A day after the release of his latest film Vettah, filmmaker Rajesh Pillai, credited by many for being instrumental in bringing a new face to the Malayalam film industry, breathed his last here at a private hospital on Saturday, a reliable source close to him said. He was 41.
"He passed away around 11.40am at PVS Hospital," the source said.
He was hospitalised several times in the last few months.
"He was on life support since yesterday. He had been suffering from liver cirrhosis, and was due for a liver transplant, which he had postponed to complete his latest film Vettah, which released in cinemas on Friday," the source added.
During the final sound mixing for Vettah, he had also contracted pneumonia and that worsened his health condition.
Rajesh had directed five films in his career.
His debut directorial Hridayathil Sookshikkan released in 2005, but it was his next film Traffic, which came out in 2011, that took his popularity to a new high.
Pillai then directed yet another popular film Mili, which released in 2015, and then remade Traffic in Hindi last year.
He completed his latest release Vettah, for which he reached the shooting location from the hospital many a times as he was ailing.