Black day for humour as Vivek passes away

Chennai: Popular actor Vivek, who was admitted to SIMS hospital after suffering a massive cardiac arrest and put on ECMO, died early this morning. He was 59.

Vivek, who took his first dose of Covid vaccine jab on Thursday, is survived by his wife and two daughters. He had lost his son a few years ago due to dengue fever.

Vivek’s body was taken to his Virugambakkam residence, where Tamil film personalities and public queued up to pay their last respects.

SIMS hospital clarified that Covid vaccine has nothing to do with the actor suffering a cardiac arrest.

Talking to reporters, SIMS Hospital director, Medical Services Dr Vijaykumar Chokkan and Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said the actor had 100 per cent block on the left side of the heart following which blood supply to the brain was affected.

He suffered cardiac arrest because of the block and it has nothing to do with the covid vaccine.

Introduced to the film world by veteran director K Balachander, Vivek has shared screen space with legends including Rajinikanth, Vijayakanth, Sarathkumar, Ajith, Vijay, Vikram, Dhanush among others.

His comedy always speaks about issues that affect people in society and hence has earned the sobriquet ‘Chinna Kalaivanar’.

Besides a prolific actor, he is a keen admirer of late President APJ Abdul Kalam. He had campaigned for mass planting of tree saplings and protecting the environment.

Introduced by Balachander in ‘Manadhil Urudhi Vendum’, he followed it up with ‘Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal’. He was known for his sharp tongue, timing sense and ability to mimic others. Leading heroes, including Rajinikanth, offered Vivek enough screen space to shine. His roles in films like ‘Run, Perazhagan, Dhool, Boys, Anniyan and Sivaji’ became very popular among the hundreds of roles he played over three decades.

He was even cast as a hero in the Tamil film ‘Solli Adippen’, but the film never saw the light of the day. He later played solo lead in films like ‘Palakattu Madhavan, Vellai Pookal’ among others.

Vivek was awarded the Padma Shri in 2009 by the Central government. A keen admirer of music, Vivek was a great fan of music composers MS Viswanathan and Ilayaraja. He mastered playing piano during lockdown and the video of him playing it is viral non internet.

A great human being and a phenomenal actor, his death has left a void in Tamil cinema.


NT Bureau