Press Trust of India
June 24, 2012 14:19 IST
Well-known Malayalam junior artiste
Joseph Rodriguez, nicknamed 'Saigal' by late thespian Sivaji
Ganesan, is no more.
He passed away unsung at a private hospital here
on Saturday, a day after performing a small role in the
Malayalam film Kaassh whose shoot was in progress at nearby
Rodriguez, 81, fell ill on Friday night and was admitted
to the hospital. He is survived by wife, a son and a daughter.
He had essayed small roles in nearby 600 films and had
shared screen space with late M G Ramachandran (MGR), Sivaji
Ganesan, N T Rama Rao and Raj Kumar in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada
and Hindi films.
He began singing in local ferries to make both ends meet
when he was noticed by veteran singer K J Yesudas's father
Augustine Joseph, who advised him to go to Chennai.
In Chennai, he became a singer and actor in various Tamil
plays and was a member of Sivaji Ganesan's drama troupe.
According to industry sources, Joseph got the 'Saigal'
tag after Sivaji was impressed by his rendition of K L Saigal's
So Ja Rajakumar.
Despite being in the industry for several decades, only
small roles came his way and he remained as a junior artiste
throughout. He was also part of chorus in Malayalam films.
Union Minister Prof K V Thomas, Malayalam actors Mamootty,
Innocent and Music Director M K Arjunan were among those who
paid their respects.
The funeral was held at St Mary's Church at Edakochi.