Veteran film producer Panchu Arunachalam dies at 76


Veteran Tamil filmmaker and script-writer K N Panchu Arunachalam, who had worked with top stars including Rajinikant and Kamal Haasan, died on Tuesday following a cardiac arrest.

He was 76. Arunachalam suffered the cardiac arrest at his home here and died, sources close to his family said.

He is survived by wife, two sons and two daughters. His son Subbu is an actor. Arunachalam, who had produced several box-office hits in his more than three-decade long career, had introduced veteran musician Ilayaraja in the film 1976 film “Annakkili”. An assistant of celebrated lyricist Kannadasan, Arunachalam later floated his own production company PA Art Productions, which produced many films starring Rajinkant and Kamal Haasan.

A respected professional, he had penned the story for Rajnikant’s superhit “Murattu Kalai” among others. Leading Tamil actors, producers and directors including Surya, Sivakumar, Nasser, Bharathiraja, Venkatprabu, Khushboo Sundar, AL Alagappan and others have paid tributes to Arunachalam.

His body will be kept in a hospital for two days since his son and daughter are yet to arrive from abroad, the sources said adding the final rites will be performed later.

Meanwhile, yesteryear actress Jyothilakshmi also died today, following a brief illness, industry sources said. The actress, survived by husband and actor-daughter Jyothimeena, was not keeping well for some time and breathed her last today.

A trained dancer, she had acted in about 250 south Indian films and starred along top stars of the four regional languages. She was generally cast in negative characters and was a regular face in South Indian films in the 1970s.


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