Ambi Ning Vayassaytho
Ambareesh in Ambi Ning Vayassaytho.PR Handout

Kannada actor Ambareesh passed away at the age of 66 on Saturday, . He breathed his last at a private hospital in Bengaluru after suffering cardiac arrest. He is survived by his wife Sumalatha and son Abhishek Gowda.

Ambareesh was not keeping well for quite some years. He collapsed at his residence at 5 pm on Saturday evening and was taken to Vikram hospital. At around 10.50 pm, he was declared dead.

His mortal remains will be kept at the Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday, November 25, for the public to pay homage.

He was born on May 29, 1952 to Hucche Gowda and Padmavathamma in Doddarasinakere in Mandya. He was the grandson of popular violin player, Pitilu Chowdiah.

Ambi's original name was Malavalli Huchche Gowda Amarnath and he was sixth among the seven children. He did his schooling in Mandya and moved to Mysuru for higher studies. 

The actor, who was fondly called as Ambi by his fans and well-wishers, started his career with Puttana Kanagal's Nagarahaavu. He appeared in a small role named Jaleela, a small role with negative shade.  It was Puttana Kanagal, who rechristened him as Ambareesh.

In his initial years, Ambareesh appeared in villain roles. Puttanna Kanagal's Paduvaaralli Pandavaru redefined his career although he was one of the lead characters in the film. His 'Angry Young Man' roles in the the films like Antha earned him a huge following in the 1980s.

He acted in over 200 movies in a career spanning close to  five decades. His last movie was Ambi Ning Vayassaytho, which turned out to be a succesful movie at the box office. His other movie Kurukshetra is in the post-production works. 

Ambi was the rare actor who shared screen space with most of the big names of his times and present times. Dr Rajkumar, Vishnuvardhan, Ananth Nag, Shankar Nag, Shivaraj Kumar, Ravichandran, Upendra, Devaraj, Kiccha Sudeep, Puneeth Rajkumar and Darshan among many others.

Many Sandalwood celebrities have visited the hospital to pay their last respect to the Sandalwood legend. Puneeth Rajkumar, Duniya Vijay and many well-known Kannada stars have paid their last respects to the legend in Kannada films.

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth had condoled his death on Twitter. He wrote, "A wonderful human being ... my best friend ... I have lost you today and will miss you ... Rest In Peace #Ambrish. [sic].

Ambi in Politics:

Ambareesh forayed into politics by joining the Indian National Congress in 1994. He won several elections in his political career. He was a Minister of State of Information and Broadcasting (2006-2008 ) and served as a minister of Housing in previous Siddaramiah government for a brief period.