Bangalore: Even as thousands of fans of Kannada thespian, Vishnuvardhan are still coming to grips with the sudden death of their beloved actor, for the Kannada film industry it is a void that can never be filled.
"I still cannot believe it, he was healthy. I never expected it... after passing away of C.Ashwath (singer-composer) it is a double shock,` President of Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC) Jayamala, who has acted with Vishnuvardhan in eight to nine films, told media.
``He was a man who loved, breathed films. He was always there for us to sort out any of our problems. A great artiste and human being par excellence, he respected women a lot. It is impossible for us to reconcile to this loss", she said.
Veteran character artiste Umashri, who has done a number of films with the actor, said it was ‘God’s injustice` in taking away not only an excellent artiste but a great soul who was a role model for people in the industry after Rajkumar.
"I have worked with him in memorable films like `Jananayaka` and `Diggajaru` and just cannot forget the way he inspired us as an actor. With the loss of such veteran seniors like Rajkumar and now Vishnuvardhan, the industry has been orphaned", she said.
A renowned character actor of yesteryear, K S Ashwath, who acted with Vishnuvardhan in ‘Nagara Havu’, a popular film which created a record of sorts in Kannada film industry, broke down.” I have lost my Ramachari (role played by Vishnuvardhan in Nagara-Havu). I am at a loss for words, the industry has not only lost a very fine actor but a human being of very high caliber. The industry needed people like him".
Acclaimed playwright and director Girish Karnad, who directed Vishnuvardhan in one of the national award winning films ‘Vamsha Vriksha", said "with Vishnu`s death a vacuum has been created in the industry which cannot be filled. It is the passing of an era".
Vishnuvardhan`s contemporaries actors Srinath and Ambareesh said they had lost their ``brother, a family member. We have lost a close friend, guide and a torch bearer of the film industry. Things will never be the same for us".
Renowned director Girish Kasaravalli recalled the actor`s yeoman contribution to the Kannada film industry and described him as one of the most popular actors and a noble human being. ``I am yet to come to terms with his sudden death".
Well-known documentary film maker B S Manohar, going down memory lane during filming of the famous Gokak Agitation, recalled the full-fledged support that Vishnuvardhan and Rajkumar offered to the cause.
"Very few people know that Vishnu was not only a great actor but also very fond of cricket.Every second Saturday he used to come to National College (his Alma Mater) in Basavangudi to play cricket with his team", he said.
The body will be kept in state at the National College Grounds till 4 p.m. for the public to pay their last respects.