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Tamil actor-comedian Vivek dies at 59

The actor, comedian and Padma Shri awardee, known for his performances in 'Run', 'Saamy' and 'Perazhagan', died of a heart attack

Vivek was beloved for his social reformist dialogues
Vivek was beloved for his social reformist dialogues

Popular Tamil actor and comedian Vivek passed away on Saturday at SIMS hospital in Chennai. He was 59.

The Padma Shri awardee actor was admitted to the intensive care unit of SIMS hospital in Vadapalani after he suffered from a heart attack on Friday.

The 59-year-old actor reportedly fainted after expressing discomfort and his family rushed him to the SIMS Hospital at Vadapalani while he was in an unconscious state. He later underwent an emergency coronary angiogram followed by angioplasty.

The actor's condition was reported to be critical and he was on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in the intensive care unit of the hospital.

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The ace actor had earlier made headlines on Thursday for his efforts to remove the fear of the COVID vaccine among the public. Instead of opting for a private hospital, he had chosen to get vaccinated from a government hospital to spread awareness.

The renowned comedian Vivek was popularly called 'Chinna Kalaivanar' for his social reformative dialogues in Tamil cinema. He was bestowed with the Padma Shri Award, India's fourth-highest civilian award in the year 2009 by the union government. He acted in over 200 films.

An environmentalist, in order to laud the green movement, Vivek started a movement to plant a billion trees across Tamil Nadu, he was advised to do so from the former late president APJ Abdul Kalam.

Vivek, who was last seen in the Tamil remake of the Hindi film Vicky Donor titled Dharala Prabhu, is also part of director Shankar's upcoming film Indian 2, which stars Kamal Haasan in the lead role.

Legendary filmmaker K Balachander had launched Vivek in the late 1980s. He later went on to become one of the most sought-after comedy actors of Tamil cinema and still retains his stronghold in the industry.

Apart from being an actor and a comedian, Vivek was also an activist and a playback singer. He was widely regarded for his performances in movies like Perazhagan, Run, Saamy, Unnaruge Naan Irundhal, Anniyan and Sivaji, among several others.

Vivek is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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