New Year Specials: Gone but not forgotten

A tribute to all those who have left us in 2009

“The hour of departure has arrived and we go our ways; I to die, and you to live. Which is better? Only God knows,” said Socrates. But there are some people who always live in the hearts of others. Even though they have left us forever, they would never be forgotten. As a new dawn and a new year is coming, we take a look at some people who remains in our hearts forever.

Born in a Kannada Brahmin family, Gundu Rao came to Chennai in the early sixties with the dream of becoming a great actor. He joined drama groups and then, there was no looking back. He went on to become one of the most legendary artists in Indian Cinema. He is none other than the great comedian Nagesh.

He could make the audience laugh in amusement or shed a tear in empathy. One of the best comedians and character artists of Indian cinema, actor Nagesh passed away on January 31, 2009 after a brief illness. Being a real pride to Tamil cinema, this 1000-film old veteran will be missed and very dearly. An actor par excellence, probably one of those few actors who could brilliantly perform any role with perfection.

National award winning actor and theatre personality Murali passed away on August 6, 2009 at age 55. A native of Kudavattoor in Kollam, Murali acted in more than 300 films and carved a niche for himself with the kind of impact his characters made on screen.

He won the National Award for his stellar performance as Appa Mestri in director Priyanandanan's Neythukaran in 2002. He also won many state and other awards for his roles in Amaram, Aadharam, Kanakkinavu and Thalolam and many others. Suriya's Aadhavan directed by K.S. Ravikumar was his last movie.

Flamboyant Bollywood actor-producer-director Feroz Khan passed away after losing a year-long battle with cancer on 27 April, 2009. Who can forget this Qurbani star, one of India's best-loved heroes? The actor, who appeared in more than 50 films, was honoured with many prestigious awards in his long and successful career in Bollywood.

Versatile Malayalam actor Rajan P. Dev who enacted villainous characters on celluloid with ease left us on July 29, 2009. Regardless of the kind of roles he got – villainous, humorous or character – he handled them all with artistic mastery. Coming from a strong theatrical background, he acted in over 180 films in Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada, besides directing two films.

It was a black day in Tamil film industry when Rambo Rajkumar, the stupefying stunt choreographer who dazzled all with his breathtaking stunt choreographies throughout all his shows on screen, departed from this world on April 25, 2009.

Ace Kannada actor Vishnuvardhan succumbed to a severe heart attack at age 59 in Mysore on 30th December. He appeared in 200 films in Kannada and was very popular for his friendly nature and good deeds. Popularly referred to as the Phoenix of Kannada cinema, Vishnuvardhan is survived by his wife Bharathi and two adopted daughters, Keerthi and Chandana. Vishnuvardhan shot into stardom with his role of an angry young rebel in Naagarahavu.

Other noted celebrities laid to rest in 2009 include Bollywood actress and costume designer Simple Kapadia, legendary bollywood film producer and director Prakash Mehra and foremost Indian writer Dilip Chitre.


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