CHENNAI: Tamil producer KN Panchu Arunachalam died at the age of 76 on Tuesday. He introduced Ilayraja in the Bollywood industry.
Panchu was a known for his songs and wrote around 1,000 songs. He was a voracious reader who thought differently and came up with scripts that were big commercial hits in 70s and 80s.
“His unit grew on a pillar like 'Panchu', Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan became commercially successful through his movies. Tamil cinema, dominated till the late 1970s by Sivaji and MGR flicks, changed after his entry. Folk music and village themes became the rage. In 'Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri', he practically reinvented Rajinikanth, known until then for negative roles.” Director S P Muthuraman, a distant relative said.
Director Bharathiraja said: "Today, Illayaraja, Gangai Amaran and I are having three square meals only because of Panchu. He was not just a good script-writer, but an amazing personality as well. A good human being, he could be approached for anything at anytime. In fact, for close to 40 movies, I used to run my screenplays through him."
He added, "He belonged to the golden era of the industry. He studied cinema, breathed cinema. The best gift he got in life is his peaceful death, and friends and well-wishers like us. Respecting artistes was his forte, he took suggestions from one and all”.