Veteran Tamil director J Mahendran, 79, passed away at his residence in Chennai around 7:45 AM today. Public Homage for the director will be held from 10 AM and his last rites will be performed at 5 PM today. The director had been admitted to Apollo Hospital, following kidney-related ailments and became sick after a dialysis session. He was taken back home last night.
Born in 1939, Mahendran started his film career penning stories for Tamil films including Jai Shankar’s Naam Moovar (1966), Jayalalithaa’s Panakkara Pillai (1968) and Sivaji Ganesan-starrer Thangapathakkam (1974) among others.
Mullum Malarum directed by Mahendran turned out to be a milestone in super star Rajinikanth’s career. His film Nenjathai Killathe, starring Suhasini and Mohan in the lead, went on to win three National Awards, and Sasanam (2006) was his last directorial venture.
Though Mahendran stopped directing films post Sasanam (2006), he took up acting assignments. He appeared in character roles in Theri, Nimir, Seethakaathi, Petta and most recently Boomerang.