Actor-DMDK founder ‘Captain’ Vijayakanth passes away, PM Modi offers condolences

The death was confirmed by hospital officials, where he was admitted for pneumonia 
Photo Credits: IANS
Photo Credits: IANS

In an unfortunate turn of events, DMDK founder-leader Vijayakanth, fondly called Captain, passed away in Chennai on Thursday. As per media reports, he was admitted to the Miot Hospital, where he was being treated for pneumonia.

The hospital officials confirmed the news of his death and revealed that he was put on ventilator support.  The release reads, "Captain Vijaykanth was on ventilatory support following his admission for pneumonia. Despite the best efforts of medical staff, he passed away in the morning on 28th December 2023."

Mourning his untimely demise, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to X (formerly Twitter) and wrote, "Extremely saddened by the passing away of Thiru Vijayakanth Ji. A legend of the Tamil film world, his charismatic performances captured the hearts of millions. As a political leader, he was deeply committed to public service, leaving a lasting impact on Tamil Nadu’s political landscape. His passing leaves a void that will be hard to fill. He was a close friend and I fondly recall my interactions with him over the years. In this sad hour, my thoughts are with his family, fans and numerous followers. Om Shanti."

Speaking of his political stint, Vijayakanth founded DMDK in 2005, challenging the supremacy of former CMs J. Jayalalithaa and M. Karunanidhi. He was a successful actor, producer, and director, serving as LoP twice, representing the constituencies of Virudhachalam and Rishivandiyam. 

Vijayakanth, a successful action hero, earned the title Puratchi Kalaignar, meaning revolutionary artist. He made his debut with Inikkum Ilamai in 1979, as a villain and went on to become an action icon in the 1980s and 1990s.

His superhit movie Sattam Oru Iruttarai was remade in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada languages. In 1984, he had 18 releases, becoming the only Tamil cinema actor to release maximum films in a year in the lead role. He appeared in 154 movies and was one of the most adored film personalities in the Tamil film industry.

Vijayakanth had declared that he would not accept donations for his political party. PM Modi had given a special reference to him in the NDA leaders' meeting and referred to him as his friend. 

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