Multi-talented Manivannan passes away

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Chennai: Noted Tamil filmmaker, writer and actor  R. Manivannan died at his Ramavaram residence in Chennai on Saturday following a massive heart attack.  He was 59. Having played character roles in more than 400  Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films, he made  his directorial debut with Gopurangal Saivadhillai.  His  last and 50th directorial venture was  Nagaraja Cholan MA MLA , a sequel to his 1994 blockbuster  Amaidhipadai.
It all began for him when as a student in  Sulur, Coimbatore district, he sent a 100-page fan mail to director Bharathyraja. And soon he found himself working as an assistant with him. Bharathyraja later introduced him as an actor in his film Kodi Parakkudhu and his popularity grew in both  comic and negative roles.
Some of his best films as an actor include Mudhalvan, Sangamam and Ullathai Allitha, Amaidhipadai, and Avvai Shanmugi. He also  turned  writer with films like Tick Tick Tick, Agaya Gangai and Kadhal Ovium. And teaming up with his best friend Sathyaraj, he directed him in 25 films.
The combo worked wonders at the box office. His protégés include Vikraman, R. K. Selvamani, Sunder C, Seemaan, K. Selvabh­arathi, Radhabharathi and E.Ramadas who have  now made a mark as independent directors in Tamil cinema themselves.
Always keen on making a film on the problems  of Sri Lankan Tamils, he was a member of the “Naam Tamizhar” (We Tamils) group and in fact he supported the Sri Lankan Tamil cause so much that he said recently, “When I die, I want my body to be handed over to (Tamil director) Seeman and my funeral must take place under his guidance.”
Manivannan is survived by wife Sengamalam, son Raghuvannan and daughter Jothi.  n See also P2

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