A stalwart of the Kannad film industry, Vishnuvardhan died of a heart attack in Mysore late on Wednesday morning. He was 59.
The popular Kannad actor, whose real name was Sampath Kumar, complained of breathing problems at about 0230 hrs IST on Wednesday and was immediately taken to a private hospital where he breathed his last.
Reports said citing hospital sources that he died at nearly 0300 hrs IST on Wednesday.
CM BS Yeddyurappa ordered closure of all schools and colleges in Karnataka on Wednesday as a mark of respect.
Security has been stepped up in Bangalore following the actor’s death. Police have set up road blocks around Vishnuvardhan’s residence to check the flow of fans.
Vishnuvardhan, who was survived by his Bharati who is also a popular actress, and two adopted daughters, Keerthi and Chandana, was popularly referred to as the Phoenix of Kannada cinema.
In 2005 Vishnuvardhan was awarded honorary doctorate by Bangalore University.
He acted in 199 films, won 7 Filmfare Awards and many state government awards. He was also involved in public service and welfare activities of the film world.