Chennai: Popular Tamil film conmedian Vivek, who was admitted to SIMS hospital after suffering a massive cardiac arrest and put on ECMO, died early on Saturday morning.
He breathed his last at 0435 hrs this morning. He was 59. Vivek, who took his first dose of COVID vaccine jab on Thursday, is survived by his wife and a daughter.
He had lost his son a few years ago at the same hospital due to dengue fever. Vivek’s body was taken to his Virugambakkam residence, where tamil film personalities and public queued up to pay their last respects.
The last rites will be held later this evening. SIMS hospital clarified that COVID vaccine has nothing to do with
the actor suffering a cardiac arrest.
Talking to reporters, SIMS Hospital Director, Medical Services Dr Vijaykumar Chokkan and Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan said the actor had 100 per cent block on the left side of the heart following which blood supply to the brain was affected.
He suffered cardiac arrest because of the block and it has nothing to do with the covid vaccine. ‘This is an acute coronary syndrome with cardiogenic shock. This is a separate cardiac event. It may not be due to COVID vaccination’, Dr Vijayakumar said.
They said Vivek was brought to the hospital in an unconscious state at 1100 hrs to the emergency by his family members. He was resuscitated in the emergency room by specialists. ‘Later, he underwent emergency coronary angiogram followed by angioplasty and a stenting procedure and wa sput on ECMO support’, they said.
Dr Radhakrishnan said Vivek has tested negative for COVID. The veteran actor, who has played comedian roles in hundreds of films.
Introduced to the film world by veteran director K Balachander, Vivek has shared screen space with legends including Rajinikanth, Vijayakanth, Sarathkumar, Vikram, Dhanush among others.
His comedy always speaks about issues that affect people in society and hence has earned the sobriquet ‘Chinna Kalaivanar’. Besides a prolific actor, he is a keen admirer of late President APJ Abdul Kalam. He had campaigned for mass planting of tree saplings and protecting the environment.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, DMK President M K Stalin, actors Rajinikanth and tamil film personalities condoled his death.
Mr Palaniswami said Vivek had sowed the seeds for several lakhs of saplings and took the youth to the path of development through his film messages to the society.
His death was a great loss to the Tamil film fraternity, he said and expressed his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members.
Rajinikant, in a tweet, said he was deeply saddened by the death of his nice friend, social activist and Chinna Kalaivanar Vivek. He said he will never forget each and every day during the shooting of his film ‘Sivaji’ with Vivek.
‘My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved fmaily members. I pray the Almighty for his soul to rest in peace.
Music maestro A.Rahman said “Can’t believe you’ve left us ..May you rest in peace ..you’ve entertained us for decades ..your legacy will stay with us”.
Comedian Soori in his message said Vivekh spoke about social awareness in his films. He was not just a comedian but a real hero. “Even the trees that he planted today would be crying along with those who he entertained.”
VCK founder and Lok Sabha MP Thol Thirumavalavan said “I am saddened to hear that actor Vivek has passed away. His death has unfortunately raised several questions. There is fear among the public that he has died after taking the Covid-19 vaccine. The State Government must clarify.”