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Rajkumar – Celebrating Kannada Superstar’s 88th Birthday

Today is the Kannada’s most decorated superstar’s 88th Birthday – Mr. Rajkumar (without a space). How many of you are actually aware of the superstar and his achievements? So, we’re here again with another interesting article about the legendary Rajkumar’s short introduction and achievements. Have a look.

1. Personality

Rajkumar, Kannada, Superstar, Happy Birthday
Image Courtesy : Daijiworld

Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju (24 April 1929 – 12 April 2006), known mononymously by his stage name Rajkumar, was an Indian actor and singer in the Kannada cinema. Widely acclaimed as one of the finest actors in the history of Indian Cinema, he is considered a cultural icon, and holds a matinée idol status in the Kannada diaspora, among who, he is popularly adulated as Nata Saarvabhouma (Emperor of Actors), Bangarada Manushya (Man of Gold), Vara Nata (Gifted Actor) and Rajanna (Brother Raj).

2. Family

Rajkumar, Kannada, Superstar, Happy Birthday
Image Courtesy : Chiloka

Rajkumar married a 14-year-old Parvathamma Gowda, his cousin, on 25 June 1953 in Nanjangud. It went ahead in accordance to the agreement that their fathers made following the latter’s birth. Together, they had five children; sons Shiva, Raghavendra and Puneeth, and daughters Lakshmi and Poornima. Having lived a “hand to mouth existence” post marriage in a joint family that included 24 children in Madras, the family moved to Bangalore in 1972, after Rajkumar began getting multiple film offers.

Rajkumar, Kannada, Superstar, Happy Birthday
Image Courtesy : Times of India

Rajkumar died at his home in Sadashivanagar, Bengaluru on 12 April 2006 following a cardiac arrest, while after his death his eyes were donated. The government then announced for its intention to make a memorial to Rajkumar at Kanteerava Studios at the cost ₹ 100  million.  His death precipitated a statewide reaction, following which there was a major shut down in the city of Bengaluru and an unofficial bandh (closures of all shops and other establishments) was observed. Several people committed suicide after hearing Rajkumar’s death, most of them were rescued. An approximate of two million people followed his remains.

3. Achievements

Rajkumar, Kannada, Superstar, Happy Birthday
Image Courtesy : The News Minute

Apart from being one of the finest actors, Rajkumar was also a veteran singer. He was trained in classical music when he was with Gubbi Veeranna’s theatre troupe. he has also recorded many devotional songs beginning 1970s for Columbia Recording Company starting with “Mantralayakke Hogona” in 1972. Below are the list of his achievements, both in movies and in his singing career :

National Film Awards

  • 1963 – President Medal Best Actor for the movie Santa Thukarama
  • 1992 – Best Male Playback Singer for the song “Naadamaya Ee Lokavella” from the movie Jeevana Chaitra
  • 1995 – Dadasaheb Phalke Award
  • 2002 – NTR National Award

Filmfare Awards South

Rajkumar holds the record of winning ten South Filmfare Awards in the Best Actor category in Kannada cinema. Some of the films for which he received Best Actor awards include:

  • Gandhada Gudi in 1973
  • Mayura in 1975
  • Shankar Guru in 1978
  • Keralida Simha in 1981
  • Shravana Banthu – 1984
  • Adhe Kannu – 1985
  • Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma – 1986
  • Aakasmika in 1993

Total of 10 filmfare awards for best actor category.

Rajkumar, Kannada, Superstar, Happy Birthday
Image Courtesy : our karnataka

Karnataka State Film Awards

  • Rajkumar has won 13 Karnataka State Film Awards (9 for best actor, 2 for best singer, 1 lifetime achievement)

Best Actor:

  • 1967–68 – Bangaarada Hoovu
  • 1970–71 – Kula Gourava
  • 1974–75 – Bhakta Kumbara
  • 1976–77 – Babruvaahana
  • 1981–82 – Hosa Belaku
  • 1982–83 – Haalu Jenu
  • 1988–89 – Devatha Manushya
  • 1992–93 – Jeevana Chaitra
  • 1993–94 – Odahuttidavaru

Best Singer:

  • 1993–94 -Aakasmika – Huttidare Kannada Naadal Huttabeku
  • 1994–95 – Thayi Illada Thavaru – Arishina kunkuma

Other Awards and Honours

  • An honorary Doctorate from the Mysore University in 1976.
  • Postal Stamps and Gold coins having the actor’s face were issued in 2009 by Central Government of India.
  • More than 1100 statues of Rajkumar are placed in Karnataka. A statue in the Mayura touch placed in Basaveshwaranagar worth 10 million rupees.
  • The Nadoja Award, an honorary Doctorate from Hampi University in 1999.
  • Nine Karnataka State Film Awards in the Best Actor category.
  • Two Karnataka State Film Awards in the Best Male Playback Singer category.
  • Padma Bhushan in 1983.
  • Karnataka Ratna in 1992 and Title: Nata Saarvabhouma in 1967 from the Government of Karnataka.
  • Kentucky colonel, an honorary order from the governor of Kentucky, United States in 1985.
  • “Vishwa Maanava” named by Kannada poet Kuvempu.
  • Etv Kannadiga of the Year Award in 2003.
  • A 6-kilometre (3.7 mi) road is named Dr. Rajkumar road. [The road stretches from government soap factory in Yeshwanthpur to Prasanna theater, Magadi road in Bangalore.]
  • On 24 April, 2017 Google India dedicated a Google Doodle to honor Rajkumar on what would have been his 88th birthday.
Rajkumar, Kannada, Superstar, Happy Birthday
Image Courtesy : Google

Here’s wishing the superstar Rajkumar a very Happy 88th Birthday. Leave your best wishes for the veteran actor in the comment section below.


Shweta Shah
Writer (almost) Logical by mind. Illogical by heart. A feeling that describes me: HIRAETH!

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