Bengaluru: A pall of gloom has descended over the Kannada film industry with the demise of film-maker K. Balachander. A star director in Tamil cinema, Mr. Balachander had directed five Kannada films Tappida Tala, Benkiyalli Aralida Hoovu, Eradu Rekhegalu, Sundara Swapnagalu, and Mugila Mallige.
He had identified many Kannada talents and introduced them to films. The veteran film director introduced superstar Rajanikanth through Apoorva Raagangal. He also gave actor Ramesh his first big break (as Ramesh Arvind in Tamil).
A mentor to multilingual actor Prakash Rai, Mr. Balachander, who indentified Mr. Rai’s talent through Harakeya Kuri, initially introduced him in his tele-serial and later launched him in Duet, starring Shivaji Prabhu and Ramesh.
Another prominent actor who is indebted to the director is Sundar Raj.
“After B.V. Karanth, KB identified my talent and introduced me in Tappida Tala, which gave me a big break. I have lost my godfather,” a sobbing Sundar Raj said.
Tara, who acted in his Sundara Swapnagalu said, “He groomed me as an artiste. KB himself was a great actor. He used to demonstrate how to play our characters. He also taught me how to dub.”
Kannada icon Dr. Rajkumar was a great admirer of Mr. Balachander and used to meet him often during his Madras days.