G Marimuthu: Indian film industry mourns popular actor

India's Tamil-language film industry is in mourning for popular actor and director G Marimuthu, who died of a heart attack on Friday.

Marimuthu, who was in his late 50s, collapsed at a TV studio in Chennai and was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby hospital.

He was one of the main actors in the soap opera Ethirneechal (Swimming Against The Tide) and was dubbing scenes for the series when he died.

He also acted in more than 50 films.

One of his last film roles was as a villain in the recent blockbuster Jailer, the third most successful Indian film at the box office so far this year.

Marimuthu's fellow TV actors rushed to the hospital after hearing the news of his death, India Today reported.

Marimuthu's cinematic career began in 1990, when he left his home in the southern village of Pasumalaitheri in Theni and headed to Chennai to become a film director.

He worked as a hotel waiter at first, then became an assistant director with various film-makers before directing two films of his own, Kannum Kannum and Pulivaal.

In the 2010s, he focused on acting and featured in supporting roles in various Tamil films.

"Deeply saddened to hear about the untimely demise of the versatile actor Marimuthu," said one fan on social media site X.

"He was a superstar on both the big and small screens. A tremendous loss for our industry. May his soul rest in peace."