Veteran actor Ratnakar, who enraptured audiences with his comical talents for over 50 years in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam and English movies and was recipient of Kannada Rajyotsava Award in 2005, passed away on Tuesday.
The 80 yearold actor, who had acted in more than 500 films, was suffering from several health problems for about a month.
He was receiving treatment at JSS Hospital and had been shifted home as he could not afford the mounting medical expenses. Several organisations, including the film chamber, extended financial assistance to Ratnakar in his hour of crisis.
Early morning on Tuesday, Ratnakar complained of difficulty in breathing and was rushed to JSS Hospital for emergency treatment and was immediately shifted to Mission Hospital, where he was put on ventilator support. He breathed his last at around 1.20 pm when he did not respond to any treatment.
Dr Sangeetha, doctor incharge at ICU, said the actor was suffering from multiple problems and added that he did not respond even after being put on ventilator support.
Hailing from a family of purohits in Kollur, Ratnakar aspired to become an actor, although his father wanted him to become a priest.
He made his cinematic debut in the 1950s through B R Panthulu’s ‘Vichitra Prapancha’. His last movie ‘Gana Bajana’ is yet to be released.
Some of his memorable movies include ‘Guru Sishyaru’, ‘Shahasi’ and ‘Ananda Bhairavi’. His directorial ventures include ‘Bandhavya’, ‘Bhagya Devathe’ and ‘Shani Prabhava’. Although he did not earn enough money through cinema, he had a large fan following, which came forward to help him in his hour of need.
The actor’s body has been kept for public viewing at a park near his residence on Ramanuja Road.
Actors Doddanna, Darshan, Shivarajkumar, and former Minister M Mahadev paid their last respects. Last rites will be performed at Harishchandra Ghat.