Popular comedian, playwright, theatre artiste, political commentator, film director, lawyer, critic, political satirist and Editor of Thuglak, Cho Ramaswamy, passed away in Chennai in the early hours of Wednesday.
He was 82. The respected theatre personality was unwell for some time and had to be hospitalised. Sources said he died of a cardiac arrest at 4.05 a.m. He is survived by his wife and two children. His funeral is to take place at 3 pm in Besant Nagar today.
Cho Ramaswamy was immensely popular, thanks to his forthright attitude and the fearless manner in which he put forth his views on issues.
He has acted in 190 movies and directed five films. Some of his memorable films are Muhammad Bin Tughlaq, Thenmazhai, Ninaivil Nindraval, Bommalaatam, Delhi Mappilai, Adimai Penn, Dharisanam, Nilgiri Express, Anayium Pithavum and Neerum Nerupum. Cho also directed 15 plays, many of which were immensely popular. His play, Muhammad bin Tughlaq, in particular had an overwhelming reach and was even made into a feature film later.
Cho was born into a family of lawyers and started off by becoming a lawyer himself. However, he was more interested in theatre and took it up full time. From there, he moved onto films and finally became a journalist. He launched his Tamil magazine Thuglaq and remained its editor for 46 years.
Despite being a political satirist, Cho Ramaswamy was close to many top political leaders including former Chief Ministers K Kamaraj, J Jayalalithaa, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jeyaprakash Narayan, L K Advani and G K Moopanar.
Several leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi have condoled the death of the immensely respected journalist.