Ace film director K.S. Sethumadhavan, winner of 10 national and nine Kerala state film awards, passed away in Chennai on Friday, industry sources said. Born in Palakkad in 1931, the 90-year-old bid adieu to his film career in the mid 90s after which he led a retired life in Chennai. Sethumadhavan began his film career in the late 50s, when he worked as an assistant to the then veterans like L.V. Prasad and Sunder Rao, among others.
Sethumadhavan became an independent film director in 1960 when he directed a Sinhalese film and there was no looking back. He directed around 70 films, mostly in Malayalam, Tamil, Telegu and the hit Hindi film ‘Julie’ in 1975.
Some of his most popular films include ‘Odayil Ninnu’, ‘Daaham’, ‘Sthanarthi Saramma’, ‘Koottukudumbam’, ‘Vazhve Mayam’, ‘Aranazhika Neram’, ‘Anubhavangal Palichakal’, ‘Chattakkari’, ‘Oppol’, ‘Marupakkam’.
Actor Mammootty first worked as a junior artiste in Sethumadhavan’s hit film ‘Anubhavangal Palichakal’ in 1971. Actors Kamal Hassan and Suresh Gopi also made their screen debut under the master craftsman.
In 2009, he was conferred the J.C. Daniel Award, the highest state award in films for his outstanding career and contribution to the film industry.
Condoling Sethumadhavan’s passing, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the film industry has lost a doyen, whose works have been acclaimed by all and even though he was settled in Chennai, he was always closely associated with the state and maintained a strong link.
The last rites would be held in Chennai later in the day.