Veteran actor Chandrashekhar, 63, dies of heart attack in Canada

Veteran actor Chandrashekhar, 63, dies of heart attack in Canada

Veteran actor Chandrashekhar, 63, dies of heart attack in Canada

Kannada actor Chandrashekhar died of a heart attack on Saturday. He was 63.

Best known as the hero of Edakallu Guddada Mele, he had settled in Canada, where he worked as a visa officer at the Indian High Commission. News of his death came in from Canada on Saturday afternoon. He is survived by his wife Sheela and daugher Tanya.

Kuduvalli Chandrashekhar was a student of National Middle School in Basavanagudi when he was chosen for the children's film Namma Makkalu (1969). He appeared in 'Ninnolume namagirali tande,' a song remembered fondly to this day.

Chandru, as he was popularly known, was then picked for a role in Vamshavriksha (1972), directed by B V Karanth and Girish Karnad. He then auditioned for Nagarahavu, the film that would make Vishnuvardhan a big star.

Chandru didn't get the film, but director Puttanna Kanagal chose him as the lead for his Edakallu Guddada Mele. The film explored a complex relationship involving a woman, her crippled soldier-husband, and a flamboyant, motorbike-riding neighbour played by Chandru. Jayanthi and Chandru appeared in the famous song 'Viraha nooru nooru taraha.'

He then got to play many roles, but not as the hero. Soon after an astro-palmist predicted he would settle abroad, he met Sheela. She flew abroad to study, and came back only after four years.

They were then married, and had to settle in Canada, where Sheela began working. That was when he took up a job as visa officer.

Chandru renewed his links with the Kannada film industry by directing Poorvapara in 2004, which made it to the Toronto International Film Festival. He got dancer Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, related to him and busy in Malayalam films, to debut in Kannada.

His last appearance was in the film 3 Gante 30 Dina 30 Second, released last week.

With Rajkumar and Vishnu
Chandru acted in about 40 films in Kannada, including in Rajkumar blockbusters such as Sampattige Savala, Raja Nanna Raja, and Shankar Guru.

He was Vishnuvardhan's co-star in Vamshavriksha, and acted with Anant Nag in another arthouse film, Hamsageethe.

Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, who acted as the lead in Chandru's film Poorvapara, described him as 'kind-hearted'. He was a connoisseur of dance, and would attend her classical dance recitals regularly, she told DH.