Tamil actor-comedian Vivekh, who made the audience laugh with his witty, educational humour, is no more
Legendary Tamil actor-comedian Vivekh, who was earlier admitted to SIMS Hospital in Chennai’s Vadapalani on Friday after suffering a heart attack, passed away on Saturday morning at 4 am, according to reports. He was 59.
The actor had complained of chest pain and fainted on Friday afternoon, following which he was rushed to the hospital. Sources said there had been 100 percent blockage in one of the arteries to his heart.
Vivekh had gotten vaccinated for COVID-19 on Thursday.
Vivekanandan, who was better known by his stage name Vivekh, has featured in several hit films like Minnale, M. Kumaran S/o Mahalakshmi, Run, Saamy, Dhool, Kushi, and Sivaji, to name a few. He was last seen in Dharala Prabhu, the Tamil remake of the Hindi movie Vicky Donor.
He made his debut in filmmaker K Balachander’s movie Manathil Uruthi Vendum (1987), who later gave the comedian opportunities to act in other movies of his. Initially, Vivekh was only given a couple of humour scenes in films till the mid-’90s. His popularity gradually began to grow soon and filmmakers alloted separate comedy tracks for him even in mass “masala films”.
Vivekh’s career picked up after Vaali (1999), where he is seen playing the role of a medical representative who brings out the real-life issues in the profession. The period between 2000 and 2010 became the golden era for Vivekh, who established a name for himself not only with his acting, but his dialogue-writing and witty but thought-provoking, educational humour that was based on social issues.
Some of his most memorable characters include Megaserial Mahadevan (in Dhill), where he talks about how regional television serials influence women, and Venkatraman (in Saamy), where he criticises caste-based discrimination and superstitious beliefs that people follow, by playing the role of a Brahminical temple priest.
He won the Filmfare Award under the Best Comedian category three years in a row for his performances in Run (2002), Saamy (2003), and Perazhagan (2004), and another one for Sivaji (2007). Vivekh was also awarded five Tamil Nadu state awards for Best Comedian, and the Padma Shri in 2009.
Apart from being an actor, playback singer and comedian, Vivek was also an activist who was involved in a lot of social and philanthropic measures. He had developed a close rapport with late President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam when he met him years ago. Abdul Kalam had advised him to promote the need for a green movement and to plant more trees. So, Vivekh started a movement to plant a billion trees across Tamil Nadu by creating awareness among the school children and college students. He was also appointed as an ambassador for the ‘plastic-free Tamil Nadu’ campaigns of the current government.
More recently, Vivekh was also the brand ambassador to create awareness for propagating COVID-19 vaccination among the people and had also taken a vaccine on Thursday.
The actor is survived by his wife Arulselvi and daughters Amirthanandini and Tejaswini. His son Prasanna Kumar died in 2015 at the age of 13 due to brain fever. Many said the incident had deeply affected Vivekh, who was never the same after that.