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Popular Tamil actor-filmmaker Visu passes away at 75

MR Viswanathan, or Visu, as he was popularly known, died due to cardiac arrest on Sunday. 

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Popular Tamil actor-filmmaker MR Viswanathan, aka Visu, passed away in Chennai on Sunday due to cardiac arrest. He was 75.

According to a statement issued by his daughter Lavanya, the veteran had suffered a cardiac arrest and was rushed to a hospital on Sunday afternoon. He passed away shortly after that. The funeral will be held on Monday.

Viswanathan’s tryst with acting began on stage during his school days. Before making his entry into Tamil films, he was part of YG Parthasarathy’s theatre troupe and later went on to form his own troupe as well.

As a filmmaker, some of his popular films include, Manal Kayiru (1982), Dowry Kalyanam (1983), Samsaram Adhu Minsaram (1986), and Aval Sumangalithaan (1985). Visu made a strong impact as a filmmaker, with his family stories, which had a strong dose of humour. 

Two of his films - Samsaram Adhu Minsaram and Neenga Nalla Irukkanum (1992) – won the National award. His 1990 film, Varavu Nalla Uravu won the Tamil Nadu State award for Best Writer.

Visu was immensely popular for hosting the Tamil debate show Arattai Arangam on Sun TV. The show was aired for several years and dealt with various social issues. He later went on to host Makkal Arangam, another popular talk show on Jaya TV.

In 2016, Visu joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Several Tamil celebrities took to Twitter to share express their condolences over the demise of the legend. Actress Radikaa Sarathkumar tweeted: “RIP director and writer Visu sir, contribution to cinema and stage was immense. Our condolences to the family and may he rest in peace. (sic).”

Actor Karthi tweeted: “Deepest condolences on the demise of legendary Visu sir. He’ll always be remembered for his classic films/talk shows & the family values for which he stood by. As a strong administrator & a guiding force in many assn. his absence creates a huge void. We will miss you sir. (sic)”

Filmmaker Mohan Raja tweeted: “Visu sir, the legend. You will be always in my thoughts for creating the everlasting, ever inspiring Samsaram Adhu Minsaram. May your soul Rest in Peace sir (sic)”