Tamil director K Balachander, considered guru to actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan, died in Chennai at the age of 84. Mr Balachander had been in hospital for some days where he was diagnosed with fever and urinary tract infection. He breathed his last at 7.02 pm today, hospital authorities said.
K Balachander was hailed as "Iyakunar Sigaram" (peak among directors) in Tamil film industry. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter. His other son, Kailasam, died on August 15 this year.
Mr Balachander had over 150 films on his resume and was credited with giving stars such as Rajinikanth (Aboorva Ragangal), Kamal Haasan (Arangetram) and Prakash Raj (Duet) their first big break.
Mr Balachander received the Padma Shri and Dada Sahbe Phalke awards.