Veteran journalist and film historian Anandan, popularly known as Film News Anandan, passed away in Chennai today, March 21. He was 88. According to a Newsminute report, he was admitted to a private hospital in Mylapore a week ago, citing breathing problems. His last rites will be held tomorrow, March 22.
Born in 1928 in Chennai, Anandan chronicled Tamil film industry religiously, for many decades. He began his film career in 1954 as a photo-journalist for Film News magazine, which was run by his friend Devarajan. In 1958, he became Kollywood’s first public relations officer, for MGR’s Nadodi Mannan. Around that time, the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce entrusted him with a job to compile details about films releasing in all four south Indian languages every month, for their journal.
Anandan’s database has details of 6,000 films, right from the 1930s, and a huge collection of photos. In 1991, he was conferred with Kalaimamani title, the highest honour from the Tamil Nadu Government. He also received the ‘Honorary director’ title from The Cine Film Directors Association in 1989. In 2003, he published a comprehensive filmography of Tamil cinema since 1930, with the help of Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.