Veteran Kannada actor and theatre personality CR Simha passed away at a private hospital in Bangalore on Friday (28 February). He was 72.
Simha, who was reportedly battling prostate cancer for over an year, was recently admitted to the hospital after his health condition deteriorated.
He was in a critical condition and was put on ventilator support. However, the veteran actor breathed his last on Friday.
Simha, the elder brother of Kannada actor Srinath, entered into films at a young age. The veteran has starred in more than 150 Kannada films including critically acclaimed and commercially successful films. He has done as both leading and supporting actor roles in several films.
Some of his notable films include "Samskara", "Bara", "Anuroopa", "Rayaru Bandaru Mavana Manege", "Parameshi Prema Prasanga" and "Indina Ramayana" among others. Besides acting in films, Simha has helmed five Kannada projects including "Kakanakote", "Shikaari", "Simhasana", "Ashwamedha" and "Angayalli Apsare."
Simha had also actively worked in theatre and formed a group called "Nataranga" in 1972. He has directed and acted in several plays including "Kakanakote" and "Thuglaq" among others. Besides these Kannada plays, Simha had directed and starred in the direct translations of Shakespeare's popular plays such as "Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Othello."
The talented artiste had started another theatre group named "Vedhike" through which he made his one-man show "Typical Kailasam," a hugely successful play that was performed in foreign locations including the United States, Canada and England.
Besides theatre and film commitments, Simha had a strong presence in television. He has acted in many TV serials in Kannada and Hindi languages. His noteworthy serials were "Malgudi Days" and "Goruru In America," which was shot extensively in the US.
The actor has won several awards including the Sangeeth Natak Academy Award from the Government of India for his contribution to theatre and art.
Simha is survived by his wife and son Ritwik. The actor's body will be placed at Samsa Auditorium on the premises of Ravindra Kalakshetra for public viewing, reported The Hindu. His last rites will be performed on Saturday evening.
As the actor's death news spread, several Kannada film personalities, politicians and fans expressed their condolences on Twitter.
Sudheep: "Rip C.R.Simha sir,,,a fantastic actor,,a gentleman n a greater human who dedicated his life towrds theater n cinema...He wil b truly missed."
General Secretary BJP Karnataka C.T.Ravi: "RIP C R Simha, your contribution to the world of entertainment will remain in the hearts kannadigas forever."
Filmmaker and theatre person Chaitanya K.M. posted a message on Facebook saying, "CR Simha uncle is the first director I worked under - the one who introduced me and others of my generation to the stage. A voracious reader, he could capture nuances of a play's text in his acting. His passing marks a sad day for Kannada theater."