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Indian Actor and Politician Vijayakanth Passes Away at 71

Indian Actor and Politician Vijayakanth Passes Away at 71

Renowned Indian actor and politician, Vijayakanth, whose real name was Narayanan Vijayaraj Alagarswami, passed away at the age of 71 in Chennai on Thursday. The multifaceted figure, known for his impactful roles in Tamil-language films and his political leadership, succumbed to complications related to pneumonia, aggravated by a recent COVID-19 infection.

Vijayakanth, often affectionately called “Captain” after his iconic role in “Captain Prabhakaran” (1991), had been undergoing medical treatment at Chennai’s MIOT International Hospital since November. Despite the best efforts of the medical staff, he breathed his last on December 28, 2023.

Having made his acting debut in 1979, Vijayakanth swiftly rose to fame, showcasing his versatility in roles ranging from a villain in “Inikkum Ilamai” to a crusader against corruption in “Agal Vilakku.” His on-screen persona as a do-gooder, particularly in patriotic roles, earned him the moniker “Puratchi Kalingar” (revolutionary artist).

Throughout his illustrious career, Vijayakanth delivered memorable performances in films like “Sattam Oru Iruttarai” (1981), “Amman Kovil Kizhakale” (1986), and “Sethupathi IPS” (1994). He starred in a total of 154 films, leaving an indelible mark on the Tamil film industry.

In addition to his contributions to cinema, Vijayakanth ventured into politics and founded the Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) party in 2005. While the party faced challenges initially, it gained prominence, with Vijayakanth serving as the leader of the opposition in Tamil Nadu after the 2011 assembly elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed deep sorrow over Vijayakanth’s demise, praising his charismatic performances and significant contributions to public service. Vijayakanth’s passing leaves a void that will be hard to fill, reflecting the impact he had on both the cinematic and political landscape of Tamil Nadu.

Survived by his wife Premalatha and sons Shanmuga Pandian and Vijaya Prabhakaran, Vijayakanth’s legacy extends beyond the screen and podium, embodying a significant era in Indian cinema and politics.

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