Director RC Sakthi, who had introduced Kamal Haasan as a lead hero in the 1976 film "Unarchigal", has passed away on Monday at a private hospital in Chennai. He was 76.
"Director Sakthi passed away at SRM hospital due to old age-related ailments," a source close to the director's family told IANS.
Following the sudden death of the director, Kamal has said that he lost a great friend.
"He was part of my family. I've lost a great friend. It started as a friendship and went on to become a familial relationship. I wouldn't say one can't find such a friend. I wish everybody should have such a friend," Haasan told to reporters in Chennai.
Haasan also said that he was Sakthi's "biggest fan and his brother".
Born in Ramanathapuram, Sakthi began his career in film industry as a theatre artist in NSK troupe. Later, he became an assistant director for the Tamil film "Porsilai" (1969) and "Annai Velankanni" (1970)
"Unarchigal" was Sakthi's directorial debut in 1972, however, the film was released only four years later due to censor board issues. The highly sensual film, which dealt with sexually transmitted diseases, also had Srividya, Kanchana and Major Sundarrajan in pivotal roles.
In 1978, Sakthi and Kamal team worked together again in "Manidharil Ithanai Nirangala"
Later, superstar Rajinikanth starred in Sakthi's third film "Dharma Yudham" (1979), which had Sridevi in the lead role.
However, compared to his previous films, his other small budget films did not make a mark at the box office. His last film was "Pathini Penn" in 1993, which received Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Film and for Best Dialogue Writer.
The director collaborated again with Kamal for Sakthi's short film "Ainthu Rojakkal" in 2013.