Bangalore, June 21 (IANS) Veteran Kannada film producer R. Lakshman, who received the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award, passed away Saturday night in Bangalore. He was 82.
Lakshman leaves behind his wellknown film director son Naganna and four daughters. The last rites will be performed here Sunday afternoon.
Lakshman was one of the producers of 'Bangarada Manushya', the epic film that changed the course of Kannada film history. The film ran for nearly four years in Bangalore and was declared the biggest hit during its release. It also won many awards.
Kannada superstar Vishnuvardhan described Lakshman as a dedicated filmmaker who made a lot of quality films. 'He always concentrated on getting a good story for his films and even picked up some excellent Kannada novels to bring to the screen. I acted in three films made by him. Lakshman was known for his planning and selection of good scripts.'
Lakshman started his life in the film industry as a manager at the then Bharat theatre in Bangalore which was known for screening only Kannada films for all 365 days in a year. He became closer to Kannada film superstar Raj Kumar and became a film producer in partnership with Gopal.
Some of the best films made by Lakshman and Gopal included 'Bhale Huchcha', 'Bangarada Manushya', 'Bhagya Jyothi' and 'Besuge'. Lakshman then went on to make films on his own including 'Jimmy Gallu', 'Huli Hejje' and 'Bandha Mukhtha'. 'Bandha Muktha' was remade in Hindi with Amitabh Bachchan as the hero and was directed by K.V. Raju.
Besides films, Lakshman was associated with many of the activities of the Kannada film industry and has been credited with contributing to the growth of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce. He served as KFCC president for one term. Being a popular film producer, Lakshman was able to bring in many qualitative changes in the industry and maintained a cordial relationship with government agencies connected to the film industry. He was also president of the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce for one term and had even been an executive committee member of the Film Federation of India.
Jayamala, president of the KFCC, said that the film industry has lost a legendary filmmaker who was always available for friendly guidance and suggestions. 'I was always approaching Lakshman for suggestions in times of crisis in the industry. He also maintained good links with state government agencies which helped the Kannada film industry. His death is a huge loss to the Kannada film industry,' Jayamala said.