Veteran Telugu filmmaker Kodi Ramakrishna, who made his directorial debut with 1982 Telugu romantic comedy "Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya" with megastar Chiranjeevi passed away here on Friday. He was best known for directing memorable films such as "Ankusam", "Ammoru" and "Arundhati" among others. According to a source close to Ramakrishna's family, he passed away while undergoing treatment at AIG Hospitals here.
"On Thursday, he was rushed to AIG Hospitals after he complained of breathlessness. He was undergoing treatment in ICU and was later shifted to the ventilator. Despite being under constant supervision, his health condition kept deteriorating. He passed away in the afternoon," a source close to the family said.
Following his successful debut film, he went on to work with all the leading stars of 1980s and 1990s in Telugu cinema.
Having predominantly directed films in Telugu, Ramakrishna also made films in Kannada and Tamil.
He was known for championing the use of visual effects (VFX) to enhance cinematic experience in Telugu cinema. His films like "Ammoru" and "Arundhati" were raved at for VFX work.
Some of his other popular films include "Gudachari No 1", "Muddula Krishnaiah", "Pelli Pelli Pandiri" and "Rikshavodu".
"Nagaharavu" in Kannada in 2016 was the last film of the director, who was conferred the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award for his contribution to Telugu cinema in 2012.
In 2016, Ramakrishna also commenced work on a biopic on Sathya Sai Baba, and it features Malayalam actor Sreejith Vijay in the titular role. The project still remains incomplete.
Ramakrishna's death has sent shockwaves across Telugu filmdom. Several popular personalities took to Twitter to express their condolences.
Actor Mahesh Babu tweeted: "Extremely saddened by the news of director Kodi Ramakrishna garu's demise. His contribution to Telugu cinema is unparalleled; our industry will never forget his work. My thoughts and prayers are with his closed ones. May his soul rest in peace."
Actor Sudheer Babu wrote on his Twitter page: "We lost a pioneer. A visionary filmmaker who discovered the potentiality for VFX films on Telugu screen. 'Ammoru' and 'Arundhati' are my personal favourites. Kodi Ramakrishna Garu will be missed. My deepest condolences. May his soul rest in peace."
(With IANS Inputs)