Filmmaker par excellence: Kalatapasvi Viswanath no more

K. Viswanath passes away on the day his iconic movie ‘Sankarabharanam’ was released in 1980

February 03, 2023 01:13 am | Updated 12:36 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Renowned film director K. Viswanath (92) passed away in Hyderabad on February 03, 2023.

Renowned film director K. Viswanath (92) passed away in Hyderabad on February 03, 2023. | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

Renowned film director Kasinadhuni Viswanath (92) passed away around midnight of Thursday and Friday in Hyderabad. He is survived by wife and three children.

Ailing for some time, the filmmaker was admitted to a private hospital when there was a sharp drop in his pulse. He breathed his last a little around midnight. His mortal remains were shifted to his residence in Jubilee Hills.

Born on February 19, 1930, in Guntur district, Kalatapasvi — as he was popularly known — was a top film director and screenwriter who also acted in a couple of hit movies. He had directed over 50 films in Telugu, Hindi and Tamil languages.

| Video Credit: ANI

His top movies include Sankarabharanam, Siri Siri Muvva, Saptapadi, Subhalekha, Sagarasangamam. Swathimuthyam, Sutradharulu, Sruthilayalu, Subhasankalpam, Apathabandhavudu, Swayam Krushi and Swarnakamalam. Swathimuthyam, the blockbuster movie starring Kamal Hassan was India’s official entry for Best Foreign Language film at the 59 th Academy Awards.

K Viswanath began his directorial venture with Atma Gouravam in 1965 which went on to win the Nandi Award for the best feature film as a debut director. The last movie he directed was Subhapradam in 2010. He also dabbled in acting by appearing first in 1995 in Subhasankalpam and was last seen in the Kannada film Oppandu. He appeared in over two dozen movies and was seen alongside top Telugu heroes.

He won five National Film Awards, seven Nandi awards, and 10 Filmfare Awards for South. In 1992, he was conferred Raghupathi Venkaiah Award by the Andhra Pradesh government, and in 2017, the Union government presented him with Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest award in Indian cinema.

Incidentally, his blockbuster Sankarabharanam, a film that tells the story of a rare and exceptional bond between the master of classical music Sankara Sastry and his admirer Tulasi, a woman from a family of sex workers, was released 43 years ago on this day.

A pall of gloom descended on the film industry soon after his demise. Condolences poured in from the industry on the untimely demise of the legendary director.

Minister for Cinematography Talasani Srinivas Yadav and actor Rajashekar paying tributes to director K. Viswanath (92) who passed away in Hyderabad on February 03, 2023.

Minister for Cinematography Talasani Srinivas Yadav and actor Rajashekar paying tributes to director K. Viswanath (92) who passed away in Hyderabad on February 03, 2023. | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy condoled the death of the legendary film director.

Mr. Reddy said Viswanath ranked at the top of all-time great film directors in Telugu. He said that the legendary director, with his critically acclaimed films, had not only won laurels across the globe but brought recognition to Telugu culture and Indian arts.

Mr. Rao recalled his association with the filmmaker and said he had personally visited his residence when the latter was ailing. He said the works of Viswanath will be etched in the memory of everyone.

Telangana ministers Niranjan Reddy, Sathyavathi Rathod, and the State Planning Board Vice-Chairman B. Vinod Kumar also expressed their condolences.

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