photo of Nagesh and K. Balachander at a felicitation ceremony.

The director has introduced over 100 actors to the industry, including Prakash Raj, Vivek, Sujatha, Sripriya and Saritha. Still shows Sujatha (left) and Sripriya in the film Aval Oru Thodarkathai.

Superstar Rajinikanth was introduced by the Iyakunar Sigaram in his film Apoorva Ragangal (in picture). The actor played a negative role in the film. Some of the other films of this duo are Moondru Mudichu, Thillu Mullu and Avargal.

KB also gave a break to Kamal Haasan and starred him as supporting actor in Arangetram, Aval Oru Thodarkathai and Naan Avan Illai. Later the director gave him the lead role in Apoorva Ragangal. Image shows Kamal Haasan (left), K Balachander (centre) and Rajinikanth sharing a light moment.

Balachander also gave Sridevi her first lead role in his film Moondru Mudichu (in picture). Photo: Special Arrangement

Most of his films were based on family and social issues like Varumayin Niram Sigapu (in picture), Thaneer Thaneer etc. Photo: Special Arrangement

Distinguishing trait of his films were the strong potrayal of woman characters. Films such as Aval Oru Thodarkathai, Arangetram (in picture), Avargal, Sindhu Bairavi and Manathil Uruthi Vendum were critically acclaimed for being way ahead of times.

In the initial days, his plays were made as movies directed and produced by him. Some of the notable ones are Server Sundaram (in picture), Neerkumizhi, Mezhuguvathi, Navagraham and Naanal.

He also owned a production house, Kavithalaya Productions, that produced many of films and serials. Still from the film Netrikan, the first film produced by the production house.

Apart from Tamil, KB has also directed in three other languages viz., Hindi, Telugu and Kannada. Still from the film Ek Duje ke Liye.

The veteran director also enterted the the small screen with serials like Rail Sneham, Sahaana (in picture), Ramani vs Ramani, Jannal and Anni.

KB has won many awards including National award, Dada Saheb Phalke Award (2010). Padma Shri (1987), Filmfares and Nandi awards among others. In this September 2011 photo, the then President Prathiba Patil presents the Dadasaheb Phalke award to K. Balachander.

Some of his notable assistants who are now an established director are Samuthirakani, Vasanth, Saran and Selvaraghavan. Picture shows director Vasanth (left) having a word with K. Balachander.

He also done cameo roles in films such as Kalki, Poi and Ninathathu Yaaro. In Rettaisuzhi, the iyakunar sigaram played the lead role alongside Jayachitra, Anjali and Bharatiraja. Still from the film Rettaisuzhi.

- Thanks, The Hindu

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