Legendary Malayalam filmmaker K. S. Sethumadhavan, best known among Tamil cinema fans for directing 'Puratchi Thalaivar' M.G.R's Naalai Namadhe and 'Ulaganayagan' Kamal Haasan's Nammavar, passed away due to age-related ailments at his residence in Chennai on Friday. He was 90. The acclaimed director is survived by his wife Valsala Sethumadhavan and three children. Sethumadhavan, who garnered a huge following with his work in Malayalam cinema, was a recipient of several awards that included ten National Awards and nine Kerala State Film Awards. He also won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film for his 1991 Tamil directorial Marupakkam starring Sivakumar and Radha. 

Prior to working with Kamal Haasan in Nammavar in Tamil, Sethumadhavan had included the actor as a child artiste in his 1962 Malayalam film Kannum Karalum. The four-time National Award-winning Tamil actor was later cast in the lead role in the filmmaker's 1974 film Kanyakumari. Paying his tributes to the celebrated director, Kamal Haasan penned a heartfelt note on Twitter and wrote, "KS Sethumadhavan is the originator of the new wave cinema. He is one of the fundamental keys to determining the quality of Malayalam cinema. He will always be remembered for his artistic achievements." 

Born in Kerala in 1931, KS Sethumadhavan started his career in the film industry as an assistant director to K Ramnath. He later became an independent filmmaker and directed his first film in Malayalam titled Jnana Sundari. His career spanned over three decades and made over 60 films in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, and Malayalam languages that include Anubhavangal Palichakal, Aranazhikaneeram, Achanum Bappayum, Odayil Ninnu, Oppol, Panitheeratha Veedu to name a notable few. In 2009, Sethumadhavan was felicitated with the prestigious J C Daniel Award, the highest honor in cinema and entertainment instituted by the Kerala government.