Viswanath had been in semi-retirement for a while now, with his last directorial being the 2010 Telugu film Subhapradam. However, as an actor, he last starred in the 2022 Kannada film Oppanda. Born in 1930 in Repalle, Andhra Pradesh, he began his career as a sound recordist at Vauhini Studios in Madras, where his father, K Subramanyam, worked as an associate.
It was in 1951 that he switched to direction, working as an assistant director in the Telugu-Tamil film Pathala Bhairavi. In 1965, he directed his first film, Aatma Gowravam, which won the Nandi Award for Best Feature Film that year. At a time period where cinema revolved around romance or action, Viswanath broke the glass ceiling by making films that were anything but the norm.
Confirming the news of his passing, a spokesperson for the family wrote, “Famous director K Viswanath passed away a while ago. His body was taken home from Apollo Hospital by his family members.” Stars like Jr NTR, Chiranjeevi and others mourned his passing. Chiranjeevi released a statement that reads, “I am shocked to hear the passing of Viswanath, a great director who took Telugu films to an international level. His passing is a huge loss not just to me but for the Telugu film industry.”
Jr NTR tweeted:
తెలుగు సినిమా ఖ్యాతిని ఖండాంతరాలుగా వ్యాపింపజేసిన వారిలో విశ్వనాధ్ గారిది ఉన్నతమైన స్థానం. శంకరాభరణం, సాగర సంగమం… https://t.co/tsjwZU5jMW
— Jr NTR (@tarak9999) 1675363297000