Veteran Kannada actor Shani Mahadevappa passed away on January 3 in Bengaluru due to health complications arising out of COVID-19. He was 88. The actor is survived by his wife and two children. According to reports, the iconic actor had been admitted to hospital a week back after testing positive for the novel coronavirus. Mahadevappa breathed his last on Sunday night, with the news of his demise coming as a major shock for many in the Kannada film industry, with condolences and tributes being paid by notable celebrities. 

Among those who paid their last respects to Shani Mahadevappa were Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar and Kichcha Sudeep. Taking to his Twitter page, Puneeth wrote, "Shani Mahadevappa, a veteran actor who has acted in many films, along with Appaji, Bhakta Kumbara, Srinivasa Kalyana and Kavirat's Kalidasa passed away. RIP (sic)", while Sudeep tweeted a picture of the late beloved and acclaimed actor. Mahadevappa made his debut in Kannada cinema in 1962 and later went on to form a close friendship with the legendary actor Dr. Rajkumar, while also appearing in several of his films. He began his acting career as a stage performer in theatre at a very young age. His performance in the play Shani Prabhava as Lord Shani fetched him acclaim after which fans began calling him as 'Shani' Mahadevappa. 

Having made appearances in more than 300 ventures in his illustrious career, some of Shani Mahadevappa’s most notable performances in films include Shankar Guru, Onti Salaga, Sri Srinivasa Kalyana, Shivshankar, Kaviratna Kalidasa and Guru Brahma. The reputed actor also worked some of the top names in Kannada cinema, while also associating with notable theatrical groups. He was cast in lead roles in several Kannada plays, while also being a regular collaborator with Gubbi Veeranna's company.