Obituary
The actor was 85 and was ailing from health issues for a while.

Veteran Tamil actor Gopalarathinam, popularly known as ‘Typist’ Gopu, passed away in Chennai on Wednesday evening. The actor was 85 and was ailing from health issues for sometime. The actor was a resident of Ayapakkam in Chennai.

Actor Gopu was awarded his famous moniker because of his most memorable role as a typist in TS Seshadri’s stage play ‘Nenje Nee Vazhga’. In one interview, Gopu shares that while the play’s director had not originally intended to include him in the cast, Gopu voluntarily offered to play the role of a typist, having realised that the play did not include this character. “It was a play on the happenings inside an office and naturally they lacked a typist,” he says in the interview.

Recalling this role in this play, actor-director Mouli tells The Hindu, “In the play even when the manager came, Gopu would get up wish him and sit down without interrupting the typing. He would be there in every scene but had no other dialogue. He was a very nice person. I cast him in my first directorial venture Ivargal Vithyasamaanavargal.”

Actor Gopu made his film debut in 1965 in K Balachander’s Naanal. A commerce graduate from Mylapore’s Vivekanandha College, Gopu later appeared in more films including Adhe Kangal, Kasethan Kadavulada and Michael Madhana Kamarajan.

Hailing from Manakal village in Trichy, Gopu had shared in an interview that his interest for acting began when he was in his fifth standard. Between 1955 and 1958, Gopu went on to act in over 600 stage plays, having joined actor Nagesh’s troupe initially. Gopu also appeared on television dramas such as Veetukku Veedu Looty and Thuppariyum Sambu.

Gopu is survived by his wife, two sons and daughter. Condolences poured in for the actor on Twitter.