>Bollywood Movies Actor, singer Rajkumar Film career

3 Jun

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Rajkumar started his career as a theater artist with his father in a troupe led by the legendary Gubbi Veeranna. It was here that Rajkumar honed his acting and singing skills. Later, along with his father, Rajkumar joined M S Subbayya Naidu Drama Company. Bedara Kannappa, a 1954 Kannada language movie, marked his entry into the film world. This movie was directed by H L N Simha, who christened him “Rajkumar”. Rajkumar would use the same name for the rest of his life. He later forayed into film production with the hugely popular Ranadheera Kanteerava, which he produced with another legend of Kannada cinema, Balakrishna. This movie, which was made exclusively with technicians from Karnataka, also marked the beginning of full-fledged filmmaking in Karnataka. The famous song “Shivappa Kaayo Tande” originated in his first movie.

With the exception of one Telugu movie called Kalahasti Mahathyam, he acted only in Kannada movies. In his lifetime, Rajkumar acted in 206 Kannada movies, excluding guest appearances. He owned a film production company called Vajreshwari Production, which produced films under the banner of Dakshayani Combines. Bhagyada Bagilu was his 100th movie and Devatha Manushya was his 200th movie. He participated in several protest marches, such as Gokak Chaluvali.

Rajkumar’s character depictions ranged from lovers to double and triple roles, from mythological characters to portrayals of contemporary social causes. He acted with many popular heroines in southern Indian cinema, such as Kannada’s Pandaribai, Leelavathi, Jayanti, Bharati, Arati, Julie Lakshmi, Jayaprada, Madhavi, Geetha, Sarita and others from neighbouring states. The Hindi actress Rekha made her debut as heroine in the film Goadalli CID 999 with Rajkumar. He acted under many directors of south Indian cinema, from B. R. Pantulu and Puttanna Kanagal to Shankar Nag and Nagabharana. He was known for only acting in Kannada movies, even though he got many offers from different movie industries in India.

He produced and starred in Kaviratna Kalidasa and Shankar-Guru. He produced movies based on famous Kannada novels. He also made many movies against perceived social evils, such as Shabdavedi, which addressed drug abuse.

Rajkumar was the first actor in Indian cinema to enact a role which resembled James Bond; his first such movie was Jedara Bale. Later he acted in other Bond movies such as Operation Jackpotnalli CID 999, Goadalli CID 999, and Operation Diamond Rocket.

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