Renowned filmmaker Balu Mahendra passed away at a private hospital in Chennai on Thursday, February 13, following a cardiac arrest, sources close to his family said. He was 74.
Balu Mahendra was rushed to Vijaya hospital where he breathed his last, sources said.
He is survived by his wife and son.
Born on May 20, 1939, he started his career in the tinsel world as a cinematographer and later went onto direct
some of the most memorable movies, including the award winning Moondram Pirai and Veedu.
He recently released his directorial venture Thalai Muraigal, which depicts the relationship between a grandfather and his grandson, in which he played the protagonist. The film had received rave reviews.
Balu Mahendra started his career in the industry as a cinematographer for the Malayalam movie Nellu in 1974. The film earned him the best cinematographer award from the Kerala government.
Since then he has been chosen as the best cinematographer for many times in various Indian films, winning the National Award for cinematography twice.
Mahendra is considered to be among the first to pioneer innovative camera style for colour in South India besides drawing acclaim for the use of natural lighting as much as possible in his frames.
He made his directional debut in 1977 through the Kannada film Kokila, and went to wield the megaphone in over 20 films in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi.
While his movies Veedu (1988) and Vanna Vanna Pookkal (1992) won the National Award for the best feature film in Tamil, Sandhya Raagam (1990) won the award for best film on family welfare.
He is best known for his film, Moondram Pirai, starring Kamal Hassan and Sridevi, which was subsequently remade in Hindi as Sadma.