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GN Rangarajan, Tamil Filmmaker, Dies at 90

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Credits: GNR Kumaravelan's Twitter handle

GN Rangarajan, the Tamil filmmaker who was famous for directing the Kamal Haasan starrer- romantic comedy Meendum Kokila (1981), died of age-related illness at his residence in Chennai on Thursday.

He was 90.

The news of his death was confirmed on social media by his son and director GNR Kumaravelan. Kumaravelan said that his father died at 8.45 am on Thursday.

Rangarajan assisted director SP Muthuraman in Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri (1977), and Aaril Irundhu Aruvadhu Varai (1979) before directing films.

Rangarajan was known for his frequent collaborations with Haasan. The actor-filmmaker duo had teamed up in projects including comedy film Maharasan (1993), action drama Kadal Meengal (1981), and supernatural comedy Kalyanaraman (1979), besides Meendum Kokila. 

The late director’s filmography also includes Pallavi Meendum Pallavi (1986), Muthu Engal Sothu (1983), Aduthathu Albert (1985).

Rangarajan also frequently collaborated with actor Prabhu and veteran music composer Ilaiyaraaja.

Speaking to Silverscreen India, actor Ramesh Aravind who worked with Rangarajan in Maharasan said, “I just heard the news. There were many memories, but what stands out and I also remember about GNR is that he was a very, very nice guy. I had just entered cinema then and was in my initial stages, when people treat you nicely, you feel very good and I remember that. He was very pleasant. Throughout the shooting, what I remember is that he was a pleasant man. He used to be so kind to everybody, and not just me. He used to speak very sweetly with everyone on the sets and explained the mistakes in the shots so sweetly. That is the main memory I get when I think of him, I think that is the case with others as well.”

Haasan condoled the late filmmaker’s death and shared in a social media post that Rangarajan had named his residence Kamal Illam after his name. The actor mentioned that he has a lost a brother upon Rangarajan’s death.

“Ever since my entry into cinema, until his demise, GN Rangarajan has offered me, immense love. With his hard work and efforts, he had carved a place for himself in Tamil cinema. Following his footsteps, his son is also now making films,” Haasan wrote.

After his last film Maharasan, Rangarajan ventured into the small screen and made the TV serial Raghuvasam.

Rangarajan’s last rites were conducted on Thursday in Chennai.

He is survived by his son Kumaravelan, who has worked as an assistant director in Balu Mahendra’s directorial Sathi Leelavathi (1995) and Haasan’s unreleased project Marudhanayagam.

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