India

'Crazy Mohan': Indian actor and screenwriter dies at 67

Mohan Rangachari Image copyright Mohan Rangachari

Indian actor and screenwriter Mohan Rangachari has died at the age of 67 in the southern state of Tamil Nadu after suffering a heart attack.

He rose to fame in southern India, where he was hailed as a "legend" for his comedic writing and acting.

Mr Rangachari was best-known for his glib one-liners and worked with some of the biggest names in Tamil cinema.

An engineering graduate, he has written more than 30 plays and 100 short stories over the last four decades.

Tributes from fans and film stars started pouring in on social media after news of his death.

On Twitter, #CrazyMohan started trending high - a reference to his first play, Crazy Thieves in Palavakkam, which was released in 1976.

It was an instant success and even earned him a new name - Crazy Mohan.

"Crazy Mohan introduced absurd comic dramas in the 1980s that became a huge hit among the middle classes in Chennai (formerly Madras)," said film critic Sudha G Tilak.

"The mechanical engineer from a conservative middle class family took to theatre and many of his hits that followed led with the 'Crazy' title," she added.

In 1979, Mr Rangachari started his own production company with his brother, which they called Crazy Creations. They produced more than 30 plays and staged thousands of shows in India and abroad.

One of his most popular plays, Chocolate Krishna, was staged more than 500 times in three years.

"I would call writing an accident," he told Indian news site Scroll in 2017. "Usually you lose your life in an accident, but I got my life in this accident."

Mr Rangachari died in hospital in Chennai.

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