Monday, January 18, 2010

Senior Kannada actor KS Ashwath passes away at 85

K S Aswath, veteran Kannada actor who acted in more than 300 films during his five-decade-long career, died at a hospital here on Monday, a family source said. He was 85.

He died at 2 am in Mysore's Bannappa Hospital where he was receiving treatment for past seven days. Doctors at the hospital attributed his death to multiple organ failure. He leaves behind his wife Sharada, two sons and two daughters. Kannada film fans affectionately called him Chamayya Meshtru. His son, Shankar Aswath, also an actor, confirmed his death to the media.

His body is kept in  Mysore's Jaware Gowda Park in Saraswathipuram for public viewing. The body will be consigned to flames in the evening.  Members of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce had recently visited the ailing actor at the hospital and handed over a cheque of Rs 100,000 for his treatment. Aswath's health deteriorated after he returned from a pilgrimage to Varanasi recently. He was admitted to Bannappa Hospital. Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had earlier said that the state would foot the medical bills of the ailing actor.  Film director and producer S. Narayan, who had directed many films featuring the actor, including his last film “Sirivantha”, said Kannada film industry has lost a popular actor.

“He (Aswath) always tried to achieve excellence through his acting talent,” Narayan told reporters. Film director Phani Ramachandra said he visited the hospital on Sunday and was very depressed to see that the actor's health was deteriorating. Aswath's first film was “Sthree Rathna”. He went on to act in films like “Pancharathna”, “Jenu Goodu” and “Namma Makkalu”. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Tumkur University and received the prestigious Dr. Raj Kumar award for acting excellence from the Karnataka government. He had also won the best supporting actor award twice from the state government.

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