Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar died in Bengaluru on Friday after suffering a heart attack. He was 46 years old.
“We put him on a ventilator and tried to revive him, but all efforts failed,” a doctor at the hospital said, according to The Hindu.
Politicians and fellow actors grieved Puneeth Rajkumar’s death. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “a cruel twist of fate” had taken the “prolific and talented” actor away.
“This was no age to go,” Modi tweeted. “The coming generations will remember him fondly for his works and wonderful personality. Condolences to his family and admirers.”
Puneeth Rajkumar, also known as “Appu” by his fans, was the youngest son of iconic actor Rajkumar and producer Parvathamma. He had acted in more than 29 Kannada movies as the lead and had also worked as a child actor, reported News18.
His films include Appu (2002), Abhi (2003), Veera Kannadiga and Mourya (2004), Aakash (2005), Ajay (2006), Arasu and Milana (2007), Vamshi (2008), Raam (2009), Jackie (2010), Hudugaru (2011), Raajakumara and Anjani Putra (2017).
Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the artiste’s death was personal loss and one that was “difficult to come to terms with”. “Praying the almighty gives the Rajkumar family and fans the strength to bear this loss,” he wrote in a post on Twitter.
Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said his death was “a great loss for Karnataka”.
Karnataka minister Ashwathnarayan CN confirmed the actor’s death in a Twitter post written in Kannada. “He had accomplished immensely from early age,” his statement read. “It is difficult to believe that he, who has always been backbone of constructive programs, is no more.”
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman expressed her condolences. “A bright star,” she said in a tweet. “He had a long promising career ahead. My condolences to his family, his innumerable fans and followers.”
Puneeth Rajkumar’s last rites will take place on Saturday, The Hindu reported. On Friday, his fans gathered outside the hospital where he was admitted. Additional police forces were deployed near the building.
His remains will be kept at Kanteerava Stadium.
His brother Raghavendra Rajkumar and state Revenue Minister R Ashok appealed to the actor’s fans to remain peaceful in their grief, The Hindu reported. “We need to send him [Puneet] back with love,” Raghavendra Rajkumar said. “Film actors don’t die. Their art speaks for them.”
After his death, the city administration banned the sale of alcohol upto midnight on October 31.
Actors Yash, Darshan and Ravichandran, filmmaker Yograj Bhat and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy were among those who had visited the hospital before the news of his death was released, reported The Hindu.
Actor Dulquer Salmaan said that Rajkumar was “one of the kindest and warmest actors/gentlemen”.
Actor and producer Nivin Pauly wrote on Twitter that he was “deeply saddened to hear the news, and offered his condolences to Rajkumar’s family, friends and fans.