Malayalam filmmaker AB Raj dies at 95 in Chennai
Malayalam director, screenwriter and producer AB Raj alias Raj Antony Bhaskar, died due to cardiac arrest on August 23 in Chennai. He was 95 years old. Actress Saranya Ponvannan, who won National award for her performances, is his daughter. He started his career in Malayalam in the 1960s and had also directed more than 10 films in Sinhalese under the screen name A Bhaskar Raj.
AB Raj hailed from Alappuzha, but he lived most of his life in Tamil Nadu. He made his Malayalam debut with Kaliyalla Kalyanam in 1968. Some of his noted Malayalam films include Chirikkudukka, Sasthram Jayichu Manushyan Thottu, Chief Guest, Kannur Deluxe, Nrithasaala, to name a few.
He had directed nearly 65 Malayalam films and several movies in Tamil and Sinhalese. During his prime time, he had also served as the president of Tamil Nadu Directors' Union.
AB Raj made his directorial debut in Tamil with Thulliyodum Pulliman in 1971. The film, which starred Sivaji Ganesan and Chandrababu in the lead roles, is the Tamil remake of Malayalam film, Chirikkudukka.
Raj had mentored many veteran directors such as Hariharan, IV Sasi, Rajasekharan and P Chandrakumar.
AB Raj had also worked as the second unit assistant director of David Lean's The Bridge on the River Kwai, which released in 1957. Shot in Sri Lanka, the film received critical acclaim and accolades.