The 7th kid of Hucche Gowda and Padmamma, and the grandson of the legendary violinist, Piteel Chowdaiah, Malavalli Hucche Gowda Amarnath, later went on to become the Rebel Star of Kannada cinema by transforming into Ambareesh.
Early Days In Cinema
A vagabond and a happy-go-lucky person during his teenage days, Ambareesh was a man of his hour and used to live his life to the fullest. He was never inclined towards studies (as claimed by him) and was just going as per the destiny. It was director Rajendra Singh Babu's brother, Sangram Singh, who introduced Ambareesh to ace director Puttanna Kanagal.
The legendary director was convinced with the screen test of the young rebellion and cast him as the antagonist against the then newcomer, Vishnuvardhan for the epic cult classic blockbuster, Nagarahaavu.
Nagarahaavu helped Ambareesh establish himself as a promising and fierce antagonist in Kannada cinema for quite some movies until he transformed himself into a leading star.
He didn't have to act as an antagonist for long as he elevated into an angry young man during the late 70s. But it was the 1981 blockbuster flick, Antha, directed by Rajendra Singh Babu, which earned him the star status and thus, the tag of Rebel Star.
The blockbuster flick was followed by many hit movies such as Tony, Hongkongnalli Agent Amar, Olavina Udugare, Mannina Doni, Chakravyuha and many more.
Back to back hits ensured a huge brand value to the dynamic hero and he was often ranked number 3 in the industry in terms of hits, BO collections and fan base right after the emperor of Kannada cinema, Dr Rajkumar and the lion of cinema, Dr Vishnuvardhan.
Age and interest caught up with the Rebel Star who felt that donning the grease paint as the main hero could take some rest and decided to hang his boots as an action hero. Post-2004, Ambareesh was seen as a key supporting actor in movies and that prompted him to share the screen with many young heroes.
Not only did the 6-foot tall actor work with Dr Rajkumar, Vishnuvardhan, Shankar Nag, Srinath etc. of the yesteryear generation, but he has worked with almost all present generation stars in many movies. Devara Maga with Shivarajkumar, Thandege Takka Maga with Upendra, Annavru with Darshan, Veera Parampare with Sudeep and Drama with Yash.
The Commander of Kannada Cinema
As attested by many celebrities, Ambareesh was the undisputed commander of the Kannada cinema. His single phone call or a trademark and baritone appeal ensured full attendance to any gathering, issue or meeting. He was the only star who could get everyone assemble in a certain place, solve many or all issues and at the same time, entertain them on a good day.
Ambareesh's way of interaction with his fans, press and many cinema people were often seen as highlights of the star and it defined his dynamism.
The Man Who Commanded Maximum Respect Through Friendship
Ambareesh had maximum friends in not just Kannada industry, but the entire South Industry. His bond with Dr Vishnuvardhan was a testimonial of the stated fact. A subtle and a moody person (as often said by many industry insiders), Vishnuvardhan had just one best friend in the form of Ambareesh and their relationship was a textbook to many actors of the present generation. He was in the good books of the stars of different industries such as Superstar Rajinikanth, Big B Amitabh Bachchan, Kamal Haasan, Megastar Chiranjeevi, Mohan Babu, Mohanlal, Nandamuri Balakrishna etc.
It was during his 60th birthday that Rajnikanth conveyed through his speech that no other star commanded such respect and admiration amongst cine industry people as much as the Rebel Star did. His positive energy, taking ownership and solving problems elevated him to the place where he was, stated the Superstar.
Ambareesh was a 3-time MP from the Congress and had many plans to serve the people of Karnataka. He quit politics during this year's assembly election as there was a supposed difference between the party and himself. Ambareesh had also stated that it was time for him to relax exclaiming that his age wasn't cooperating with him like earlier. He had foregone his MP seat during the Cauvery dispute in 2008.
Rebel Star had won numerous awards ranging from State awards for best actor, Filmfare award, NTR National award, Nandhi Award and many more.
The legendary personality took his last breath on November 24, 2018, at 10 PM in Vikram Hospital, Bangalore after suffering a massive cardiac arrest.