Veteran Tamil actor Gemini Ganesan (85) expired on the midnight of Monday at 1:30am due to prolonged illness at his home in Chennai. He is survived by seven daughters and one son. Popular Hindi actress Rekha is one of his daughters. He acted in more than 200 films in various languages like Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada and Malayalam.
Fondly known as "Kadhal Mannan" (King of romance), Ganesan had acted in several box-office hits during his heydays between 1950 and 1970 and paired with then top heroines such as Savithri, whom he later married, Saroja Devi, Vaijayanthi Mala, "Sowcar" Janaki and Devika. His memorable films “Vanchikotai Valiban”, “Kalyana Parisu”, “Missiamma”, “Pasamalar, “Konjum Silangai” are a few to mention.
Tamil film industry has come to a standstill from 2 pm today to show their respect to the legend. Nadigar Sangam Chief Vijaykanth said that there will no shooting, post production work or any sort of filmi-function for the rest of the day.
The celebrities who came to Gemini Ganesan’s house to pay condolence were Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa, DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi, actors Kamal Haasan, Vijaykanth, Sarath Kumar, Prabhu, Karthik, K.R.Vijaya, Revathy, Saranya, Manorama, Nagesh, Vijaykumar, Anand Raj, Senthil, Goudamani, directors K. Balachandar, Kastoori Raja, Aishwarya Rajnikanth, former producer-actor K. Balajee and others.
He was an actor who mesmerized thousands of his fans. Last time when I came to meet him, he looked very happy and fine. I know him from very young days. I used to watch him while I went for my swimming classes at the YMCA grounds. A glorious chapter in Indian cinema comes to an end here.
It is a great loss not only for Indian cinema but for me it is a personal loss. He was like a fatherly figure for me, a sort of guide and a person to look up on. He always led a happy and healthy life. Though his health was not-so-good for the past few years, I never thought that he would leave us so fast. He is a great actor whom I have thottu, Paathu, Pazhagiya (touched, looked and learned).
A very warm and loving person. Nobody can replace him. May his soul rest in peace!
The cremation will take place at the electric crematorium in Besant Nagar, in south Chennai. The state government has decided to give a state funeral to the octogenarian actor. One of his daughters is Dr Kamala Selvaraj, a renowned city-based gynecologist will be performing his last rites. Actress Rekha is not attending her father's funeral as she is shooting for a film in Kulu Manali said a family source.