Ravichandran, who as a flamboyant young actor delighted audiences with his very first film, Kaadhalikka Neramillai , died late on Monday night at a city hospital. He was 69.

Ravichandran had been ailing for a while, and had been in a couple of hospitals being treated for several complications, including lung infection and failing kidneys.

Born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Ravichandran went on to do his schooling there, only coming to Tiruchi for his Pre University. On completion of that course, he reportedly came to Madras to join a medical college. His career, however, was to take a completely different, more-colourful-than-anticipated path.

Kaadhalikka Neramillai (1964) turned out to be a superhit: its songs memorable, and some of the scenes featuring T.S.Balaiya and Nagesh (with dialogue by Chitralaya Gopu) classic comedy. The young man Ravichandran who got his big break with director Sridhar went on to act in Tamil films for the next decade or so, going on to star in more hits, including the thriller Adhey Kangal and the rollicking comedy Utharavindri Ullevaa

He also did a role in Arunachalam , the Rajinikanth starrer in the late 1990s. Ravichandran got down to direction, later in 2005, launching his son Hamsavardhan.

He is survived by his wife Vimala, daughter Lavanya, and sons Balaji and Hamsavardhan. He was earlier married to Malayalam actor Sheela.