In the South of India, there will be no child, who has not grown up without watching Legend Director Kasinadhuni Viswanath’s breath-taking movies. Be it ‘Shankarabharanam’, ‘Sagara Sangamam’, ‘Saptapadi’, ‘Swarna Kamlam’, ‘Sruti Layalu’, ‘Sirivennela’, ‘Sutradharulu’, ‘Subhalekha’, ‘Subha Sankalpam’, ‘Swayam Krushi’ – movies that were known for their music and dance, but also dealt with social issues.
Born on 19 February 1930, K Viswanath garu, apart from calling the shots, was a screenwriter and also, put on the grease paint. A recipient of five National Film Awards, seven State Nandi Awards, 10 Filmfare Awards South, and a Filmfare Award in Hindi, the Legend was bestowed the Padma Shri in 1992 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2017 for his contribution to the Indian movie industry. He was also conferred with the Honorary Doctorate by Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University, Hyderabad.
He began his film career in 1957 as an audiographer with ‘Todi Kodallu’, which won recognition nationally as Best Feature Film in Telugu. He became an Assistant Director in 1961 with ‘Iddaru Mitrulu’, Screenplay writer in 1963 with ‘Chaduvukunna Ammayilu’ and a full-fledged director in 1965 with ‘Aatma Gowravam’, which fetched the National Film Award and Filmfare Award for Best Telugu film. After that there was no looking back. Numerous awards and many movies followed, sometimes making three movies in a year. ‘Swarabhishekam’ released in 2004, for which he wrote the screenplay and directed brought him National honours and the last film, he helmed was ‘Subhapradam’ in 2010.
Many films that became super-success in Telugu were remade in Hindi and they too won acclaim and applause for K Viswanath sir. He had an eye for picking up his actors with such perfection and moulding them in the characters that they emoted immersing the moviegoer with the story plot.
The Director was also seen donning the grease paint in movies beginning with 1995 Telugu movie ‘Subha Sankalpam’ as Rayudu, and also appeared in several Tamil and Kannada movies too. This year, 2022, he played the character Rangaswamy in Kannada movie ‘Oppanda’. He has acted in a few TV serials – Siva Narayna Teertha on SVBC, Chellamey on Sun TV and Suryiavamsam on Vendhar TV. He has also appeared for advertisements like Ramraj Cottons, GRT Jewellers and Suvarnabhoomi Real Estate Developers.
Today, he encourages young directors and budding dancers, we at Natyahasini pay our Salutations to the Living Legend!