Chennai, March 19 (IANS) Renowned character actor Raghuvaran died here Wednesday after a week-long battle to survive a cardiac arrest. He was 49.
Leading lights of the film industry including Vijay, Surya and actor-politicians Sarath Kumar and Vijay Kant paid tearful homage to the actor, whose mortal remains were consigned to flames by his nine-year-old son Nanda.
His former wife and actor Rohini was inconsolable.
Honoured by the Tamil Nadu government with its premier 'Kalaimamani' award, the actor had carved a niche for himself by his method acting.
In a career spanning 26 years, Raghuvaran played hero, villain and character roles in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi movies rubbing shoulders with stars such as Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan, Sathyaraj, Mammooty and Mohanlal.
The distinctly different use of a cultured, baritone voice in a peculiarly slow, deliberate dialogue-delivery set Raghuvaran apart from the rest.
Noticed by critics immediately after his 1982 debut film 'Ezhavathu Manithan' (Seventh Man), Raghuvaran played hero briefly and developed into a well-established character actor.
'Raghu came up through struggle and dedication and was unique in everything he did,' said Sarath Kumar, president of the South Indian Film Artistes Association.
Local Administration Minister M.K. Stalin paid floral tributes to the actor on behalf of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.