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Bengaluru, Dec 9 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid his condolences to Kannada film actress Leelavathy who passed away yesterday due to old age in a city hospital.

“Saddened to hear about the passing of the legendary Kannada film personality Leelavathi Ji. A true icon of cinema, she graced the silver screen with her versatile acting in numerous films. Her diverse roles and remarkable talent will always be remembered and admired. My thoughts are with her family and admirers. Om Shanti,” PM Modi said on X.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah also condoled with the Kannada Thespian, saying, “Last week, after hearing about her illness, I visited her home and inquired about her health and talked to her son Vinod Raj… I pray for her soul to rest in peace.”

The 85 years old actress breathed her last in a hospital located at Nelamangala. Leelavathi is survived by her son, Vinod Raj, who is also a renowned actor in the Kannada film industry. She made a lasting mark in Indian cinema by showcasing her acting talent in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu films.

Born in Belthangady in Dakshina Kannada, Leelavathi had acted in 600 plus films, of which 400 of them were in Kannada.

She also acted in classics like Bhakta Kumbara, Mana Mecchida Madadi and Sant Tukaram, and reached the peak of popularity.

Leelavathy, who spent her last days at Soladevanahalli near Nelamangala, was bestowed with the prestigious Dr Rajkumar Award and Filmfare Awards in 1999.

She also won awards as best supporting actress in Gejje Pooje, Sipayi Ramu and Doctor Krishna.

Before making a foray into films, Leelavathi was a theatre artist, and acted in many plays. She was a companion of Subbayya Naidu in Mahalinga Bhagavatar theatre troupe.

Her first film as a lead actress was Mangalya Yoga. Her first film with Dr Rajkumar was Ranadheera Kanteerava.

Offering her condolences, multi-lingual actress Saroja Devi said Leelavathy was a multi-talented actress and was her very close friend.