KOCHI: Veteran film director Sasikumar, who gave scores of hits during the 1960s and 70s mostly featuring Malayalam's evergreen hero Prem Nazir, died here today, film industry sources said.
Sasikumar (86) was suffering from age-related illness. He was admitted to a private hospital this afternoon where he died in the evening, they said.
He directed as many as 141 films, a record of sort in Malayalam film industry. Nazir was in lead in about 80 movies in the greatest of all director-actor combine of Malayalam.
Though initially he was influenced by the neo-realistic trends of Malayalam films, Sasikumar switched over to entertainment thrillers and almost of all them became big success at the box office.
John in real life, Sasikumar entered the tinsel world after cutting his teeth as a stage director and actor. Moving to Madras (Chennai), the then hub of south Indian films, he assisted some of the leading Malayalam directors of the time before making his debut through "Kudumbini", a family- melodrama.
"Sasikumar is a director who made outstanding contributions to Malayalam cinema as a popular entertainment. As hit-maker he was unbeatable in 1960s and 70s by giving a new verve and vigour to suspense thrillers," said film historian Balagopal.
Sasikumar was a recipient of Kerala Government's highest film award instituted in memory of Malayalam film's pioneer J C Daniel.