New Delhi: One of the stalwarts of the Kannada film Industry Vishnuvardhan died of a heart attack in Mysore late on on Wednesday morning.
The popular Kannada actor, whose real name was Sampath Kumar, passed away at the age of 59 years.
He developed breathing problems at about 0230 hrs IST on Wednesday and he was immediately taken to a private hospital where he breathed his last.
According to hospital sources, he died at around 0300 hrs IST on Wednesday.
All schools and colleges in Karnataka will remain closed on Wednesday as per Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa's orders as a mark of respect for Vishnuvardhan.
Security has been stepped up in Bangalore following the actor's death. Police have set up road blocks around Vishnuvardhan's residence to check the flow of fans.
Vishnuvardhan was popularly referred to as the Phoenix of Kannada cinema. He is survived by his Bharati who is also a popular actress, and two adopted daughters, Keerthi and Chandana.
In 2005 Vishnuvardhan was awarded honorary doctorate by Bangalore University.
He acted in 199 films, won 7 Filmfare Awards and many state government awards. He was also involved in public service and welfare activities of the film world.