A Year of Farewells! Remembering the icons from Tamil industry we lost in 2023...


(This article is authored by Alar)

In the ebb and flow of time, the year 2023 emerged as a poignant chapter in the history of the Tamil film industry. As the reel of life played on, it took with it some of the most iconic names that graced the silver screen, leaving behind memories we couldn't get from it. From charismatic leaders to versatile entertainers, each departure marked the end of an era, echoing through the hearts of fans and colleagues alike. In this reflection on the year gone by, we celebrate the lives and contributions of those who, in their own unique ways, enriched the world of Tamil cinema.

K Viswanath: 

At the age of 92, the renowned Telugu filmmaker K Viswanath bid farewell to the world on an unassuming day due to complications related to advanced age on 2nd February 2023. A recipient of numerous awards, including the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, Viswanath's cinematic legacy, spanning five decades, will forever be remembered.

Vani Jayaram: 

The year began with the shocking demise of legendary playback singer Vani Jayaram on February 4, 2023. The recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Vani's contribution to South Indian cinema spanned four decades, with over 10,000 recorded tunes. Her tragic fall and subsequent passing marked the end of an era in the world of music.

T. P. Gajendran:

The respected actor T. P. Gajendran took his final bow on February 5, 2023, succumbing to a cardiac arrest. Known for his versatility and ability to bring humor to any role, Gajendran's career, which began in 1985, left an indelible mark on the Tamil film industry.


On February 19, the Tamil film industry lost the comedic genius Mayilsamy to a sudden cardiac arrest. Renowned for his performances, Mayilsamy's journey in cinema, especially his award-winning role in 'Kangalal Kaithal Sei,' will forever be remembered. His unexpected departure left the industry in shock, marking the loss of a true comedic gem.

Sarath Babu:

Sarath Babu, the beloved actor who charmed audiences with his handsome looks and compelling screen presence, passed away on May 22, 2023. Known for his camaraderie with Rajinikanth and collaborations with Kamal Haasan, Sarath Babu's legacy spans over five decades. His last film was Por Thozil, where he portrayed a never seen role which got well response from the fans.


The versatile Manobala, a stalwart in the Tamil film industry, left an indelible mark with his acting, directing, and producing prowess. At 69, he departed on May 3, 2023, due to liver-related complications. From his debut in Bharathiraja's 'Puthiya Vaarpugal' to directing stars like Rajinikanth and Sathyaraj, Manobala's journey remains a testament to his talent and wit, making him a beloved figure among the masses.

RS Shivaji: 

On September 2, 2023, the Tamil film industry lost the versatile actor and comedian RS Shivaji at the age of 66. With over 100 films to his credit, Shivaji's impeccable comic timing and collaborations with stalwarts like Kamal Haasan have left an indelible mark. His performances in films like 'Michael Madana Kama Rajan' and 'Kolamavu Kokila' showcased his versatility and acting prowess.


The unexpected demise of Marimuthu on September 8, 2023, sent shockwaves through the Tamil film fraternity. Known for his versatility as an actor and director, Marimuthu's journey, marked by triumphs and tragedies, touched the hearts of many. On September 8, hardly days after he gave interviews to news outlets and participated in a game show, at around 8.30 am, he had actively engaged in dubbing for his soap opera Ethir Neechal along with some of his cast members. His contributions to cinema, from assistant directing with Rajkiran to directing 'Kannum Kannum,' remain an integral part of his legacy.

Meera Vijay Antony: 

Tragedy struck the family of musician Vijay Antony on September 17, 2023, as his 16-year-old daughter Meera died by suicide. The unexpected loss left fans in shock, prompting reflection on the importance of mental health awareness.

Junior Balaiah:

On November 2, 2023, the Tamil film industry lost the versatile actor Junior Balaiah at the age of 70. Known for his work in supporting roles and popular television shows, Junior Balaiah's legacy lives on in films like 'Nerkonda Parvai' and 'Maara.'

Bonda Mani: 

Renowned comedian Bonda Mani, known for his collaborative humor with Vadivelu, bid adieu on December 23, 2023, at the age of 60. His comedic timing and presence in the Tamil film industry were unparalleled, leaving fans and colleagues mourning the loss of a true laughter architect.

Captain Vijayakanth:

In a year filled with both highs and lows, the Tamil film industry bid farewell to one of its iconic leaders, Captain Vijayakanth. Known affectionately as 'Captain' and 'Puratchi Kalaignar,' Vijayakanth, who led the DMDK, left a void in the hearts of Tamil people. His five-decade-long career in cinema and politics came to a close on December 28, 2023, at the age of 71, succumbing to pneumonia. Despite battling health issues, his indomitable spirit and contribution to Tamil cinema and politics will be eternally remembered.