Veteran Kannada actor Shivaram, known for his comedic roles, passed away on Saturday, December 4. The 83-year-old actor was reportedly admitted to a private hospital in Bengaluru on Tuesday after he had collapsed at his home. The Times of India reported that the actor was involved in a car accident a few days before the incident, which may have resulted in a head injury.
Shivaram worked in the Kannada film industry for over six decades. During his long and prolific career, he worked with Kannada legends including Dr Rajkumar, Ambareesh, Dr Vihnuvardhan, as well as Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and more. He landed his first role in Seetharama Shastryâ€™s 1965 film Beratha Jeeva and went on to act in several films with popular directors. Shivaram was best known for his comedy roles and was widely appreciated for them. Some of his well-known films include Naagarahaavu, Chalisuva Modagalu, Shravana Banthu, Haalu Jenu and others. He was even seen alongside Dr Vishnuvardhana in the hit 2004 horror film Apthamitra, directed by P Vasu.
Apart from acting, Shivaram was also known for his work as a director and producer. In 1972, he helmed Hrudaya Sangama, starring Dr Rajkumar and Bharathi in the lead. In the 1960s, Shivaram and his brother S Ramanathan came together to form their own production banner, which they named Raashi Brothers. Over the decades, the production house churned out several popular films, including the hit film Gejje Pooje, Naanobba Kalla starring Dr Rajkumar in 1979, and even the Tamil film Dharma Durai, starring Superstar Rajinikanth in 1991. Shivaram even appeared in one of his own movies, Driver Hanumanthu, as the lead.
His production house bankrolled films that went beyond the south. In 1985, Raashi Brothers produced the Hindi film Geraftaar, starring three bigwigs from across film industries â€“ Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth.
In 2010-11, Shivaram won the Dr Rajkumar Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the Karnataka government, and two years later, won the Padmabhushan Dr B Saroja Devi National Award, instituted by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, for his contributions to the field.