Meesai Murugesan
Meesai Murugesan, Screenshot from YouTube videoYouTube

Veteran actor and musician IS Murugesan, also popularly known as Meesai Murugesan, passed away in Chennai on Saturday, 8 November.

Murugesan died due to ill health at his residence at Vadapalani in Chennai. He was 87 and is survived by his wife, son and two daughters.

Murugesan was born at Idigarai village in Coimbatore to famous percussionist (thavil vidwan) Subramaniam Mudaliar. He began his career by playing the coconut shell and was popular for creating shrill sound effects in "Nenjam Marappathillai" and footfall of the horse in "Rajavin Paarvai Raniyin Pakkam" song in MGR-Saroja Devi's "Anbe Va," reported The New Indian Express.

Murugesan was a carnatic artist and had learned to play 25 instruments. He also ran a one-man band "Apoorva Thalavaithiyangal" and held several concerts across the world including Europe, Canada, the United States and Russia. But he met with a road accident while he was in South Africa for a concert and was bedridden for several years before he could start walking again.

"After his accident, we did not allow him to go outstations to hold concerts as we were worried about his health. Recently he had a multiple organ failure and was discharged from hospital three days ago," Sundaramurthy, a grandson of Murugesan, told the daily.

Murugesan has worked with some of the popular Tamil music directors like Ilayaraja, MS Viswanathan, G Ramanathan and Kunnakudi Vaidiyanathan among others. He has reportedly starred in more than 100 films and has done supporting roles in several films. He sported a thick moustache in his first film "Sugamana Ragangal", after which he has earned the name "Meesai Murugesan."

The veteran actor has been part of several notable films including Kamal Haasan's "Unnal Mudiyum Thambi", Vijay's "Poove Unakkaga", Pandiyarajan's "Aan Paavam" and Sathyaraj's "Amaidhi Padai". He was conferred with the Kalaimamani award by the Tamil Nadu government.

Murugesan's funeral rites will be held on Sunday afternoon.