Noted Kannada film writer and director R N Jayagopal passed away on Monday, May 19. He was 71. He leaves behind his wife, Lalitha, and son, Raviprasad, who works as a software engineer in the US.
Jayagopal's father R Nagendra Rao was a legendary actor-director and a pioneer in guiding the Kannada film industry to the forefront. He was very active for three decades -- from the 1940s to the 1960s.
While Rao's first son Krishna Prasad worked as a cameraman, Jayagopal chose to be a writer. Sudarshan, the third son, became an actor and has worked in many Kannada, Telugu and Tamil films.
Jayagopal started his film career as a lyricist under his father's direction in Premada Putri, for the song, Thribhuvana Janani Jaganmohini. Writing was Jayagopal's forte and he has written over 12,000 songs for various Kannada films. He has also penned dialogues for many films.
Some of Jayagopal's famous songs are Bellimodadha Anchininidha (Bellimoda), Karpooradha Gome Naanu (Naagarahaavu), Naguva Nayana Manada Mouna (Pallavi Anu Pallavi), Apaara Keerthi (Vijayanagarada Veeraputhra) and Haadondha Haaduve Nee Kelu Maguve (Naandhi), to name a few. He has worked with noted music directors like Ilayaraja, R Nagendra Rao and Vijaya Bhaskar.
Jayagopal turned director in 1968 with Dhoomakethu. He has directed successful television serials like Janani. Unfortunately, he could not complete his ambitious project, Ramayana Tele, on which he was working for the past year.
Well known director S V Rajendra Singh Babu, former president of the Kannada film directors association describes Jayagopal as a fine human being and the most talented writer in Kannada. "Writers like Jayagopal sir enriched the Kannada film lyrics. They were able to understand the requirements of the script and thus add life to the lyrics. As Jayagopal was a voracious reader, his lyrics had a special quality that was not seen in others," he said.
Kannada film industry has truly lost one of its talented lyricists.