KS Gopalakrishnan, a popular film director with over 50 movies to his credit, died at a hospital in Chennai on Saturday. He was 86 and is survived by his wife Sulochana and six sons. His son KSG Venkatesh is an actor who has appeared in several television serials and movies like Sathuranga Vettai.
Gopalakrishnan started off in theatre and rose to prominence in films as a director, screenwriter, lyricist and producer. He has directed over 50 films, most of which were based on issues families face. He was renowned for his strong female protagonists and has worked with actors including Gemini Ganesan, Savitri, Padmini, Jayalalithaa and KR Vijaya.
As a lyricist, his work in Uthama Puthiran stands out. The film had some famous songs, and Gopalakrishnan penned the classic ‘Unnazhagai Kanniyargal.’
He also wrote the dialogues for Deiva Piravi, Padikkadha Medhai, Anna and the Kamal Haasan starrer, Per Sollum Pillai. A few of his films like Kai Koduttha Dheivam and Chitthi were remade into Hindi.
His movies were based on family sentiments and ties, the most popular genre of the time period, but were still edgy. Chitthi, for example, dealt with a woman who marries an older man against the wishes of her family. Karpagam, explored how wealth can become a source of friction between siblings. The film went on to become a big hit – so big that the producer made enough money to start a film studio called ‘Karpagam Studios.’ The film also won a Certificate of Merit for the Second Best Feature Film in Tamil that year.
He supported the career of lyricist Vaali by using him in his movies during a period when Kannadasan was extremely popular.
Gopalakrishnan won the Kalaimamani award in 1975.
Photo credit: Indian Express