Veteran actor Srikanth, who was former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s first hero in her debut film Vennira Aadai, died in the city on Tuesday. He was 82.
In a career spanning several decades, Mr. Srikanth had starred in several Tamil films playing hero, villain, and character artiste. Before he got into films, he was working in the American Consulate in Chennai.
Directed by C.V. Sridhar, the 1965 film Vennira Aadai marked the debut of the actor in films. Before this, he was active in theatre and had been part of several notable Tamil stage productions.
Mr. Srikanth went on to star in several films alongside actors Sivaji Ganesan, Muthuraman, Jeyashankar and others.
Notable among films featuring him are Bama Vijayam, Nootrukku Nooru, Ethir Neechal, Praptham and Kaasedhan Kadavulada. He played the antagonist in Rajinikanth’s film Bairavi, and later went on to work with both Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan in their films.
The 1974 film Dikkatra Parvathi in which he starred opposite Lakshmi went on to win the national award for best Tamil Film.
“He was extremely popular for his role in Thanga Pathakkam. At one point of time, Srikanth had a prominent role in nearly every major Tamil film that came out between 1975 and1985,” said actor and director Y. Gee. Mahendra, who had acted in several films with the late actor.
Mr. Mahendra recalled that in the early 1960s, Mr. Srikanth had starred in several hit plays by K. Balachander’s troupe, and went on to star in his films.
“He had his own unique style of acting and excelled in all roles — be it comedy or playing the antagonist,” he added.
Chief Minister M.K. Stalin condoled the death of Mr Srikanth. In a condolence message, Mr. Stalin said the actor was introduced in cinema by director Sridhar and had acted in memorable movies such as Bhairavi and Thangapathakkam.
“Since he lived in our locality, I knew him personally. I have had the opportunity to meet him personally on multiple occasions,” Mr. Stalin recalled.
The Chief Minister offered his deep condolences to the bereaved family.