IN BRIEF

Vishnu’s link with Prajavani
»Vishnuvardhan had a distinct relationship with Kannada daily, Prajavani. His father H L Narayanarao was working as proof reader in the daily in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Vishnu used to visit the office often.
Y N Krishnamurthy (YNK), then senior journalist working with Prajavani, noticed hidden talent in Vishnu and got him a chance to play a role in Vamshavruksha, produced by G V Iyer. That was his first movie. Later, he got a chance to play the lead role in ‘Nagarahavu.’ From then on his film journey saw many hits.

Angry young man  
»Vishnu emerged as angry young man of Kannada film industry in 1972 with ‘Nagarahavu’, directed by Puttanna Kanagal. The movie, based on a novel by TaRaSu, was shot in Chitradurga. Kanagal christened Sampath Kumar as Vishnuvardhan, which became the star’s name thereafter. Vishnu had a special affection for Chitradurga. He celebrated completion of his 25 years in the industry here. He also played the role of Chitradurga ruler Madakarinayaka in the movie ‘Deva’.

How lion was born
»Vishnu became popular as “Sahasa Simha” (valorous lion) among his fans after he played the lead role of the same name. Writer Kunigal Nagabhushan, who wrote dialogues for the movie, gave the title. He worked with Vishnu for 40 films, 37 of them completing 100 days.”

In Kollywood
»Though he starred in only three Tamil movies, Vishnu will be fondly remembered by Kollywood for his performance in two of them. ‘Viduthalai’ (1986), produced by K Balaji remains the most popular Tamil movie.  Playing a fugitive, a partner-in-crime with Rajnikant, Vishnu came across as the genuine mass hero.
In Mazhalai Pattalam (1980), he played the lead, Vishnu appears in the movie as the guardian of a bunch of children whose pranks form the basis of the super hit comedy. It was only non-Kannada movie in which Vishnu did not co-star with other heroes and yet delivered a genuine hit.

Bharati remains calm
»Film star Bharati, widow of Vishnuvardhan, remained composed through the day. She remained next to the freezer casket in which the body was kept for public viewing. Bharati was seen consoling Vishnu’s fans.
She requested Vishnu’s fans to maintain peace and let her husband’s soul rest in peace. She appeared before TV cameras to state that Vishnu did not like noise. “It is your responsibility to see that he gets a peaceful farewell,” she said.

Cook faints
»The death of Vishnu was too much of a shock for his close associates. His personal cook for the last 25 years, Sridhar fainted when he learnt about the death of his master in the wee hours of Wednesday, and was rushed to a hospital for treatment. V Manohar, music director swooned when he reached Vishnu’s house.

Black Wednesday
»For Kannada film industry, Wednesday seems to be fateful day. Vishnu’s death on Wednesday made many recall that four years ago, actor Rajkumar too died on a Wednesday (April 12, 2006).

Soundarya then, Vishnu now
»In 2004, P Vasu directed ‘Apthamitra’ with Vishnu, Dwarakish, Ramesh and Soundarya in the cast. A few days before the movie was released, Soundarya who played a major role in the movie died in a helicopter crash in Bangalore. The movie turned out to be a super hit. Vasu has just completed directing Vishnu’s last movie, ‘Apta Rakshaka.’ ‘Apthamitra’ then and ‘Aptha Rakshaka’ now are based on supernatural characters. Many in the film industry circulated an SMS on Wednesday morning saying, “Soundarya then, Vishnu now...”

Schools, colleges remained closed
»All schools and colleges across the State remained closed on Wednesday. However, the exams conducted by various universities were held as per the schedule.  As a precaution, policemen were deployed near nursing homes, hospitals and educational institutions in Bangalore. However schools will resume on Thursday as per their respective schedule.

‘Apthamitra’ no more
»Two weeks ago senior actor and producer Dwarakish penned a script in his personal diary imagining Vishnu in the lead role. The script begins with Vishnu’s 60th birthday celebrations. Dwarakish titled his new project ‘Aalada Mara’.  Dwarakish is now just left with his script. They worked together on 16 movies. Their friendship broke down at one point of time. But, they came together again for Dwarakish’s production, ‘Apthamitra’ (Dear friend).

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