Veteran director-script writer Vietnam Veedu Sundaram died following a brief illness. Sundaram, 73, is survived by wife and two daughters, sources close to the filmmaker said.
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, herself a yesteryear actor, was among those who condoled Sundaram’s death. Sundaram earned the sobriquet ‘Vietnam Veedu’ after he wrote the script for the film ‘Vietnam Veedu’ starring thespian actor Sivaji Ganesan and Padmini besides Nagesh in the 1970s.
The family drama catapulted Sundaram to fame. He later directed Ganesan in ‘Gouravam’ where the actor played a dual role of an uncle and nephew, both lawyers. He also wrote the script for former superstar M G Ramachandran (MGR) starrers ‘Naan Yaen Piranthen’ and ‘Naalai Namathey.’
In her condolence message, Jayalalithaa said Sundaram was known for directing family entertainers and recalled his association with both Ganesan and Ramachandran. He had been a recipient of different awards and had also acted in films and TV serials, Jayalalithaa recalled.
“He was an affable man and his death is a great loss to the Tamil cinema industry,” she said.Well-known actors Sivakumar, Surya and Sivakarthikeyan among others paid tributes to him.
Sundaram was born in Tiruchi and Vietnam Veedu became part of his name after he wrote the script, first for the eponymous play and then for the film, starring Sivaji Ganesan. He cut his teeth at the troupe United Amateur Artists, run by Y.G. Parthasarathy.
Prestige Padmanaban, the hero of the film Vietnam Veedu , became synonymous with a workaholic man who stands for values in life, but is not taken seriously by his children. Sundaram also acted in a few movies, besides directing and acting in a lot of tele-serials.
He was 76 and is survived by wife and two daughters.