Veteran Kannada actress Leelavathi no more, CM condoles loss

Public TV English
Public TV English
3 Min Read
The popular yesteryear actress passed away on Friday due to age-related illness.

BENGALURU: Popular yesteryear actress Leelavathi (87), who had been ailing for some time due to age-related issued, passed away on Friday.

Son Vinod Raj tending to his ailing mother a few days ago.

According to sources, her condition had improved over the last two days, but suddenly deteriorated on Friday afternoon when her blood pressure fell. She was immediately rushed to a hospital in Nelamangala, but did not survive. She had been bedridden for some time now.

Leelavathi had been living in her farmhouse in Soladevanahalli in Nelamangala taluk and had constructed a hospital and a veterinary hospital there. Recently, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had called on the ailing Leelavathi and said that her treatment was going on at home and that if she is admitted to a hospital, he would bear the medical expenses. Following this, her son and actor Vinod Raj had admitted her to a hospital. Actors, Yash and Darshan too had called on the ailing actress.

Following her death, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah posted on X, “The news of the passing away of veteran Kannada actress Leelavathi is painful. Just last week, after hearing about her illness, I visited her home and inquired about her health and talked to her son Vinod Raj”.

“My belief that Leelavathi, who entertained the audience with her mesmerizing performances for many decades, will recover and stay with us for more time turned out to be false. I pray that the soul of the deceased may rest in peace and her family may find strength to bear this grief”, he noted.

Leelavathi, who entered the movie industry through Kannada films, went on to act in over 600 films including in Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Her debut was the movie ‘Nagakannika’, starring Shankar Nag which released in 1949. Prior to this, Leelavathi was associated with Subbaiah Naidu’s theatre group and had played roles in ‘Kayaduvina Sakhi’, ‘Bhakta Pralhada’ among other.

After entering cinema, she acted in movies like ‘Bhakta Kumbara, ‘Mane Mecchida Sose’ among several other. She played the lead role for the first time in ‘Mangalya Yoga’ and later opposite Dr Rajkumar in ‘Ranadheera Kanteerava’.

The pair became famous during those years and Leelavathi acted in many movies of Dr Rajkumar in the roles of lead actress, mother, mother-in-law, etc.

Leelavathi was born in Belthangady in Dakshina Kannada district and was drawn to the world of acting at a young age. She started off in Mysuru and travelled to Chennai (then Madras) and Bengaluru and went on to become a successful actress.

Leelavathi has won several awards including the Dr Rajkumar award for lifetime achievement. The Tumkur University had also bestowed a honorary doctorate on her.

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