Renowned Kannada actor and popular villain Vajramuni, who had acted in over 300 films, passed away on Thursday morning in a private nursing home following a cardiac arrest. He was 62 and is survived by his wife and three sons.
He had been suffering from chronic diabetes and protracted kidney-related illness and was on dialysis since the last five years. The last rites of the departed artiste were performed in the evening.
Born on May 10, 1944, in Kanakapalya in Bangalore he entered the world of cinema through theatre.
He started his own theatre troupe and came into limelight through his mythological and historical plays. His role as Ravana in the play “Prachanda Ravana” directed by Kanagal Prabhakar Shastri gained him immense popularity among the audience. “Malammana Pavada” directed by late Puttana Kanagal was his first Kannada film.
He played the role of a villain in over 300 films and with his gravelly voice and intense acting skills he was quite fearsome bringing alive the character he played. Many of his films, including ‘Bangarada Manushya’, ‘Sampathige Sawal’, ‘Ganda Bherunda’, ‘Huliya Haalina Mevu’ and ‘Mayura’, brought him name and fame.
He also produced movies such as “Ganda Bherunda”, “Taigintha Devarilla”, “Hasida Hebbuli”, “Brahmasthra” and “Ranabheri.” He won a number of awards including the State and Rajyotsava awards.
Despite his chronic ailment he continued to serve in his capacity as the President of Jayanagar Housing Co-operative Society.
He also unsuccessfully contested for the Legislative Assembly from Basavanagudi.
A stream of people andmany film personalities such as Rajkumar, Vishnuvardhan Ambareesh, Srinivas Murthy, Karnataka film Chamber of Commerce President H D Gangaraju paid their last respects to the artiste at his residence.