Karnataka woke up to the news of losing its “Mandya Man”, actor-politician Ambareesh who died late last night at a Bengaluru hospital. A man of many names and a strong voice, a “friend” to many including Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and superstar Rajinikanth, 66-year-old Malavalli Huchegowda Amarnath or Ambareesh (his screen name) was not just an action-hero, but a politician who fought for several important causes in the state.
Often known as a “rebel star”, MH Ambareesh has acted in over 200 films, portraying an array of characters as an antagonist. He was known to have chosen “angry young man roles” during his career, getting the name “rebel star” by his large fan following. He set foot in the Kannada film industry in 1972 with the film ‘Nagarahavu’. His last film was ‘Ambi Ning Vayassaytho’, released in 2018.
Film stars from both in and outside the Kannada film industry, politicians extended their shock and disbelief on hearing the news. Fans posted videos of iconic dialogues of Ambareesh on Twitter.
Fans also posted photographs of Ambareesh with his two other mega stars who comprised the “legendary trio” of Karnataka film industry — Rajkumar (died in 2006), Vishnuvardhan (died in 2009) and Ambareesh, all three mega actors.
His film career aside, Ambareesh was considered a star politician who fought for several issues including the Cauvery water dispute. The tree-time MP gets the name “Mandya Man” or “Mandayada Gandu” as the Mandya constituency was his hometown and stronghold with a huge fan following.
The former union minister was last seen addressing the media yesterday, talking about a bus accident in Mandya that killed 30. Reports suggest that the actor was seen coughing profusely and claimed that he was unwell. He was admitted to a hospital in Bengaluru where he died of a cardiac arrest.
Ambareesh’s body is kept at Bengaluru’s Kanteerava Stadium for fans to pay their tribute. The Karnataka government has declared a three-day state mourning and said his funeral will be held with full state honours.