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Tamil Film Industry Mourns The Death of J Mahendran

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at Veena S Balachander Felicitation Photos

J Mahendran died this morning at his residence in Pallikarnai, Chennai. The legendary writer and director had been suffering from a kidney ailment. He was aged 79.

Celebrities and fans have been visiting his home since morning to pay last respects and offer condolences to the his family. Mahendran’s friends and close aides, filmmakers, actors spoke about the director’s influence on Tamil cinema and all that they have learnt from him.

Ilaiyaraaja and Rajinikanth visited his home this morning. Mahendran has worked with Ilaiyaraaja on several films. He is credited with moulding Rajinikanth as the superstar we know today.

Rajini spoke to the media and said, “Director Mahendran is the person who brought out the Rajinikanth in me, he taught me to bring freshness to my acting.” Mullum Malarum – Mahendran’s debut film as a director, and Johnny starring Rajinikanth and Sridevi were some of their best films.

Actor Kamal Haasan, who visited his home this morning, said, “Mahendran is one of the best artists I have known. I was initially supposed to have acted in Mullum Malarum. I recommended Rajinikanth and Balu Mahendra for the film. You could say I worked as the production manager. Those experiences will stay in my heart.”

Bharathiraja, Bala, SP Muthukumaran, Pa Ranjith, Suseenthiran, PC Sreeram, Mani Ratnam, Karthik Subbaraj, Lenin Bharathi, Bhagyaraj, Samuthirakani and many others from the industry spoke about the director’s influence on their work. MK Stalin, Vijayakanth, J Anbazhagan took to social media to express grief.

The Nadigar Sangam and producers’ council also condoled his death. They said that Mahendran’s films like Mullum Malarum and Metti had inspired generations of filmmakers and speak to people even today.

Director Mahendran’s fans and general public have been paying homage at his house since 10 am this morning. His last rites and cremation began at 5 pm today.

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Read our tribute to the legendary writer and director.

Here’s the gallery of celebrities paying homage at his house today.

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