D. Rajendra Babu (62), Kannada filmmaker and screenplay writer, died of a heart attack here on Sunday. He is survived by his wife and two daughters.
According to his daughter Nakshatra, who is also an actor, Mr. Babu was rushed to a private hospital after he suffered a heart attack, where doctors declared him “brought dead.”
She said her father was suffering from low blood sugar and was not keeping well for some time.
Condoling Mr. Babu’s death, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and State Minister for Information Santosh Lad said he had carved a niche for himself in the Kannada film industry.
The former Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa also mourned the filmmaker.
Actor Shivarajkumar said Mr. Babu was the finest director and his death was a great loss for the Kannada film industry.
Actor-turned-MP Ramya said, “We used to enjoy working with Mr. Babu. He was the most affectionate person.”
Upendra, who starred in Mr. Babu’s Uppi Dada M.B.B.S., a remake of Munna Bhai MBBS and Hollywood –a science fiction, said; “Mr. Babu’s death is quite unexpected. May his soul rest in peace.”
Mr. Babu had directed over 50 films in a career spanning three decades. He had given numerous blockbusters and most of them were remakes.
He was popularly known as “remake specialist” as many of his blockbusters were remakes. Mr. Babu and Ravichandran’s combination did “miracle” through Ramachari, Yuga Purusha, Annaiah and Yaare Neenu Cheluve.
He was also at ease in directing films based on novels and His Jeevanadi and Halunda Tavaru are testimony to this.
He even directed Hindi, Malayalam and Telugu films.
Nanu Nanna Hendti, Olavina Udugore, Amma, Encounter Dayanayak, Diggajaru, Appaji, Ramarajyadalli Rakshasaru and Bindas were his other notable films.
Babu was working on Aryan, starring Shivarajkumar and Ramya and his Kuchchiku was ready for release, sources in the Kannada film industry said.
Mr. Babu joined the Kannada film industry three decades ago as an actor, but later became a filmmaker. He worked as an associate with many top filmmakers, including S.V. Rajendra Singh Babu, K.S. R. Das and V. Somashekar.
He became an independent director with Jiddu starring Prabhakar and Jaimala.
He achieved success through films such as Swabhimana and Naanu Nanna Hendti, which were massive silver jubilee hits. He was known for his sentimental films such as Karulina Koogu and Haalunda Thavaru.
He had directed stars such as Vishnuvardhan Ambarish, Anant Nag, Shankar Nag, Ravichandran, Shivarajkumar, Upendra and Sudeep.
He got the Karnataka State film award for Best Screenplay for his Habba and was honoured with the Puttanna Kanagal award in 2012 for his contribution to the film industry.