Actor, producer, politician JK Rithesh passes away at the age of 46
The former MP, last seen in LKG, died at his residence at Ramanathapuram
Actor-producer JK Rithesh, who was last seen in the RJ Balaji-starrer LKG, has died at the age of 46 at his residence in Ramanathapuram due to a sudden heart attack.
JK Rithesh debuted as an actor 12 years ago in Kaanal Neer, directed by comedian Chinni Jayanth. The actor's second film Nayagan (2008), whilst not a commercial success, thrust him into the limelight, thanks to aggressive marketing. Soon after, he joined DMK and was elected to the 15th Lok Sabha, where he was a member of Committee on Water Resources. During this time, he acted in Pen Singam, a film which was penned by DMK patriarch, Kalaignar M Karunanidhi. After serving out his term, the actor joined rival party ADMK, and was campaigning for the ADMK-BJP alliance.
Rithesh acted as politician, Ramaraj Pandian, in the satire LKG and he credited his return to the film's producer, Isari Ganesh. In his interview to us, he had said that he took up the film because of a particular reason. "In real life, the impact of memes and social media is influencing votes. LKG is a film that looks to question this practice, and implores the audience to make an informed decision about whom to vote for. Even in politics, this mud-slinging that happens between two opposing parties is having unnecessary repercussions." As a producer, he was also actively involved in the politics of Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) where he was vocally against the practices of the Vishal-led committee.
RJ Balaji says that he is a gem of a person with no known vices, "I don't know what to say. I feel extremely devasted. Ritheesh is like a brother to me. He didn't even receive a penny to act in LKG. Nothing can explain his death at such a young age. He is a man who loved his family a lot. If anyone asks him for food, instead of feeding them, he will get them a job. I believe lakhs of people would've benefitted through him in the coming years if he hadn't left us."
Rithesh is survived by his wife and two sons.