Best known for his comedy dramas, the actor-director had reportedly been suffering from age-related health issues.

Flix Obituary Sunday, March 22, 2020 - 18:29

Tamil actor, writer, and director Meenakshisundaram Ramasamy Viswanathan, popularly known as Visu, passed away in Chennai on Sunday. He was 75. The actor had reportedly been suffering from age-related health issues.

Visu started his career on the stage, working with theatre artiste YG Parathasarathy’s drama troupe. He began writing scripts for stage, before shifting to the film industry as an assistant director to K Balachandar. Visu wrote scripts and dialogues for the director’s films. This period of collaboration saw Visu writing the script for the Rajinikanth-starrer Thillu Mullu, in which he also has a cameo. He later took on small roles in the director’s films, before branching out on his own as a writer and director. His first on-screen major role was in the film Kudumbam Oru Kadambam, for which he also wrote the script. He then wrote, directed, and starred in the critically acclaimed film Manal Kayiru.

Arguably, the actor-director's best-known film is Samsaram Adhu Minsaram, a drama on the goings on in a joint family in the 1980s. The film’s memorable dialogues and the performances of artists including Manorama and Raghuvaran, remain popular to this day. Chidambara Ragasiyam, another film written and directed by Visu, and starring him, Arun Pandiyan, Ilavarasi, Manorama and S.Ve Shekar among others, has attained cult-classic status, with contemporary films such as Tamizh Padam referencing it.

His films, often portraying middle-class families and societies and their lives, were renowned for their comic timing and wit.

In his later years, the director became well-known for his debate show, Arattai Arangam. The popular show aired on Sun TV on Sunday morning had viewers glued to their television screens as participants young and old discussed and debated political and social issues. The show successfully aired on TV for over 15 years, even travelling to foreign countries with a large Tamil diaspora. Following the success of the show, Visu made the shift to Jaya TV where he conducted the Visuvin Makkal Arangam show for a few years before he called it quits.

The aging actor joined the BJP in 2016, stating that he chose the BJP as he believed in nationalism and spirituality. Condolences came pouring in on Twitter.