Both Rajinikanth and Mammooty spoke about the friendship they shared with Ambareesh since their early days in the film industry.

Always one of my first real friends since those Madras days Mammootty on Ambareesh
news Death Sunday, November 25, 2018 - 15:51

Following the death of Kannada actor and politician Ambareesh, several stalwarts from across industries, including politics and entertainment, have been paying their respects and putting up posts of tribute to the “rebel star”. On Sunday, Malayalam actor Mammootty shared his condolences via a message on social media, mentioning his inexpressible grief at Ambareesh’s passing. Mammooty’s note begins and ends with a fond reference to how Ambareesh would always refer to him as “boss”.

He recounted the days back in the 80s, when movie stars from various southern states would shoot in Chennai. He said that it was then that he and Ambareesh became close friends. Mammootty also mentioned how honoured he was when Ambareesh starred as the lead in the Kannada remake of the Malayalam conspiracy thriller New Delhi (1987), in which Mammootty and Ambareesh’s wife, Sumalatha, had played the lead actors.

New Delhi, which is loosely based on the novel ‘The Almighty’ by Irving Wallace, was directed by Joshiy in its Malayalam, Hindi and Kannada versions. Sumalatha also starred opposite Ambareesh in the Kannada remake of the movie in 1988.

“Ambareesh (Boss), to the world, you will forever be beloved for your work in the movies and politics. But for me, you will always be one of the first real friends I made from those early "Madras days" when all of us would film our respective movies in Chennai. Our friendship grew over the years and we always managed to stay in touch. It was truly special to me when you embraced the lead role when New Delhi was remade in Kannada. No matter what I write, I cannot express the loss I feel. Will miss you "boss" and how you would always call me that,” Mammootty wrote.

On Sunday morning, actor Rajinikanth, too, spoke to the media present at Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru, where Ambareesh’s body was kept for public homage. He spoke of his friendship with the late actor.

“Ambareesh and I have been friends for over 40 years and I am deeply saddened by his death. Everyone has a few close friends, but Ambareesh had, I think, over 100 such close friends,” he said. “The actor Ambareesh can be reborn but cannot see the human being Ambareesh again. I was in Bengaluru last week for my niece’s wedding. I’ve always been able to have lunch with him at his house whenever I came to Bengaluru but was unable to do so this time. I’d called him and apologised. He told me that if I didn’t come the next time, he will break my legs.”

The duo had worked together in the 1978 Tamil film Priya, alongside late actor Sridevi Boney Kapoor.

Ambareesh passed away at Vikram Hospital late hours of Saturday night following a cardiac arrest. The actor was has been suffering from kidney and lung ailments.

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