Veteran Telugu filmmaker K. Viswanath passes away at 92

Feb 03, 2023 03:52 AM IST

Padma Shri awardee, filmmaker K Vishwanath has died. He was 92.

Legendary Telugu filmmaker K. Viswanath, who was popular for iconic films such as Sankarabharanam, Sagara Sangamam, Swathi Muthyam and Swarna Kamalam among others, breathed his last on Thursday at his residence in Hyderabad. The five-time national award winner was suffering from age-related ailments. He was 92.

Filmmaker K Vishwanath has died.
Filmmaker K Vishwanath has died.

Viswanath began his career as an audiographer for Vauhini Studios in Madras. After a short stint as a sound engineer, he began his filmmaking career under filmmaker Adurthi Subba Rao and eventually went on to work as an assistant director on 1951 Telugu film Pathala Bhairavi.

Viswanath made his directorial debut with 1965 film Aatma Gowravam, which went on to win the state Nandi award.

It was with the widely popular and celebrated 1980 Telugu film Sankarabharanam that Viswanath became a national phenomenon, thanks to the film’s unbelievable success everywhere. The film spoke about the gap between Carnatic music and Western music based on the perspective of people from two different generations.

Sankarabharanam went on to win four National awards. It was later remade as Sur Sangam, also directed by Viswanath, in Hindi.

Following the success of Sankarabharanam, Viswanath continued to make many more films that has art, especially music as its backdrop. Some of these films include Sagara Sangamam, Swati Kiranam, Swarna Kamalam, Sruthilayalu and Swarabhishekam.

His 1985 Telugu film Swati Muthyam, featuring Kamal Haasan in the central character as an autistic man who comes to the rescue of a young widow, was India’s entry for Best Language Foreign Film for the Academy Awards.

Viswanath made his Bollywood debut with 1979 film Sargam, which was a remake of his own movie Siri Siri Muvva. Some of his other popular Hindi films include Kaamchor, Shubh Kaamna, Jaag Utha Insan, Sanjog, Eeshwar and Dhanwaan.

He was popular for his many collaborations with Rakesh Roshan in Bollywood. In an interview with IANS, Rakesh Roshan had said he learnt everything about filmmaking from Viswanath.

“It was Viswanath ji whom I watched and learnt filmmaking from. We did four films together. He would shoot for the day and then leave the editing of the footage to me in the evening. It was while I edited Viswanath ji's films that I realised I could direct films,” he said.

His last directorial project was the 2010 Telugu film Subhapradam starring Allari Naresh and Manjari Phadnis.

He also acted in over two dozen films across Telugu and Tamil industries.

In 1992, he was awarded the Padma Shri and the Dada Saheb Phalke award in 2017. He had won the Filmfare awards eight times in a career spanning over four decades.

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