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Veteran actress Leelavathi passes away

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Bengaluru: Veteran Kannada film actress Leelavathi passed away on Friday at the age of 85. She had been battling age-related illness and was bed ridden in the recent days.

The actress’ final rites are set to take place at her estate in Nelamangala in Bengaluru rural district, where her mortal remains will be kept for public viewing to enable relatives, actors and others to pay their last respects.

In a career spanning six decades as an actor, Leelavathi acted in 600 films including Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam languages. She was known for her versatile acting and received numerous awards, including the prestigious Dr Rajkumar Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1999-2000 given by State Government and honorary doctorate from Tumkur University in 2008.

Born in Belthangady, Dakshina Kannada district Leelavathi developed a passion for theatre at a young age. Before fully committing to acting, she also managed household responsibilities. She made her film debut in 1949 and later became a prominent actress in Kannada filmdom.

Leelavathi is survived by her son Vinod Raj, who is also a renowned actor in the Kannada film industry.

Her first film as a lead actress was Mangalya Yoga. Her first film with Dr Rajkumar was Ranadheera Kanteerava.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, Hat-trick Hero Shivarajkumar, his wife Geetha Shivarajkumar and several other prominent dignitaries had visited the ailing Leelavati at her farmhouse recently.

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