Actor Leelavathi laid to rest as per Hindu customs with state honours at Soladevanahalli

Public TV English
Public TV English
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BENGALURU: Veteran Kannada actor Leelavathi, known for her versatile roles in an acting career spanning over more than six decades, was laid to rest at a burial ground on Saturday with state honours as hundreds turned up for a final glimpse. The last rites were held as per Hindu customs.

The body was kept for public viewing on Saturday at the Ambedkar Ground in the morning, then shifted to Ravindra Kalakshetra where thousands turned up to pay their last respects. From there, the mortal remains were moved to her farmhouse in Soladevanahalli. The police presented a gun salute as a mark of state honour.

Hundreds turned up at her residence in Nelamanagala taluk this morning to pay their last respects.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Deputy CM D K Shivakumar, former chief minister B S Yediyurappa, MLA Muniratna, and several other politicians paid their last respects to the veteran actor at Ravindra Kalakshetra. The film fraternity including actors, co-artists like Srinath, Srinivasmurthy, Dwarakeesh, Shivrajkumar, Shruthi, Sudharani and many others were among the thousands who thronged to view her mortal remains.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who spoke later, recalled that the pair of Dr Rajkumar and Leelavathi was very popular at that time. “She was such an actress who brought life to any role. She used to act very well. I have seen many of her films. Those days, the Rajkumar and Leelavati pair had become very popular. I had seen Leelavathi’s films in my student days (60s-70s)”, he recalled.

“Leelavathi was a perfect artist and carried out any role, whether it was historical, social, or any other, very easily. Her performance in ‘Bhakta Kumbara’ is admirable. I am saddened by demise”, the CM said.

She would fit into any role, be it heroine, mother, sister, or grandmother. It is not possible for everyone to go deep into characters like her and bring the character to life. Rajkumar used to do it and Leelavati too would act like that”, he said.

“Leelavati also involved herself in social service and did not keep the money that she earned. She used to spend money on people.  She has built a hospital and a veterinary hospital”, Siddaramaiah noted.

“I visited her at her farmhouse a week ago when she was bedridden. Vinod Raj was also present at that time. I told him that his mother loved him very much and that they were the ideal mother-son duo. I told him to take good care during her last days and said that the government is ready for whatever help is needed. Vinod Raj did not ask for any help from me” the CM said.

Deputy CM D K Shivakumar said, “She visited me for the last time at my house. She wanted to open a veterinary hospital and it was inaugurated at the right time and I am happy and relieved about it. This is the biggest lesson in my life. She may not have been a ‘Sahukar’, but was an ideal person for society. We will do something to remember her forever. We will discuss about it”, he said.

Former CM BS Yediyurappa said Leelavathi was born in a small village in Beltangady taluk and earned a name at the national level. “In her death, the Kannada film industry has been left poorer”, he  noted.

Earlier, the body was brought from Ravindra Kalakshetra to the Soladevanahalli farmhouse in a procession on a peacock-shaped flower-decorated palanquin for 200 meters. Several religious rituals were performed, led by Vinod Raj and she was later buried.

Leelavati’s niece, Vinod Raj’s wife Anu, and Leelavati’s grandson Yuvraj arrived from Chennai to pay tributes last night. The family members participated in the funeral rites.

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