Well-known Tamil scriptwriter, director and actor Vietnam Veedu Sundaram, 76, died in the early hours of Saturday in Chennai after a brief illness, reports The New Indian Express. A veteran of more than 350 films in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, Sundaram is survived by his wife and two daughters.
Best known for the scripts he wrote for Sivaji Ganesan’s films such as Vietnam Veedu and Gnana Paravai, Sundaram was given the Tamil Nadu State Film Award for Best Dialogue Writer (Vietnam Veedu) in 1970 and Arignar Anna Award in 1991, among others.
Watch a song, Ulagathile Oruvan, from Vietnam Veedu here:
It was the 1970 Tamil drama Vietnam Veedu, directed by P Madhavan, which catapulted him to fame. His emotional writing coupled with Ganesan’s brilliant acting ensured the film was a mega hit. Thereafter, Sundaram was called Vietnam Veedu Sundaram. He is often credited with starting the trend of featuring social mythology in Tamil cinema.
Sundaram also directed many films, the best known being Gouravam (1973) which is also considered a Tamil cult classic. His films were also known for their family themes. He wrote the script of the Hindi film, Andha Kanoon, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth.
In his long career spanning more than 40 years, he worked with many popular Tamil stars including MG Ramachandran, Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, KR Vijaya, Sathyaraj and Karthik, apart from Sivaji Ganesan.