Noted Kannada actress Leelavathi dies at 85

Eminent Kannada actor Leelavathi (85) who has worked in over 600 movies, including Tamil and Telugu, died at a private hospital in Nelamangala on the outskirts of Bengaluru city on Friday.

Suffering from ailments related to old age, she was admitted to a private hospital where she breathed her last, sources said. The actress who had worked in more than 600 movies, including about 400 in Kannada, was living with actor son Vinod Raj at Nelamangala for the past many years.

Mourning the demise of his mother, Vinod Raj said, “I am now left alone. Thankfully Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and Deputy CM D K Shivakumar got her admitted to the hospital.”

Born as Leela Kiran in Belthangadi in Dakshina Kannada district, Leelavathi is remembered for her role in Bhakta Kumbara, Santha Thukaram, Bhatka Prahlada, Mangalya Yoga and Mana Mechchida Madadi.

Her journey as an artist started after she joined Sri Sahitya Samrajya Drama Company. She began her film career with Chanchala Kumari’ and Nagakannika. Later, she joined Subbaiah Naidu’s drama company and played a small role in Bhakta Prahlada in 1958.

She had worked in many movies with Kannada matinee idol Dr Rajkumar where she played a variety of roles. She had twice won the national award and state awards six times, according to family sources.

A week ago, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, his deputy D.K. Shivakumar, noted Kannada film actor Shiva Rajkumar and several others had visited her at her residence.