With the death of Cho Ramaswamy, Tamil Nadu has lost another icon within days of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s demise. An influential figure in the film industry, media and politics, he breathed his last at Apollo Hospitals in Chennai on early Wednesday morning. He passed away hours after Jayalalithaa was buried with full state honours on Tuesday on Marina Beach next to the memorial of her political mentor, MG Ramachandran.
The 82-year-old veteran actor and politician was admitted to hospital last week due to a chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). However, his health deteriorated on Saturday and he was moved to ICU. On Wednesday morning, he suffered a fatal heart attack.
Condolences and tributes have been pouring in since morning. Superstar Rajinikanth visited Cho’s house in MRC Nagar where the mortal remains of the latter have been kept for friends and others to pay their last respects.
Talking to the media, Rajinikanth described Cho as a good friend, who never compromised his journalistic integrity for fear or favour. “I know him (Cho) since 1978. When I am in Chennai, at least I would visit him once a week and talk a lot. He was a titan in the world of media. I have never seen or heard him lie. He never spoke or wrote about anyone in fear or as a favour. He had friends from Tamil Nadu to Delhi. He was friends with leaders like Morarji Desai, Chandrasekhar, Vajpayee and now PM Modi. His views and comments were widely respected. He was a great man and his death is a big loss. I give my deepest condolences to his family and friends,” he said.
Actor Kamal Haasan, who is aboard for film shooting, expressed his grief over the death of Cho on his Twitter handle. “Another icon leaves us. Deepest condolences to the family and fans,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Another icon leaves us. Deepest condolences to the family and fans.
— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) December 7, 2016
Ajith visited Apollo Hospitals and paid his tribute to Cho. He reached Chennai from Bulgaria in the wee hours of Wednesday and directly drove to Jayalalithaa’s memorial to pay his tribute to the late chief minister.
— AJITHKUMAR FANS CLUB (@ThalaAjith_FC) December 7, 2016
Actor Suriya along with his father Sivakumar and brother Karthi also paid their last respects to Cho at the latter’s residence. And other Kollywood celebrities, meanwhile, have also been paying tributes to the late icon.
Cho, meanwhile, was a long-time close friend and political adviser of Jayalalithaa as both stepped into public life from the film industry. He is survived by his wife Soundara Ramaswamy, son Rajivakshan alias Sriram and daughter Sindhu.