Veteran filmmaker and producer SP Muthuraman has been admitted to Medway Hospitals in Kodambakkam, Chennai with suspected pneumonia and COVID-19 symptoms. In a press release issued by the hospital on April 7, the management said that the director was admitted with COVID-19 signs and symptoms and is currently in a stable condition. The director celebrated his birthday on April 7. “He is suspected to have COVID pneumonia. He is under the observation of a medical team at Medway Hospitals. He is stable at present,” their press release dated April 7 stated. SP Muthuraman, who has worked with top stars like Jaishankar, Sivaji Ganesan and Kamal Haasan, is a native of Karaikudi. His closest associate is Rajinikanth. Some of Rajini’s best films from the early years were by Muthuraman. This includes films like Aadu Puli Attam, Priya, Murattu Kaalai, Kazhugu, Netrikann, Pokkiri Raja, Paayum Puli, Naan Mahaan Alla, Velaikaran and more. Rajinikanth’s 100th film, in fact, Sri Raghavendrar was by SP Muthuraman. Observers have said that SP Muthuraman played a pivotal role in shaping Rajinikanth’s ‘Superstar’ image. Rajinikanth’s Aarilirundhu Arubathu Varai, one of his best-known moving tragedies, was by SP Muthuraman. The film brought Muthuraman his first Tamil Nadu State Film award as Best Director in 1979. The 86-year-old filmmaker made his first film in 1972 titled Kanimuthu Paappa. This film starred Jaishankar, R Muthuraman, Lakshmi, Jaya, Rajalakshmi among others. Actor Sridevi too was part of its cast, playing the role of a child in this film. His big break came in 1976, with the release of Oru Oodhappu Kan Simittugiradhu. Starring Kamal Haasan, Sujatha and Vijayakumar in lead roles, this drama won SP Muthuraman Filmfare Awards South for Best Director and also fetched Kamal the Best Actor award. This film was based on the novel of the same name by Tamil writer Sri Venugopal who wrote under the pen name Pushpa Thangadorai. Then came Bhuvana Oru Kelvi Kuri in 1977 for which he won Filmfare Awards South for Best Director. This film starred Rajinikanth in the role of an antagonist besides others like Sivakumar and Sumithra.