Kannada actor and politician Ambareesh passed away due to a cardiac arrest on Saturday night. He was 66. Ambareesh was rushed to a hospital after he was found unresponsive at his residence. Despite all aggressive resuscitation efforts he could not be revived and declared deceased at 2215 hours, a hospital spokesman said. Ambareesh, who was a three-time Lok Sabha member and a former state minister, had not been keeping well in recent years and was hospitalized frequently.
Just as the news of his demise spread, tributes began pouring in from different quarters. Several political leaders including Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and a host of film personalities visited Vikram Hospital. A large number of emotional fans and followers also descended at the hospital with some saying that they became "orphans" without their "Ambareesh Anna". Expressing shock over the demise, Kumaraswamy said Ambaresh's death "an era of love and affection in Kannada fim industry has ended"."He was a rebel who was loved by all. He has carved a unique place in both politics and films," said Kumaraswamy, who himself is a film producer.
Speaking to reporters after visiting the hospital, Kumaraswamy said, the state government has decided to observe a three-day state mourning as a mark of respect for Ambareesh whose funeral would be held with full state honour.
Born as Malavalli Huchche Gowda Amarnath on May 29, 1952, Ambareesh popularly known as a "rebel star" has acted in over 200 films in a more than four-decade long movie career with a fan following of his own at the peak of his popularity.
Entering the movie world through film "Nagarahavu" (king cobra), directed by veteran late Puttanna Kannagal in 1972, Ambareesh had carved a niche for himself in the Kannada film industry, particularly as an "angry" man, earning the title "rebel star".
Beginning his film career in antagonistic roles, he later emerged on his own to become a hero.
Ambareesh also had a successful career in politics having been an MLA, a Lok Sabha member and a former minister at the state and central levels.
He was in the Janata Dal, the JDS and the Congress in his political career that took a hit when he was asked to resign as minister for housing during the previous Siddaramaiah government.
Ambareesh had served as the Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting from 2006-2007 under former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but had quit the post over the issue of formation of the Cauvery water dispute tribunal.
He has won several state government film awards and was bestowed with the honorary doctorate by the Dharwad University.