Popular yester-years music composer MS Viswanathan who has composed for Tamil and Telugu films, including the outstanding film ‘Devadas’ of Akkineni Nageswara Rao, has taken taken ill and was admitted to the ICU of Chennai-based Fortis Malar Hospital on Tuesday.
Known as MSV in the southern filmdom, MS Viswanathan, 87, was undergoing treatment for age-related ailments initially but when his condition deteriorated, he was rushed to the ICU, said a family source.
“He’s been undergoing treatment over the last few days. After initial treatment, he showed signs of recovery and was almost ready to be taken back home. But on Tuesday, his condition deteriorated and he had to be rushed to the ICU,” the source told TOI. Currently, his pulse has dropped and he is facing breathing problem, the TOI report quoting source said.
MS Viswanathan entered the Tamil film field in 1952 with the film ‘Panam’ starring Sivaji Ganeshan. MSV and his fellow composer TK Ramamoorthy together composed music for 86 Tamil films for over a decade. He is known as Mellisai Mannar (Tamil for “The King of Light Music”).
He was conferred the Thirai Isai Chakravarthy (Tamil for “The Emperor of Cine Music”) title on him in August 2012 by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa along with 60 gold coins and a new car.
Born on June 24, 1928 in Elappully village in Palakkad, Kerala, he lost his father when he was four. He was saved by his grandfather when his mother tried to commit suicide together to escape from abject poverty. He began to sell refreshments in a movie theatre for a living and learned music from Neelakanda Bhagavathar in the 1930s when he was just not even in his teens.
When C. R. Subburaman died unexpectedly in 1952, Viswanathan joined Ramamoorthy and together they completed the background music for the films Subburaman was working on, including ‘Devadas’ (both Tamil and Telugu versions).