Veteran yesteryear actor S S Rajendran, popularly known as SSR passed away on 24th of October 2014 at around 10:45 am. Rajendran, who was admitted to a private hospital with lung infection was 86 and is survived by two wives including yesteryear actress C.R. Vijayakumari with whom he had shared screen space in most of his movies and eight chidren.
He was the first theatre and cinema artiste to be elected to a state Assembly in independent India. Known for crisp pronunciation and impeccable dialogue delivery, S S Rajendran stamped his authority in Tamil cinema when the industry was ruled by two legendary actors, MG Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan.
Fondly called as 'Latchiya Nadigar'(actor of principles) by his fans, Rajendran took Tamil cinema by storm with some never forgettable performances in movies like Poompuhar, Naanum Oru Penn, Sivagangai Seemai, Manohara, Patchai Vilakku, Parasakthi and Alayamani among others. He was also known for his singing abilities. In fact when he graduated from being a theatre artiste to the world of cinema, he started off as a playback singer in the film Andaal in which music was composed by G.Ramanathan.
He has also penned his autobiography, Naan Vantha Paathai (The Path I Trod), in which he has written about his political career. He has also mentioned about his war of words with DMK president Mr. Karunanidhi who once was his close friend. After he was expelled from the party, he joined the opposition camp, AIADMK led by Ms. Jayalalithaa but could not win in the Assembly elections.
DMK chief M. Karunanidhi, who paid respect to the actor's mortal remains has said that Rajendran was like his brother who stood beside him in different phases of his life. He also described him as a rational individual. It is to be noted that SSR has worked in many films that was scripted by his old friend M. Karunanidhi.
AIADMK chief J.Jayalalithaa described his demise as a great loss to Tamil cinema. Kollywood suspended its activities for half a day as a mark of respect. It also hailed Rajendran as a guide to many professionals.