Veteran Tamil actor Srikanth died in Chennai on Tuesday. The 82-year-old actor was known for being the first lead actor to be paired opposite late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalitha in her debut film, Vennira Aadai (1965).
Born on March 19, 1940 in Erode, Srikanth worked at the American Consulate before getting a break in cinema. He was popularly known as Vennira Aadai Srikanth after his debut film. Directed by CV Sridhar, the film featured an ensemble cast that included Vennira Aadai Nirmala, Venniradai Moorthy, and Major Sundarrajan, aside from Jayalalitha and Srikanth himself.
Srikanth acted in around 200 films in a career spanning over four decades. He starred as the lead in about 50 of these films. Known for his versatility, the late actor also played supporting roles alongside famous stars such as Sivaji Ganesan in Vietnam Veedu (1970), Kamal Haasan in Neeya (1970), and Rajinikanth in Thambikku Entha Ooru (1984), to name a few. In addition to this, he essayed antagonist roles as well.
Srikanth has appeared in several of director K Balachandar’s films, including Bama Vijayam, Ethir Neechal, and Poova Thalaiya.
Actor Rajinikanth mourned the demise of Srikanth on social media. He wrote, “The demise of my dear friend Srikanth makes me very sad. May his soul rest in peace.” Srikanth had played the antagonist in Bairavi (1978), Rajinikanth’s debut film as lead actor.
“RIP Srikanth sir. Another veteran actor has left us. You will be fondly remembered by our Tamil people,” wrote actor Karthi, whose father, actor Sivakumar, has co-starred with Srikanth in several films like Chittu Kuruvi (1978), Ippadiyum Oru Penn (1975), and Thirumangalyam (1974).
Calling the late actor an all-rounder and recalling how he acted in a variety of roles, politician-actor Kamal Haasan mourned Srikanth’s death on Twitter. He also mentioned that the late actor was an avid reader and a close friend of author Jayakanthan.
Srikanth last appeared on screen in the 2019 action-thriller Kudiyarasu.