Legendary Tamil film star Villupuram Chinnaiah Pillai "Sivaji" Ganesan, dubbed the Marlon Brando of south Indian cinema, died on 21 July aged 74, after a brief illness.

Winner of many awards, including National honors: the Padma Shri, the Dadha Saheb Phalke award (the country's highest honour in the entertainment industry) and the French Chevalier honour, "Sivaji" Ganesan made his succcessful debut in the film Parasakthi. released in 1952.

Since then, in a career spanning five decades, he portrayed a broad variety of roles ' hero, villain and comedian ' and left his imprint on every one of the 300-plus films he had acted in. Ganesan created a legend for himself by playing nine different characters in one film Navarathri, while his performance as V O Chidambaranar in Kappalottiya Tamizhan won him accolades from the veteran freedom fighter's descendants themselves.