National Award winning art director P Krishnamoorthy passes away at 77

Some of Krishnamoorthy's well-known Tamil films include 'Thenali', 'Naan Kadavul', 'Bharathi' and 'Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi'.
Art director P Krishnamoorthy
Art director P Krishnamoorthy
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National award winning art director P Krishnamoorthy, known for his work in Tamil films like Bharathi and Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi, passed away in Chennai on December 13, Sunday, due to age related ailments. The five-time National Award winner was 77. A resident of Madipakkam in Chennai, Krishnamoorthy’s last rites will be held at his house on Monday afternoon.

Born in the coastal town of Poompuhar, Krishnamoorthy entered the film industry with GV Iyer’s Hamsa Geethe in 1975, a Kannada film. This film, based on the life of 18th century Carnatic musician Bhairavi Venkatasubbaiah, received two National Awards post its release. Krishnamoorthy's first National Award was, however, for Madhvacharya, directed by GV Iyer. The two have worked in films such as Adi Shankaracharya (1983), Madvacharya (1986) and Ramanujacharya (1989).

Krishnamoorthy was a passionate artist even as a child. He received his formal training from the School of Arts, Madras, and then dabbled in designing sets for theatre plays and dance performances before entering cinema.

His entry into cinema came as a result of his introduction to personalities such as writers Jayakanthan, Ashokamitran, playwright and actor Girish Karnad, theatre personality BV Karanth, and singer Balamuralikrishna.

Over the span of 40 years, Krishnamoorthy has worked in Sanskrit, Hindi, Bengali, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, French and English films. Some of his popular Tamil films include Indira, Sangamam, Thenali, Kutty, Pandavar Bhoomi, Azhagi, Bharathi, Julie Ganapathi, Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi, and Naan Kadavul. In Malayalam he has worked in acclaimed films like Swathi Thirunal (1987), Vaisali (1988), Oru Vadakkan Veeragatha (1989), Perumthatchan (1991) and more.

Notably, he won two National Awards for his work in Bharathi. Ramanujan was his last Tamil film which was released in 2014.

Krishnamoorthy had also worked with directors like M Night Shyamalan (Praying with Anger) and Jag Mundhra (Perfumed Garden).

Following the news of his death, many, including directors Bharathiraja and Chimbu Devan, expressed their condolences on Twitter

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