Bangalore, May 19 (IANS) R.N. Jayagopal, who had written over 12,000 lyrics for Kannada films, acted in, scripted dialogues and directed a few films, died in Chennai Monday. He was 73.
His family members said in Chennai that he was being taken to hospital around 10.30 a.m. after he complained of uneasiness, but died on the way. He will be cremated Tuesday in Chennai.
The Kannada film industry reacted with shock as Jayagopal, son of late Kannada film legend R. Nagendra Rao, was a highly respected, multi-faceted personality in the Kannada film industry.
Besides being a lyricist, Jayagopal also made a mark as a dialogue writer, director and an actor. He forayed into television direction and writing for serials which were very popular.
However, his ardent desire to direct the epic Ramayana in Kannada remained unfulfilled as he died even before completion of his work for the serial.
The two notable Tamil films he acted are both Kamala Hasan starrers - 'Nayagan', directed by Mani Ratnam, and 'Michael, Madana, Kamarajan'.
Well-known director D. Rajendra Babu, a close friend of Jayagopal, was almost in tears as he spoke of Jayagopal's humane qualities and great talents. 'I think Jayagopal was an outstanding lyricist. He was a bundle of energy and always showed his enthusiasm in writing lyrics and dialogues.
'He wrote several songs for my films in just 15 minutes. I would always discuss with him the stories and he would contribute with his suggestions. I used him as an actor in one of my films because I could not think of any other regular actor to portray that character,' said Babu.
Jayagopal worked in the company of some great writers like Chi. Udayashankar, Vijaya Narasimha, Sorat Aswath and Hunasuru Krishna Murthy. He was the only film writer who continued to write till his last breath and always encouraged young directors and technicians.
He became a director with the film 'Dhoomakethu' in 1968. Though he directed many other Kannada films and serials, his first love was writing lyrics for Kannada films.
Many of his songs have been hugely successful not only for their tunes but also for their quality.
Jayagopal started writing lyrics at a time when many young talented people like Puttanna Kanagal, K.S.L.Swamee, Lakshminarayan and Geethapriya entered the film industry as directors.
Jayagopal used to recall that many of his top songs like 'Haadonda Haaduve Nee Kelu Maguve', 'Bellimodadha Anchinindha', 'Gaganavu Ello Bhoomiyu Ello' were all written after lenghty discussions with the film director and the music director.
'These days the director explains the sequence and the music director would have already composed the songs. We are left with no alternative but to write what the director wants. Still I am happy that my songs are even now appreciated for their lyrical value,' Jayagopal had said in one of his interviews.
The Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce and the Kannada film directors association, condoling the death of Jayagopal, described him as a legend in the film industry.