A Subramani & Neeraja Ramesh
Jayalalithaa’s first hero and veteran actor, Srikanth, passed away in Chennai on Tuesday. He was 81. Srikanth’s demise was first announced by Nadigar Sangam (Actors Association) on Tuesday evening.
Srikanth debuted with Jayalalithaa in Vennira Aadai (1965) and went on to do memorable roles in a series of K Balachandar classics like Bama Vijayam, Poova Thalaiya and Ethir Neechal, besides comedies like Kasethan Kadavulada.
In all, he did about 50 films as a hero, and later became a sought-after villain and a character artiste. He did a full-length villain role in Bhairavi, which is considered Rajinikanth’s first film as a hero.
Though Srikanth was contemporary of such acclaimed actors like Gemini Ganesan, Jaishankar and R Muthuraman, he carved out a niche for himself with a unique and muffled dialogue delivery style. He has done more than 200 films in a career spanning four-plus decades. The versatile actor had starred alongside Sivaji Ganesan, Ravichandran, RMuthuraman, Sivakumar, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan. However, he had not acted with MG Ramachandran.
Srikanth had been working in the US embassy in Chennai before he was spotted by director C V Sridhar for Vennira Aadai. Chitralaya Gopu, who worked with him in movies and plays, said, “Kasethan Kadavulada proved that he was an all-rounder despite doing more negative roles. He never wanted to be a part of the rat race. Any character, be it villain or comedian, he would give his best. Actor Sivaji Ganesan was fond of him and would try to give him a role or two in his movies.”
Srikanth had also worked in stage plays with Major Sundarrajan, Nagesh and K Balachander. His slang and attitude helped him sustain in the industry.
Srikanth did not insist on being a hero alone. He expanded his footprint in the industry by taking anything that was offered, which proved to be meaty ones.
Gopu said Srikanth had been a close friend of Jayakanthan. The 1977 flick Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal displayed his acting prowess along with actor Lakshmi. Both were appreciated for their respective roles.
“A fine human being, who had friends from all walks of life,” added Gopu.
Courtesy:Times of India