Comedy Actor Mr.Nagesh passes away this morning 31 Jan 2009
Nagesh (Gunddu Rao )born on September 27, 1933 and died on January 31, 2009 was a veteran Indian comedian actor in Kollywood. Even today the name evokes a mixed response in the minds of Tamil filmgoers, not just as a comedian who had them rolling in the aisles, but also as a character artiste who moved them to tears with his sensitive performance in films like Neer Kumizhi, Yarukkaga Azhuthan" and Edhir Neechal.
Born as Gunddu Rao in a Brahmin community, Nagesh was born to Kannada speaking Brahmin Madhwa parents. He walked out of his house telling his parents that he would be back only after establishing himself in some career. In Chennai, he stayed in a one-room bed-sit at West Mambalam (then a remote area) with lyricist Vaali and veteran actor Srikanth. He found a small time job in the Indian Railways, but he was not satisfied. One day, he saw a Tamil play Kamba Ramayanam enacted by his colleagues, and felt that he could do a good job. He persuaded the secretary of the Railways cultural association to give him the role of a man suffering from stomach pain. MGR, then chief guest, seeing this play, in his speech praised Nagesh for his performance. From then onwards, Nagesh played small roles in various drama troupes and kept himself busy.
It was producer Balaji who spotted him and gave him his first break in films. The most memorable performance of Nagesh out of the 1000 odd films he has acted in is his role in 'Thiruvillayadal' in which he speaks a soliloquy that is one of the most memorable scenes in the film.
He played a poet falling on bad times in the film. When Sivaji who played Siva in the film saw it he asked the director to retain it in full without a cut. Directors like Sridhar and Balachander were those who brought out the acting talents of Nagesh. In 'Kathalika Neramillai' Nagesh narrates a story to Baliah and the way it was narrated brought down the theatre in laughter. In 'Apoorva Raagangal' he plays a drunkard who talks to his shadow and then finishes his dialogue by saying 'Cheers' and throwing the cup on the wall. In the theatres where the film was shown the audience imitated him and threw cups on the wall of the lobby during interval. Yet another memorable performance was as the villianous comic pimp in 'Thillana Mohannambal' starring Sivaji and Padmini and Anbe Vaa & Enga veetu Pillai Filmswith M.G.R were hilarious. . More recently he played a dead man in 'Magalir Mattum' produced by Kamalhassan and the scenes involving Nagesh were hilarious.
He died on 31 January, 2009 at the age of 77 due diabetes and a heart ailment while he was admitted in Balaji Hospital. He is survived by three sons, including actor Anand Babu
May His soul Rest in Peace