BENGALURU—Veteran Kannada films ‘rebel’ actor M.H. Ambareesh died at a private hospital here on Nov. 24 night due to heart attack, said a duty doctor. He was 66.
"Ambareesh died at around 9.30 p.m. after a massive cardiac arrest (heart attack) and a couple of hours after he was brought to our hospital in the evening due to breathing (respiratory) problem," the doctor told IANS.
The superstar of the Sandalwood film industry is survived by his widow and multi-lingual actress Sumalatha and son Abhishek.
Ambareesh was former cabinet minister in the previous Congress government from May 2013 to June 2016 when then Chief Minister Siddaramaiah sacked him along with 13 other ministers in a major reshuffle of his ministry.
He was also Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in the first UPA government and a Parliament member from Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, about 100 km from here.
"Ambareesh's death is a great loss. His contribution to Kannada cinema is immense. I pray to God to give his family members and his multitude fans strength to bear the loss," Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said in a statement here.
Siddaramaiah tweeted that the rebel star was not only a great actor and a proven politician but also a great human being. "You will be missed," the former Chief Minister said.
Ambareesh entered filmdom through the role of 'Jaleel' in veteran director Puttanna Kanagal's 'Naagarahaavu' in 1972.
He also acted in 'Shubhamangala,' 'Antha,' 'Chakravyuha,' 'Masanada Hoovu,' 'Olavina Udugere,' 'Hrudaya Haadithu,' 'Odahuttidavaru,' 'Diggajaru' and 'Elu Suttina Kote,' where he played a critically acclaimed role.
Celebrated stars Rajinikanth and Mammootty led the film fraternity in paying emotional tributes to Ambareesh.
Here's what the celebrities tweeted:
Rajinikanth: A wonderful human being... my best friend ... I have lost you today and will miss you ... Rest In Peace #Ambrish
Mammootty: Ambareesh (Boss)
To the world you will forever be beloved for your work in the movies and politics. But for me you will always be one of the first real friends I made from those early ''madras days'' when all of us would film our respective movies in Chennai. Our friendship grew over the years and we always managed to stay in touch. It was truly special to me when you embraced the lead role when "New Delhi" was remade in Kannada. No matter what I write I cannot express the loss I feel. Will miss you "boss" and how you would always call me that.
Amitabh Bachchan: Grieved to learn of the passing of a colleague Ambareesh. Condolences and prayers.
Allari Naresh: The film industry has lost another pillar with Ambareesh Garu's sudden demise. A dynamic politician and a stalwart of the film world... My prayers are with his family and fans. May his soul rest in peace.
Rana Daggubati: RIP Ambareesh Garu. Love and strength to Sumalatha garu and the family.
Ram Charan: Very sad to hear that Kannada veteran actor Ambareesh garu passed away. A great loss to Karnataka and Kannada film industry. May his soul RIP.
Nani: A legend is gone... RIP Ambareesh garu... Deepest condolences and strength to Suma garu and family.
Mohanlal: Heartbreaking to hear about the loss of my dear brother and friend Ambareesh... My deepest condolences to the family. Love and prayers.
Hansika: RIP Ambareesh garu. Deepest condolences to Sumalatha garu and family.
Sai Dharam Tej: My deepest condolences to #Ambareesh, family members...' It's a huge loss to southern film industry... May his soul rest in peace.