Kalpana (Kannada: ಕಲಪ್ನ) was a very popular Kannada cinema actor. Her epithet was Minugu taare ("shining star"). A versatile actress, she dominated the Kannada film industry during the late 1960s and 1970s and was critically acclaimed for her roles in movies like Sharapanjara, Gejje Pooje, Belli moda, Eradu Kanasu, Kappu Bilupu and Bangarada hoovu.Initially she was the favored heroine of ace director Puttana Kanagal. Their association produced some of the finest movies in the history of kannada cinema.However they fell apart and Puttana Kanagal went on to groom other heroines like Aarthi and Padma Vasanti later on.
She was the one of the well dressed star of her time. Not many heroines till date can match her elegance and her sophisticated tastes. The popularity of mega-sleeves blouses, frilled-sleeve blouses is attributed to her in Karnataka. Her signature combinations include big ear-rings and big ring in her left hand, Brocade silk sarees and top knot, Chiffon sarees and long necklaces.
Her career ended with her tragic suicide in 1979; apparently emulating her role in Gejje Pooje and swallowing a diamond, heart broken by a man who was supposed to marry her.