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Noted Kannada Film actor Dr. Rajkumar passed away today of supposed cardiac arrest in Bangalore. Annavaru (as he is known affectionately) was 12 days way from celebrating 78 years of his life. He was officially declared dead by his physician, Dr. Ramana Rao declared him dead at M S Ramaiah Hospital in Bangalore. He was admitted this very morning to the hospital on complaints of chest pain. He is survived by three sons, two daughters and his wife.
He was born on the 24th of April 2006 in Gajanur, Chamrajnagar, Karnataka. His real name was Mutturaju Singanalluru Puttaswamayya. He came from a family of actors and performers. His brother, S.P.Varadaraju, worked with him in his production company His father Puttaswami was a famous dramatist in his time. He carried that onto his own family making his three sons actors to reckon with in the Kannada Film industry. He started his performing career a theatre group led by dramatist Gubbi Veeranna. His first movie was Bedara Kannappa...that was fifty years ago. His hundredth film was Bhagyadha Bagilu. There are 206 films to his credit since Bedara Kannappa. He gave timeless performances in Bedara Kannapa, Bangarada Manushya, Kastoori Nivasa, Kula Gowrava, Gandhada Gudi, Sampahige Sawal, Shankar Guru, Babruvahana, Bhakta Prahalada, Halu Jenu, Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma, Jeevana Chaitra and Akasmika. He never smoked, drank or was drunk on screen in any of his 206 film upto date. His last film was Shabdavedi which he acted in 1995. He promised to act in Bhakta Ambareesha but he underwent cardiac arrest hence retired for good. He has taken up all range of roles, acted with the biggest actors and actresses of his time......he has crossed over from one generation to another with ease-all the while maintaining the high standards that he set for the Kannada Movie Industry.
During his illustrious career, he got fecilitated with awards and honours from all quarters. He won ten and nine best actor awards in the Filmfare Awards amd State Film Awards respectively. He was an accomplished singer. He won the National Award for Naadamaya in Jeevana Chaitra. His first song was Yaare Koogadali in Sampathige Savaal.He has been conferred upon the Padma Bhushan and the Dada Saheb Palke Award in '95. In 2000, he was the centre of attention when sandalwood smuggler Veerappan kidnapped him. He spent a good 108 days in the Gajanur when he was held captive under Veerapan.
He will surely be remembered for his contribution to the industry. He will loom large over the Kannada Film Industry forever and ever