Director-cum-actor Manivannan died of a cardiac arrest in Chennai on Saturday morning. He was 59.

Manivannan, who hailed from a small town in Coimbatore, has more than 400 films to his credit as an actor. He entered the Tamil film industry in late 1970s and began penning stories and dialogues for some of his mentor Bharathiraja's films including "Nizhalgal", "Alaigal Oayvathillai" and "Tick Tick Tick."

He also assisted Bharatiraja's films in various languages including Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. He had nearly 50 films to his credit as a director, and some of this known films are "Gopurangal Saivadhillai", "Nooravathu Naal" and "Amaidhi Padai."

His last film as a director was the Sathyaraj starrer "Nagaraja Cholan MA, MLA" which was released in May. The film is a sequel to the superhit "Amaithi Padai."

As an actor, Manivannan had been a fantastic performer, be it comedy or villain roles.

Members of the film fraternity took to Twitter to pay their respect to the actor:

Actor Jithan Ramesh ‏@JithanRamesh: "My heartfelt condolences to the late Director/Actor #Manivannan Sir's family. It was an honor to work with him as his son in- Puli Varudhu."

Siddharth ‏@Actor_Siddharth: "The great Manivannan sir is no more. Many lives in cinema are what they are today because of him. Writer, director, actor...gone too soon. RIP."

Priya Mani ‏@priyamani6: "Can't believe manivannan sir is no more!!haven't had the opportunity to work with him but what a versatile actor/director!RIP sir!"

Chinmayi Sripaada ‏@Chinmayi: "Wonder what's with this year. RIP Manivannan sir"

Sreedhar Pillai ‏@sri50: "#Manivannan - RIP - Last film as director Nagaraja Cholan MA, MLA, released on May 10, 2013."

Dhananjayan Govind ‏@Dhananjayang: "So shocking to hear the news on Manivannan sir. Worked with him in a film 4 years back & a highly talented actor/writer/director. RIP"

khushbusundar ‏@khushsundar: "RIP Manivannan husband's guru..learnt the finer nuances of being a producers director from him..great soul..we will miss u Sir.."