Legendary Film Director G N Rangarajan, who has directed many Tamil films considered classics such as Meendum Kokila, Kadal Meengal, and Kalyana Raman, passed away by 8.45 this morning in Chennai.
He was 90.
Rangarajan, who began his film career by directing the immensely popular Kalyana Raman featuring Kamal Haasan and Sridevi in the lead, had been keeping unwell for the last few days.
The famous director also happens to be the father of director GNR Kumaravelan, who has directed films like Ninaithale Innikum, Yuvan Yuvathi and Haridas.
In fact, director Kumaravelan had spoken emotionally about his dad on his dad’s 90th birthday last year. He had then said, “More than imparting the technical aspects of filmmaking skills, my father would always insist me to be disciplined and never hurt anyone with words and deeds. He would always warn me saying, ‘Once your character loses its reputation, you will never get it back. So beware of your words and actions. At the same time, be strong and never lose confidence in yourself as you will come across many, who will try to hurt you and hamper your success.’ Well, I think, I am somewhat inclined to his teachings that keep my journey in the industry going.”
GNR Kumaravelan added, “My father started his journey as an assistant editor to Dorai Singam and was deeply influenced by the films of director Bheem Singh. Later, he was associated with director SP Muthuraman sir for many years. During this period, he worked in around 25 movies and this list includes Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri, Aaril Irundhu Aruvadhu Varai and Priya.
“During this period, he gained the acquaintance of Rajinikanth sir and Kamal Haasan sir. In fact, he had the call sheets of both these iconic actors. However, it was during this period that both Rajini sir and Kamal sir decided that they would not share screen space anymore.
“He made the film ‘Kalyana Raman’ with Kamal sir, which was a super hit. Following this, my father worked with Kamal Haasan sir in nine movies including Meendum Kokila, Kadal Meengal and Maharasan. All these movies were silver jubilee hits.
“Later, my dad became a producer with the movie ‘Rani Theni’, for which Kamal Haasan sir never took any salary. Unfortunately, one of the films produced by my father turned out to be a failure. Immediately, it was Kamal sir, who gave a call sheet for ‘Maharasan’ and all our financial issues got resolved overnight. Such is the beautiful friendship that existed between my father and Kamal sir.
“Even I made my debut as an assistant director with Kamal sir’s all-time classic comedy flick ‘Sathileelavathi’, which was directed by Balu Mahendra sir,” GNR Kumaravelan informed.
GN Rangarajan quit filmmaking after ‘Maharasan’ and later embarked on his journey in small screen industry with a TV serial ‘Raghuvasam’. It was the first-ever mega serial in the history of Tamil satellite channel industry.