South 'hitmaker', CV Rajendran, passes away
Celebrities from the South Indian film industry mourn the death of renowned filmmaker CV Rajendran
Renowned director CV Rajendran, who made films across the south for over three decades, breathed his last on Sunday morning following a brief illness. He was 81.
The cousin of late filmmaker CV Sridhar, Rajendran assisted him before going on to make hit Tamil films like Galatta Kalyanam, Sumathi En Sundari (starring Jayalalithaa and Sivaji Ganesan), Ullasa Paravaigal (featuring Kamal Haasan), and Garjanai (with Rajinikanth). He was also quite prolific in Kannada cinema toward the late 70s, with most of them being remakes of films he had done in Tamil.
It all began for him when he directed his first venture, Anubavam Pudhumai, in 1967. Rajendran also did films in Malayalam and Hindi. He was the one to introduce Prabhu (Sivaji Ganesan's son) in Sangili (1982), and in keeping with his penchant for remakes, it was one too, of the Hindi film, Kalicharan (1976).
Recalling his friendship with Rajendran, veteran character artiste, Delhi Ganesh, who worked with him in Sandhippu, says he was a 'gem of a person'. "Post his stint as a director in cinema, he made a teleserial, which was shot at my house for Sivaji Productions. He was jovial and fun-loving. He was an ardent fan of Sivaji Ganesan too, and produced over 15 films with him as a hero."
Delhi Ganesh notes that only ten days back, a sabha held a felicitation ceremony for senior artistes including him. "One quality that I will always admire in him is how he was never jealous of anybody."
Film historian-actor Mohan Raman knew him as a good friend. "We used to meet at Sivaji Ganesan's house a lot, during the 80s. I acted in two films -- Vietnam Colony (1994), Once More (1996) -- which he produced. Then, I got to work with him in a teleserial, Kokila Enge Pogiraal, produced by Sivaji Productions. On day one, he took a shot with all the grandeur we had seen only in films. I told him politely that he would likely overshoot the budget. And then, smart man that he was, by the tenth day, he mastered the techniques of shooting for television. He was always open to taking feedback and criticism from anyone irrespective of the age factor."
Mohan Raman points out that Rajendran was a successful name in the commercial cinema circuit. "Most of his films have had a good run at the box office. It was him who kickstarted Sivaji Ganesan's second innings with Once More," he says.
On the Kannada cinema front, his Singapuradalli Raja Kulla was the first picture in the industry to be shot completely abroad. The film was produced by Dwarakish, who also played the lead. The duo was associated for three films. The other two were Kittu Puttu and Preethu Maadu Tamashe Nodu. "He liked kickboxing and cricket. Despite having some differences of opinion, I was happy to work with him on three films," recalls Dwarakish.
Senior Kannada actor Jayamala thinks of him as a 'hitmaker'."I was associated with him on two films -- Thrimurthy and Prema Mathsara. The first one starred Rajkumar and it was the first production venture of Parvathamma Rajkumar. The second one was the production venture of actor-director V Ravichandran that had Ambareesh in the lead. Though those days are now long gone, I still remember his face. He was very friendly on the sets and knew how to extract work from actors," she says.
Rajendran is survived by his wife, Janaki, and his two children. His last rites will be performed after the return of his son from abroad.
(With inputs from A Sharadhaa)