Indian film industry's biggest launcher the man who gave the iconic Big B his first break as a hero in 'Bombay To Goa' in 1972 and did the biggest casting coup in the history of Indian cinema by casting Amitabh Bachchan, Rajanikanth and Kamal Hassan together in 'Geraftaar' in 1985 breathed his last on Wednesday (January 9) in Chennai.
He was 83 and survived by two daughters and son Sudhish. He was popularly known as 'Sirjee'. associated with all the popular language movies of Indian cinema like Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi. S Ramanathan had worked with big names like Dr Rajkumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth, Kamal Hassan, Vishnuvardhan, Shivaraj Kumar, Dwarakish and many others in multiple languages.
Star of the millennium Amitabh Bachchan remembers filmmaker S Ramanathan as a gentle and helpful soul. Amitabh wrote on his blog "In the middle of the Kaun Banega Crorepati shoot comes the news of the passing away of S. Ramanathan, director producer, friend and well wisher,.. "A gentle, god fearing soul, always ready to help one in distress and one that took great care of me during every trip of mine to Chennai."
"He was having some problems walking, but all else was good.... sitting out in his home in Chennai he just passed away quietly sitting in his chair listening to music in the afternoon. Words shall fail me to express my grief. He had been meeting me regularly, on matters relating to his film on hold for years, Zamaanat,... wrote Big B.
"We did many films together - Bombay to Goa, Mahaan, Geraftaar, Zamaanat, Ganga Jamuna Saraswati, most of which were shot in Chennai, then Madras. So many moments and memories of him and his association gone. My prayers,.... he wrote.
Veteran actor and filmmaker Dwarkeesh has expressed his condolence over the death of S Ramanathan, who was known as Sirjee in film industry. He has said that it is a big loss for Indian film industry.
Ramanathan's career begun in Bangalore and he was actively involved in theatre in his early days. Later, he moved to Chennai and worked with many popular names of 50s like A Bhim Singh.
His first film as a director started in Malayalam film Naadodikal. But it was Amitabh Bachchan starrer Bombay to Goa that earned him a national fame.