Balu Mahendra, 75, who suffered heart attack, was rushed to the hospital where he breathed his last, sources said.
He is survived by his wife and son. Born on May 20 1939, he started his career in the tinsel world as a cinematographer and later went onto direct some of the most memorable movies including the award winning "Moondram Pirai" and " Veedu".
He recently released his directorial venture "Thalai Muraigal" which depicts the relationship between a grand-father and his grandson, in which he played the role of a protagonist.
Balu Mahendra started his career in the industry as a cinematographer for the Malayalam movie 'Nellu' in 1974.
The film earned him the best cinematographer award from the Kerala government.
Mahendra began his career as a cinematographer for a Malayalam movie in 1974
Since then he has been chosen as the best cinematographer for many times in various Indian films, winning the national award for cinematography twice.
He made his directional debut in 1977 through the Kannada film 'Kokila', wielding the megaphone in over 20 films in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi.
While his movies 'Veedu' (1988) and 'Vanna Vanna Pookkal' (1992) won the national award for the best feature film in Tamil, 'Sandhya Raagam' (1990) won the award for best film on family welfare.