Chennai: Actor and former Ramanathapuram MP J. K. Ritheesh(46) passed away following a cardiac arrest on Saturday. Ritheesh died while he was campaigning for BJP’s Lok Sabha candidate Nainar Nagendran in Ramanathapuram. Ritheesh is survived by wife and two sons.
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy CMO Paneerselvam condoled the death of Ritheesh.
Born in Kandy, Sri Lanka, Ritheesh migrated to Rameswaram in 1976. He completed his diploma in Civil Engineering at the Mohamed Sathak Polytechnic College in Kilakarai, Ramanathapuram district. His first film was Kaanal Neer, directed by the comedy actor Chinni Jayanth. He later acted in Nayagan in 2008. Ritheesh also acted in RJ Balaji’s political satire LKG.
Ritheesh, once a loyalist of M. K. Alagiri, the former Union Minister and elder son of the then DMK chief late M. Karunanidhi, contested as a DMK candidate from the Ramanathapuram Lok Sabha Constituency in 2009 and got elected to the Lok Sabha. He claimed that he was pushed out of the party by M. K. Stalin, who was then the DMK treasurer. He joined the AIADMK in 2014.
In December 2018, Ritheesh led a small group of producers who marched up to the Tamil Film Producers Council’s offices and locked the office. They locked the office condemning the TFPC President Vishal’s alleged lack of transparency in running the Council. In 2011, he was arrested for cheating a US citizen of `3 crore after promising to buy land for him. The case is still pending before the court.
On Saturday afternoon, when Ritheesh suffered the cardiac arrest, he was immediately rushed to the hospital, where he was declared dead. A number of people took to Twitter to express their shock and condolences.
RJ Balaji, in his tweet, stated, “I will miss you, sir. You treated me like your own brother. Did not ask for a rupee to act in LKG. So much love, care, and warmth.
You were a great human being. God is so cruel for taking you away from your beautiful family with three children. Feel terrible”.