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'Mullum Malarum' Director J Mahendran Passes Away At 79

Mahendran's first directorial Mullum Malarum (1978) was an instant hit that had impact beyond the box office.


Updated:April 2, 2019, 9:35 AM IST
'Mullum Malarum' Director J Mahendran Passes Away At 79
Late director J Mahendran. (Image: Twitter)

One of the most prominent faces of Tamil cinema, director J Mahendran breathed his last on Tuesday morning at his residence in Chennai. He was 79.

Last week, he was hospitalised after brief illness. His son and filmmaker John Mahendran shared the news on Twitter. He wrote, “Director Mahendran passed away this morning.”

Mahendran became a prolific screenplay writer before turning to direction. His first directorial Mullum Malarum (1978) was an instant hit that had impact beyond the box office. The film had Rajinikanth, Sarath Babu and Sobha in the lead roles. Later, Mahendran and Rajinikanth worked in films like Kaali and Johnny. Many believe that Mahendran contributed significantly to the rise of Rajinikanth as the superstar we known him today.

As per some reports, his initiation into films happened due to a meeting with MG Ramachandran. Mahendran was very active in stage plays during his college days and got a chance to speak at an event where MGR was the chief guest. Mahendran’s address criticised the commercial aspect of cinema and that left MGR impressed. Later, they met again after many months and MGR asked him to write a play. Later they collaborated on a film.

Lately, he was seen in many films as actor. Starting with Kamaraj in 2004, he continued acting till Petta and Boomerang in 2019.

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