Hara Patnaik, Odisha's popular actor-director, lost his battle against cancer on Tuesday at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar, his family sources said. He was 56.
Patnaik is survived by his wife Jharana and two daughters. Patnaik, who has ruled the hearts of legions of cine lovers in Odisha for decades, was suffering from blood cancer since 2008.
He had earlier been treated at Christian Medical College, Vellore. He was admitted to Sparsh Hospital in Bhubaneswar. Dr Ghanshyam Biswas, who treated him, said the actor's blood group (B negative) was rare and needed frequent infusion of blood platelets for the past one and half years.
"We had released him from the hospital and sent him home last evening after realising that the end was near. But he was brought back to the hospital at 8.15 this morning after his condition deteriorated further. He was admitted to the ICU but we could not save him. The end came at 12.40 pm on Tuesday," the doctor said.
Patnaik had acted in over 60 films as villain and directed 19 others. After initially recovering from cancer, he had acted in Odiya film Om Sai Ram in 2012.
As a director, he gave several upcoming actors their first break in cinema.
Among those who made it big in Odiya films after getting a break under him are Aanubhav Mohanty, Babusan and Sabyasachi.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, union ministers Jual Oram, Dharmendra Pradhan, BJP state president KV Singhdeo and OPCC president Prasad Harichandan condoled the untimely death.
People from all walks of life also paid their tribute to Patnaik.
"It is an irreparable loss to the Odisha film industry. Hara Patnaik had directed many marvellous movies," state Culture Minister Ashok Panda said.