Bangalore, Dec 30 : Kannada film industry's superstar Vishnuvardhan died of a heart attack early Wednesday, doctors said. The actor died while he was being rushed to a hospital in Mysore. He leaves behind his wife Bharathi Vishnuvardhan, who is an actress, and his two daughters Keerthi and Chandana.
Vishnuvardhan, 60, was under medical observation at the Vikram Hospital in Mysore for many days. Doctors checked the actor thoroughly Tuesday evening and said he was in good condition. But early Wednesday morning Vishnuvardhan complained of chest pain and died while being taken to hospital.
The Karnataka government has ordered a state funeral for the superstar. Elaborate police arrangements have been made for the procession which will be taken from the actor's residence here to the Jayanagar Cosmopolitan Club grounds. Fans and family members will be able to pay tribute to the actor between 10 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.
The Kannada film industry has been shocked by actor's death, who was affectionately called Sahasa Simha by millions of his fans.
The actor had a tremendous reach in the box office and proved to be the most popular actor in the Kannada film industry after movie icon Raj Kumar.
Vishnuvardhan was known for his superb performances in many films including "Nagarahaavu", "Aaptha Mithra", "Bandhana", "Suprabhatha", "Laali", "Muththina Haara" and "Maathaad Maathaad Mallige". He never looked back after his superb debut as a hero in "Nagarahaavu".
He has acted in 199 films. Two of them -- "Aaptha Rakshaka" and "School Master" -- will be released shortly.
Vishnuvardhan won many prestigious awards including seven best state actor awards and five Filmfare awards.