K. Balachander hospitalized.... recovering

Veteran director K. Balachander, who has been admitted to a private hospital, is recovering from ‘age-related ailments’, doctors said.

The 84-year-old Mr. Balachander was admitted to Kauvery Hospital in Chennai on Monday afternoon, after he had developed fever and certain ‘age-related ailments’. By evening, there were reports that he was critical and that he was in the ICU of the hospital. The hospital later issued a press note clarifying that “at present, he is stable and all necessary treatments are being given”.

By evening, actor Rajinikanth visited the hospital and told the waiting mediapersons that the director had recognised him and smiled.

He appealed to everyone not to spread any rumours about his health, and expressed confidence that he would recuperate.

Other film personalities who visited the hospital included his former assistant directors Vasanth, Manobala, actor Mohan Raman and Khushboo. She tweeted from her account: “K Balachander Sir is fine. It’s an age-related ailment. I am here with him at the hospital. Superstar just left. Please don’t believe the rumours.”

Popularly referred to in the Tamil film industry as ‘Iyakunar Sigaram,’ Mr. Balachander received the Dadasaheb Phalke award, the highest recognition for excellence in cinema in the country, in 2010.

He has directed over 100 films and is revered for being a talent-spotter both among artistes and technicians.

The two greatest talents he has nurtured are Kamal Hassan and Rajinikanth, a fact that both the actors have repeatedly acknowledged over the years.

One of the greats from the south Indian film industry, who transitioned from the black-and-white cinema era to the present, Mr. Balachander’s most prolific years were in the three decades from 1960s to the 1980s.

He also produced several hit films through his production house Kavithaalaya Productions.


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