Mysore, Dec 30: Popular Kannada actor Vishnuvardhan died of cardiac arrest in Mysore in the early hours on Wednesday. He was 59. His real name was Sampath Kumar. Vishnuvardhan, whom his fans had fondly awarded the title "sahasa simha" (a valour lion), developed breathing problems at about 0230 hours and he was immediately taken to a private hospital where he breathed his last, sources said.
According to hospital sources, he died at around 0300 hrs. His actress wife Bharathi and son-in-law Anirudh were by his side when the Kannada star died. He has acted in 197 films and had many awards to his credit.
Vishnuvardhan, a versatile actor, made his debut into the ’’Sandalwood’’ through "Vamsharukha", an art film directed by Janapeetha awardee Girish Karnad. He was launched into fame for his role ’’Ramachari’’, a wayward and rebellious student in "Nagarahaavu", a film directed by acclaimed director Puttanna Kanagal.
Vishnuvardhan did not look back since then and went on to win seven state honours and five film fare awards. The last film in which Vishnuvardhan acted is ’’Aaptha Rakshaka’’ which is yet be released and his latest film to hit the screen is "Bellary Naaga".
The death of Vishnuvardhan has come as a shock to Kannada film industry as it came a day after a well known composer and singer C Ashwath passed away.
All schools and colleges in Bangalore will remain closed on Wednesday as a mark of respect to the popular star.