Chennai: DMDK founder-leader and actor Vijayakanth died at a private hospital in Chennai on Thursday. Vijayakanth was admitted to MIOT Hospital in Chennai as his health deteriorated. As per hospital, Vijayakanth was on ventilatory support following his admission for pneumonia.
Formerly, the leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, Vijayakanth was admitted to a hospital and put on ventilator support after he complained of breathing problems. Vijayakanth was admitted to MIOT Hospital in Chennai as his health deteriorated. As per hospital, Vijayakanth was on ventilatory support following his admission for pneumonia.
"Captain Vijayakanth was on ventilator support following his admission for pneumonia. Despite the best efforts of the medical staff, he passed away in the morning on Dec 28," the hospital stated.
In November, Vijayakanth's health deteriorated, leading to his admission to MIOT Hospital in Chennai. Suffering from cough and throat pain, he remained under observation for 14 days.
Vijayakanth's mortal remains were brought to his residence in Chennai and will be taken to the DMDK office shortly.
He was a successful actor, producer, and director, serving as LoP twice, representing the constituencies of Virudhachalam and Rishivandiyam. He is survived by his wife, Premalatha, and two sons.
"Extremely saddened by the passing away of Thiru Vijayakanth Ji. A legend of the Tamil film world, his charismatic performances captured the hearts of millions," PM Modi posted from his official handle on X.
Recalling his past interactions with the 'Captain', PM Modi said the demise of the DMDK chief has left a void that is hard to fill.
"As a political leader, he was deeply committed to public service, leaving a lasting impact on Tamil Nadu's political landscape. His passing leaves a void that will be hard to fill. He was a close friend and I fondly recall my interactions with him over the years. In this sad hour, my thoughts are with his family, fans and numerous followers. Om Shanti," Prime Minister Modi posted.
Also condoling the demise of the DMDK chief, the BJP's Tamil Nadu president K Annamalai posted earlier in the day, "Captain Vijayakanth's demise is a loss for Tamil Nadu and the Tamil people. Though he is no longer with us, his name and legacy will live on in our hearts and minds."
Known as 'Captain,' Vijayakanth has had a successful career in the Tamil film industry, featuring in 154 movies before entering politics. While holding a position at Nadigar Sangam, officially known as the South Indian Artistes' Association (SIAA), he introduced significant changes to the South film industry. In 2005, he founded the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazgam.
Emerging from his villainous debut in 'Inikkum Ilamai' (1979), Vijayakanth went on to become an action icon in the 1980s and 1990s. His superhit film 'Sattam Oru Iruttarai' transcended language barriers, being remade in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada. In 1984, Vijayakanth achieved the remarkable feat of releasing 18 films, becoming the only Tamil cinema actor to hold this record for lead roles.
While holding a position at Nadigar Sangam, officially known as the South Indian Artistes' Association (SIAA), he introduced significant changes to the South film industry. In 2005, he founded the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazgam.
In 2006, DMDK contested all assembly seats, securing only 10 per cent of the total vote share, with none of the candidates, except the founder-leader, winning. In 2011, DMDK, in alliance with the AIADMK, contested 41 constituencies, winning 26. This historic win made DMDK the principal Opposition Party, surpassing the DMK.
Vijayakanth served as the leader of the Opposition in the Tamil Nadu Assembly from 2011 to 2016. Due to differences with the AIADMK, DMDK severed ties, leading to mass resignations of DMDK MLAs, resulting in the loss of its main Opposition party status.
He served as an MLA twice, representing the Virudhachalam and Rishivandiyam constituencies. In the 2014 parliamentary elections, DMDK, in alliance with the NDA, faced a significant defeat, experiencing a drop in vote percentage. In the 2016, 2019, and 2021 elections, DMDK's performance was affected as Vijayakanth grappled with health issues.
- With inputs from ANI