TUMAKURU: 70-year-old Hulivan Gangadharaiah, a Karnataka Nataka Academy awardee, who shot to fame due to his acting skills, succumbed to the COVID-19 at the BGS hospital in Bengaluru on Friday night.
He is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son. He was laid to rest at his farm at Hulivana village near Kunigal on Saturday.
Gangadharaiah had postponed the setting up of his coconut 'neera' drink factory at his farm in March due to the rising scare of COVID-19, recently took part in the shooting of 'Premaloka', an upcoming Kannada soap in a private TV Channel.
A week ago, when he tested positive, most of the private hospitals had turned him down and later relatives managed to get him admitted at the BGS hospital at Kengeri in a critical state four days ago.
He had dreamt of breaking the ground for the 'neera' in the interest of farmers and had even registered 'Coconut Producers Company' in a corporate style. Hulivan had even resigned from ITI as the PRO in 1997 to get full-fledgedly involved in acting and farming.
The Central Plantation Crops Research Institute, Kasaragod, had even conferred 'outstanding and innovative farmer' award to him.
He had acted in as many as 118 movies such including 'Sedina Hakki', Dr Raj Kumar starred 'Jwalamukhi', 'Ade Kannu', Upendra starred 'A' among others, in over one thousand plays and over one lakh TV
When The New Indian Express spoke to Hulivan Gangadharaiah, over the phone in March, he had revealed that he was postponing the shifting of machinery from Maharashtra to his 'neera' factory at his coconut farm due to the scare of COVID-19.
"He had acted in my debut soap 'malebillu' as the main character. I had learned a lot from the quarrelsome, over issues, Hulivan Gangadharaiah who had treated me at his farmhouse after a quarrel. I could not go to the funeral and I hope he will understand. Let's continue our quarrel in some other world.." said director Vinay Krishnaswamy on Facebook.