K Balachander
A picture of K Balachander.IB Times India

Tamil film industry paid its last respects to director K Balachander who passed away on Tuesday evening (24 December).

Balachander was admitted to a private hospital on 15 December due to age-related ailments. He was undergoing treatment for fever and urinary tract infection. On Tuesday, Balachander reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest and breathed his last at around 7.10 pm. He was 84 and is survived by his wife, son and daughter.

The death of the legendary director came as a shock for film industry members. Several celebrities took to twitter to express their grief over his death and many industry members have been visiting the director's residence to pay their homage.

Speaking to the media, superstar Rajinikanth said, "KB Sir was not only my guru, but my friend, philosopher and guide. I have no words to express my feeling. I pray to God to let his soul rest in peace."

Several film personalities including lyricist Vairamuthu, Sarathkumar, Radhika, director AL Vijay, Y.Gee. Mahendan, SP Muthuraman, Nizhalgal Ravi, Manobala, Udhayanidhi, Samuthurakani, Ameer and Jayachitra paid their last respects to the veteran director. DMK leader Karunanidhi and former union minister GK Vasan also visited the director's residence and paid their tributes.

Actor Kamal Haasan, who is in the United States, will be returning to Chennai on Wednesday and pay homage to the director. "Actor Kamal Haasan returning to Chennai by tomorrow night to pay homage to KB Sir," tweeted the actor's PRO Nikhil Murugan.

As a mark of respect to Balachander, Tamil industry has cancelled film shoots on Wednesday. The director will be cremated on Wednesday evening at 5 pm.

The director has helmed more than 100 films and several television serials in his 45-year-long career. He is popular for making films with themes that were ahead of times. The director is also known to have strong women-centric characters in his films. He has mentored several film celebrities including Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Vivek and Prakash Raj.

The director has won several film awards including Filmfare, National awards, Kalaimamani, Padma Shri and Dada Saheb Phalke awards.