Dr Rajkumar Biography
Popularly known as Annavaru, Dr Rajkumar is a legend in the history of Kannad Cinema. His career spanned across 5 decades in which he had acted in more than 200 movies. His acting skills earned him numerous awards, which included the Padma Bhushan, Dada Saheb Phalke Award and Karnataka Ratna Award. Rajkumar was also a noted singer and had even won a National Award for Singing. A stalwart in his own right, Dr Rajkumar is idolized by millions of fans even today.
Dr Rajkumar was born on 24th April, 1929 in Gajanur, a small village in Tamil Nadu. His official name was Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju and only came to be known as Rajkumar after joining films. His father, Puttuswami, was a famous Kannad dramatist. Dr Rajkumar was married to Parvathamma and had 5 children. He has three sons, Shiva Rajkumar, Ragavendra Rajkumar and Punith Rajkumar, and two daughters, Lakshmi and Poornima.
Rajkumar began his career as a dramatist in his father’s troupe. He learned acting and singing from Gubbi Veeranna, the leader of the troupe. His portrayal of Arjuna on the stage earned him lots of accolades.
Rajkumar got his first break in the film industry in 1954 when he was offered the lead role in the movie Bedara Kannapa. HLM Simha directed the movie and it was who had rechristened him as Rajkumar, which means The Prince. A versatile actor, Rajkumar played different roles with utmost ease. Whether it was comedy, action, modern issues or mythological movie, this stalwart of Kannad cinema performed it brilliantly.
Rajkumar had worked with some of the top directors of Kannad film industry like BR Pantulu, Puttanna Kanagal, Shankar Nag and Nagabharana. Although Rajkumar had received offers from the other film industries he never ventured out of Kannad cinema. In total, Rajkumar had acted in a leading role in 206 movies. Besides these he had also made guest appearances in many other films. Throughout his acting career, Rajkumar had acted with all the leading ladies of Kannad film industry. Some of them are Leelavathi, Bharati, Jayanti Arati, Pandaribai, Jayaprada, Sarita, Geetha and Madhavi.
Rajkumar also owned a production company and produced a number of films. Two of his most acclaimed performances, Kaviratna Kalidasa and Shankar-Guru, were his own productions. Some of his other famous films are Bangarada Manushya, Sri Krishnadevaraya, Jeevana Chaitra, Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma, Apoorva Sangama, Bhakta Prahalada, Kastoori Nivasa, Premada Kanike, Daari Tappida Maga Kula Gowrava, Sampathige Sawal, Akasmika and Gandhada Gudi. The last film in which he acted was Shabdhavedi, in which he acted opposite noted actress Jayaprada.
Awards won by Dr Rajkumar
Rajkumar had won innumerable awards in his lifetime. The Government of India had awarded him the Padma Bhushan in 1983 and the Dada Saheb Phalke Award in 1995 for his contribution towards Kannad cinema. The Karnataka Government conferred upon him the title of Karnataka Ratna in 1993. Rajkumar also became the first actor to receive a doctorate, when he received the degree from Mysore University in 1973. In 1985, he also received the Kentucky Colonel Award from the then Governor of Kentucky. Rajkumar also won 10 Filmfare Awards and 9 state awards.
On 30th July, 200, Rajkumar, along with his son-in-law and two others, was kidnapped by the dreaded terrorist Veerappan from his farmhouse at Gajanur. After spending 108 days in captivity, he was finally released on 15th November, 2000. However, it is still not clear whether the demands made for his release were met or not.
Dr Rajkumar breathed his last on 12th April, 2006 at the MS Ramaiah Hospital in Bangalore. His last rites were performed at the Kanteerava Studios in Bangalore on 13th April, 2006.
Facts about Rajkumar
|Full Name||Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju|
|Date of Birth||24 April 1929|
|Birth Place||Gajanur, Karnataka, India|
|Height||5ft 7in (170cm)|
|Father’s Name||Singanalluru Puttaswamayya|
|Marital status||Parvathamma Rajkumar|
|Hometown||Bangalore, India [July 2005]|
|Education||Rajkumar dropped out of school at the age of 8 after having been discovered by a movie producer, and played minor characters until he was 25 when he played his first lead role. Originally, he was named Mutturajar after the Lord Muthathi Raya, which is a temple deity located in Muttatti of Malavalli Taluk, Mandya district, Karnataka|