Article Kannada Tamil

Actor-director Vinu Chakravarthy, who discovered Silk Smitha, dies at 72

Vinu, who was considered a lucky charm by superstar Rajinikanth, had acted in over 1,000 films in the South.

Manigandan KR

Veteran actor-director Vinu Chakravarthy, who acted in over 1,000 films, died in Chennai on Thursday, the same day Hindi film star Vinod Khanna died of cancer in Mumbai.

Vinu, 72, had been ailing for the past three years and was receiving treatment at a private hospital. Known for his acting skills as much as he was for his direction, Vinu was the one who introduced actress Silk Smitha to the film industry in Vandichakkaram (1980).

The actor was also considered lucky by superstar Rajinikanth, who ensured that he was part of all his films. In fact, Vinu Chakravarthy has acted in 25 Rajinikanth-starrers, all of which went on to become super hits.

Born to Adimoola Thevar and Manjuvani Ammal in Usilampatti in 1945, Vinu Chakravarthy was the eldest of five siblings. He studied at Wesley school and, later, at AM Jain college in Chennai before becoming a sub-inspector in the police for a brief period. He also worked with the Southern Railways for four years.

It was during this time that Vinu participated in a number of plays as an actor. He entered films first as a scriptwriter for Kannada director Puttanna Kanagal. He was given an opportunity by Tiruppur Mani, who cast him in Parasangada Gendethimma (1978), a Kannada film. He made his Tamil film debut the following year in the film Rosappu Ravikkaikari, which featured Sivakumar in the lead. He also wrote the screenplay for the film.

There was no looking back for Vinu Chakravarthy thereafter. He went on to be a part of over 1,000 films. Raghava Lawrence's blockbuster thriller Muni (2007) was his thousandth film. His last appearance was in the Tamil film, Vaaya Moodi Pesavum (2014).

The veteran, who performed in several films as villain and comedian, will be best remembered for his roles in classics like Manivannan's Gopurangal Saivathillai (1982), Bharathiraja's Mann Vasanai (1983), and blockbusters like SP Muthuraman's Guru Shishyan (1988) and Sabapathy's Sundarapurushan (1996).

Vinu Chakravarthy is survived by his wife, son Saravana Priyan, and daughter Shanmugha Priya.

The last rites of the veteran film artiste will be performed today.