Hyderabad: Malayalam cinema's first woman director and south Indian actress G Vijaya Niramala died at a private hospital here following a brief illness, her family said Thursday. She was 75.
She is survived by her husband G Krishna, a veteran actor and son Naresh.
Vijaya Nirmala was a co-star of Krishna in the Telugu film "Sakshi" in 1967 after which they became a hit-pair and went on to act together in about 50 films, which include blockbusters like "Devedu Chesina Manushulu", "Alluri Seetarama Raju" and "Padipantalu" in 1970s.
"I regret to inform you that my Mother senior Artiste, prominent Producer; Director, Dr. G Vijayanirmala Garu passed away during early hours today, that is, 27.6.2019, at Continental Hospitals, Hyderabad, due to sickness. She was 75," her actor son Naresh tweeted.
Vijaya Nirmala was brought to the ER (Emergency Room) at 11.45 p.m Wednesday in an unresponsive state. Despite the best of resuscitative measures, the patient could not be revived and was declared dead, Continental Hospital at Gachibowli here said in a statement.
Step-mother of current Telugu star Mahesh Babu, Vijaya Nirmala entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the woman director with most number of movies to her credit (44).
Born on February 20, 1946 in Tamil Nadu, she entered the film industry at the age of seven and acted in over 200 movies in Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam.
She mainly directed movies in Telugu.
Vijaya Nirmala shot to fame as director with the runway success of her movie "Meena".
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao condoled the death of Vijaya Nirmala and recalled her services in the Telugu cine field.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said Vijaya Nirmala achieved new heights in the Telugu film industry with her hard work and determination.
Vijaya Nirmala directed the Malayalam movie 'Kavitha' in 1973 thereby, becoming the first woman director in the industry. She also acted in 25 Malayalam movies. Some of her popular hits include Bhargavi Nilayam, Rosie, Vivaham Swargathil and Ponapuram Kota.
She was recipient of "Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu" award for her contribution to the Telugu film industry.
Telangana BJP chief K Laxman said the demise of Vijaya Nirmala is a huge loss to Telugu film industry.
Describing her as a pioneering filmmaker, actor Junior NTR said her life is an inspiration for many.
Jana Sena chief and actor Pawan Kalyan also condoled her death.
Naresh said her body would be kept at the residence in Nanakramguda and her final rites will be performed Friday.
(With inputs from PTI.)