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From Shivarajkumar to Sudeep, Kannada cinema fraternity mourns the loss of Rebel Star Ambareesh- Cinema express

From Shivarajkumar to Sudeep, Kannada cinema fraternity mourns the loss of Rebel Star Ambareesh

The 66-year-old actor passed away on Saturday

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Published: 26th November 2018

Ambareesh, the Rebel Star of the Kannada industry, earned the reputation of being a problem-solver. Also known as the Ajatha Shatru (a man without enemies) of the industry, the 66-year-old gave a voice to each and every actor, director and technician. When he signed Ambi Ning Vayassaytho, despite his standing in the industry, Ambareesh continued to be a director’s actor. In an earlier interview with Cinema Express, he had said, “The first lesson that an actor needs to learn is to respect the director. Off the sets, they may be a friend, but when it comes to work, remember that they are the captain.”

Kannada celebrities mourn the loss of someone who all of them consider to be a father figure.

Shivarajkumar, Actor

“The Kannada industry has lost another pillar. He saw me growing up, and was more like a father figure not just to me, but to my entire family. The last time I met uncle was at an event for The Villain in Dubai, after which, we stayed in touch over the phone. It’s hard to digest the fact that he is no more. With the passing of stalwarts like Appaji (Dr Rajkumar), Vishnuvardhan and Shankar Nag, I feel that the industry has become an orphan.”

Sudeep, Actor

Sudeep took to social media to share his grief over the loss of Ambareesh. In a post where he addressed the Rebel Star as ‘mama’, Sudeep said: “It’s one of those days where you have a bad dream and you tell yourself, 'Let me please wake up so that the nightmare stops.' The world of cinema received another big blow, and once again, a bad one. We lost another legend. With him, we lost our leader, a parent, a guide, a blessing hand, a voice, a strength, a power, a shoulder, a friend, we have lost a beautiful soul. The news was heartbreaking, but seeing the legend sleeping like this is heart tearing. We all have known him and seen him as one dynamic personality who commanded respect every place he was present at and had an unmatchable aura. A person who had no boundaries and lived life king size. I always felt he was a blessed child. Felt this way because I rarely saw anyone not liking him. I haven’t yet come across someone who could avoid or ignore him. He earned friends everywhere he went and it still remains a mystery as to how he only had friends and not a single foe. In short, a completely rare human, and one of a kind. We always feel certain stories or certain lives shouldn’t end and he falls in both these categories. I wish I could turn back the clock, I wish I could go back to that day when I gave my first ever shot in cinema (falling at his feet), I wish to back to the first ever time I saw him when I heard the door bell in Shimoga, ran to open the door and found this tall dark man standing with a sling bag, wearing a white kurtha, and heard my fathers voice from behind me saying, 'volage baarayya Ambi.' Will miss you mama.” 

Yograj Bhat, Director

Recalling the making of the song, Bombe Adsonu, for the film Drama, Yograj said, “Good memories will never die, and he will live in us forever.”

Sreeleela, Actor

“Today, we witnessed a tragic moment in Kannada film industry. He was an actor who played diverse characters, someone who set a base and continuously kept inspiring the whole industry. My deepest condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace. It’s hard to digest this since I met him a week ago. He gave me a rose that day, and now it’s time for me to put one on him.” 

Dhananjay, Actor

“He is an example of how one should lead a good life, as an actor, politician, family person and friend. He was a good human being and an all-rounder. It’s unfortunate that I did not have the opportunity to work with Ambareesh sir.” 

Ragini Dwivedi, Actor

“Words don’t come out, the heart sinks. I don't want to believe you're not around anymore. The endless conversations, meets and memories cannot end like this in a flash. You left us too soon. An era has ended and this empty space has formed” 

Tharun Sudhir, Director

Senior Kannada actor, Sudhir, looked up to the star to such an extent that he named his house Ambi Nilaya after Ambareesh. Sudhir’s son, Tharun, recalls the years 1983-84 when his father, a character artiste, told Ambareesh that he was building his own house. “So impressed was he that he invited my father to Chennai when he got to know about it. My parents went to meet him, and spent the entire day with the actor, who even booked a return flight for both of them. At the end of the day, Ambareesh handed over a cheque to my mother. When she came back and opened it, she saw the amount on the cheque was Rs 5,000, which was a big amount those days. But when my father went to deposit the cheque, he realised it was not 5,000, but 50,000. And it wasn’t a loan. In gratitude, my father named the house after him. We later built a house on the top floor, which was named Amar Villa (Ambareesh’s original name was Amarnath). To this day, we still live in the same house.”

Darshan, Actor

“I have lost my father, and I am in shock,” said the actor, who had just left for Sweden to shoot a song sequence for his upcoming film, Yajamana. After he heard the news, the actor is said to have cancelled the schedule. The entire cast and crew will be returning to Bengaluru today. “I am not able to come to terms that Appaji is no more.”

Gurudatha Ganiga, Director

Young director Gurudatha Ganiga had the opportunity to direct the veteran in Ambi Ning Vayassaytho, which was released in September. “I have spent at least a year with Ambareesh sir working on the project. Over time, I became close to him. I can’t believe what has happened. People are discussing his death, but I still feel he is alive. It hasn’t sunk in” 

Rajendra Singh Babu, Director

Director Rajendra Singh Babu and Ambareesh’s friendship goes back 50 years. “In fact, my brother, Sangram Singh spotted him, which is how he got into acting. He left home, stayed with my brother and me at our cottage in Mysuru for three years. I had a Java motorcycle and the three of us would ride that. From brothers, we became colleagues. We remained close till the end,” says the filmmaker who directed almost a dozen films of Ambareesh. “He has enjoyed every minute of his life, but it’s sad that he never took care of his own health.” 

Rishab Shetty, Director and actor

“Normally, actors are admired for their characters or films. But Ambareesh was admired across the country for his personality. He was like a father figure who used to chide everyone. But we knew it was for our good. Truly, he lived up to his title Ajatha Sathru.” Rishab had made an appearance in Ambareesh’s last film, Ambi Ning Vayassaytho, where he played the role of a film director. “I used to get nervous in front of him, which he taunted me about. I spent a day with him, and it was a total fanboy moment for me. I used to hesitate sitting next to him, but he put me at ease. A few months ago, there was a rumour about Ambareesh’s death, but it turned out to be false. So this time too, we thought it would be the same. Unfortunately, it turned out to be true. He was the yajamana (the head) of the industry, who solved everyone’s problems. Every actor had some haters, but Ambareesh was a person with no enemies.” 

Sanjjanaa Galrani, Actor

“Ambareesh uncle was a true father figure icon of our Kannada film industry. We are children left without his guidance after this irreplaceable loss. He stood like my own father and sorted out a tricky situation that I had gotten into. No one in today’s era takes so much stress or responsibility for others pain. He was the noblest man and also a very helpful politician”

Harshika Ponacha, Actor

“I’m honored and blessed to have known you uncle Ambi. Truly you were a blessing in my life and I will miss you always.”

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