Veteran Tamil film director AC Tirulokachandar, who had directed over 60 movies including Tamil, Telugu and some Hindi films, passed away here today.

"He was 85 and he passed away at a hospital here due to age related health issues and he is survived by a son and a daughter," N Shan, son-in-law of Raj Chandar, son of Tirlokachandar told PTI.

Remembered for films in which he had directed iconic yesteryear actors like MG Ramachandran and Sivaji Ganesan, he debuted in Tamil film industry in the 1962 movie "Veera Thirumagan," a AVM production.

Before that he had worked in film studios and had written numerous short stories in Tamil magazines. Films like Anbey Vaa (1966), (Ramu (1966), Athey Kangal (1967), Naanum Oru Pen (1963), Baratha Vilas (1973), Enga Mama (1970), were among his Tamil hits.

"The last movie that he directed was Sivaji starrer Anbulla Appa (1986)," Shan said.

Totally, he had directed 65 films, most of them in Tamil followed by Telugu and Hindi, he said. He also directed Rajinikanth starrer movies, including "Badrakali".

Meanwhile, a press release from his publicist said he won a host of awards, which include Kalaimamani Award from the Tamil Nadu government, and Filmfare Awards. He also headed a State government panel to select best movies, it added.

The cremation would be held here tomorrow, Shan said.

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa expressed grief over the death of Tirulokachandar.

"He was a very learned, and well bred individual and an excellent film director who directed his movies with dexterity," she said in an official release here.

She said he was an expert in making women-centric movies and "a pastmaster in excellent characterisation."

Jayalalithaa recalled that he directed "Anbey Va" (her mentor and AIADMK founder MG Ramachandran starrer-movie), and "Deiva Magan," "Engiruntho Vanthal," "Dharmam Engey," and
"Enga Mama," in which she had done lead roles.

"Deiva Magan," was first Tamil film to be submitted by India for the Oscars in best foreign language film category.