Actor-director Hara Patnaik cremated

Bhubaneswar: Popular Odia film actor-director Hara Patnaik, who passed away at a private hospital here yesterday, was cremated at Satichaura funeral ground in Cuttack today.

Patnaik was 56. He is survived by wife Jharana Patnaik and two daughters.

Family sources said the veteran actor was admitted to the hospital few days ago and was undergoing treatment. He was treated for blood cancer at Christian Medical College, Vellore, in 2008.

After a prolonged treatment, Patnaik returned to Odia film industry and continued to redefine the role of villain in films by setting benchmarks for others. Patnaik has acted in over 60 films and directed another 20.

The actor’s first film after a successful battle against blood cancer was Om Sai Ram which hit silver screens in 2012.

He was admitted to Sparsh Hospital here and Dr Ghanshyam Biswas, who treated him, said the actor’s blood group (B negative) was rare and needed frequent infusion of blood platelets for the past one and half years.

“We had released him from the hospital and sent him home last evening after realising that the end was near. But he was brought back to the hospital at 8.15 this morning after his condition deteriorated further. He was admitted to the ICU but we could not save him. The end came at 12.40 pm today,” the doctor said.

Patnaik had acted in over 60 films as villain and directed 19 others. After initially recovering from cancer, he had acted in Odiya film ‘Om Sai Ram’ in 2012.

As a director, he gave several upcoming actors their first break in cinema.

Among those who made it big in Odiya films after getting a break under him are Aanubhav Mohanty, Babusan and Sabyasachi.

People from all walks of life also paid their tribute to Patnaik.

“It is an irreparable loss to the Odisha film industry. Hara Patnaik had directed many marvellous movies,” state Culture Minister Ashok Panda said.

His admirers, including chief minister Naveen Patnaik, Union ministers Dharmendra Pradhan and Jual Oram,BJP state president K V Singhdeo and OPCC president Prasad Harichandan have expressed shock and grief for the ace actor’s untimely demise.