Sandalwood has lost many legendry actors. Audience have not only seen them as artists, but also worshiped them as Gods. One such actor who was not only considered as God by his fans, but the entire Karnataka and all Kannadigas is Dr Rajkumar. April, 24 2014 will mark the 86th Birthday of Raj, who is also honoured as the Kannada's cultural icon. Though Dr Rajkumar is no more with us, his wonderful contribution for the Kannada film industry will always be remembered.
Dr Rajkumar was born in Gajanur village on April 24 1929. Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraj made his screen name as Rajkumar. He was awarded with many titles by his fans like Annavru (big brother), Natasarvabauma (emperor of acting), Ganagandharva (singer in the heaven) and others. As his father Puttaswamaya was a drama artist by profession, Rajkumar wished to become a great artist in his life. He started his career as a stage artist from Gubbi Veeranna Nataka Mandali (drama group) headed by Gubbi Veeranna.
Dr Rajkumar is the only Indian actor to act in more than 200 films in one single language (Kannada). In his 32 years of his long career, Dr Rajkumar has acted nearly in 216 movies (excluding cameo roles). His character depictions ranged from lover boy to double and triple roles, from action and mythological characters to portrayals of contemporary social causes in a career spanning over five decades. Click on slides to view more photos of Dr Rajkumar and continue reading the story...
Dr Rajkumar With ANR And NTR
Though his counterparts in the neighbouring states - MG Ramachandran and NT Ramarao became Chief Ministers, Annavru kept a safe distance from all the political parties in Karnataka.
Bangarada Manushya Motivated Educated Youths
Dr Rajkumar starrer Bangarada Manushya motivated many youths in urban areas to become farmers. The movie directed by Siddalingaiha completed its two years of successful theatrical run.
Rajkumar Turned Producer Too
Dr Rajkumar established Vajreshwari Combines in 1975. The first movie to be made under his home banner was Trimurthi.
Awards For Dr Rajkumar
He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Mysore (Manasa Ganagotri) and is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan. and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.
Dr Rajkumar With Udayashankar
Music composer chi Udayashankar and Dr Rajkumar shared a very good rapport in the film industry. Even after the death of the duo, their childrens are having the same bond with each other families.
Dr Rajkumar Was A Singer Too
Dr Rajkumar crooned ‘Yaare koogadali' from the movie Sampathige Savaal, which also marked his debut as a singer.
Dr Rajkumar Headed Gokak Agitation
Dr Rajkumar united the whole Kannada film industry for the apolitical Gokak agitation, which took place in 1983, and demanded Government to make Kannada language as compulsory language of education in Karnataka.
At the age of 71, Dr Rajkumar was kidnapped in Gajanur by forest brigand Veerappan. The incidence disturbed the law and order settlements and became a big head ache for Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments. After 108-day ordeal he was released.
Dr Rajkumar’s Death
He breathed his last on April 12 2006. He died of cardiac arrest at his residence in Sadhashiv Nagara in Bangalore.