‘Shani’ Mahadevappa, the veteran Kannada actor, died on Sunday night at a hospital in Bengaluru due to Covid-19. He was 88.
Mahadevappa, who has appeared in over 300 Kannada films, was suffering from age-related ailments before testing positive for Covid-19 a week ago, reported The Hindu. He is survived by his wife and two children.
As reported by Deccan Herald, his son M Gurukumar said that he was suffering from liver and kidney ailments for almost a year and was completely bed-ridden.
“Due to severe cold and cough, he complained of breathing problems a week ago and was admitted to the ICU of KC General Hospital. Initially, he tested negative for Covid, but a day later, he tested positive. He was subsequently treated for the disease at the hospital,” Gurukumar told Deccan Herald.
Born in 1933 in Mandya, Karnataka, Mahadevappa was a theatre actor who worked closely with Gubbi Veeranna’s theatre company. His role as Lord Shani, in the play Shani Prabhava, brought him recognition and he came to be known as ‘Shani’ Mahadevappa.
He later became a close friend of actor Dr Rajkumar and the duo acted together in several films, including Shankar Guru, Kavirathna Kalidasa, Bhaktha Kumbara, Sri Srinivasa Kalyana, Thrimurthy, and Prema Kanike.
Mahadevappa mainly played the role of a supporting actor.
He often appeared in films in which Dr Rajkumar and actor Vajramuni paired up as the main leads, such as the 1975 Kannada suspense film Thrimurthy. He also collaborated with V Somashekhar, who directed him in both Shankar Guru (1978) and Premadi Kanike (1976), P Vasu who directed him in Jeevana Jyothi and Jayasimha (both in 1987), and many other directors including, Renuka Sharma, HR Bhargava, and Veerappa Maralavadi.
He won the Varadaraju Award in 2009, which is an annual prize for theatre personalities.
Following news of his death, Kannada actors Puneeth Rajkumar, son of actor Dr Rajkumar, and Kichcha Sudeep paid tribute to Mahadevappa on social media.
ಅಪ್ಪಾಜಿಯವರ ಜೊತೆ ಭಕ್ತ ಕುಂಬಾರ, ಶ್ರೀನಿವಾಸ ಕಲ್ಯಾಣ, ಕವಿರತ್ನ ಕಾಳಿದಾಸ, ಮೂರೂವರೆ ವಜ್ರಗಳು ಸೇರಿದಂತೆ ಅನೇಕ ಚಿತ್ರಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ನಟಿಸಿದ ಹಿರಿಯ ನಟರಾದ ಶನಿ ಮಹದೇವಪ್ಪನವರು ನಮ್ಮನ್ನು ಅಗಲಿದ್ದಾರೆ. RIP
— Puneeth Rajkumar (@PuneethRajkumar) January 3, 2021