Google doodle honours late Kannada actor Rajkumar

To mark the 88th birth anniversary of Kannada superstar Rajkumar, Google has dedicated a doodle in honour of the late Kannada actor.

The doodle shows a larger-than-life Rajkumar on the silver screen as the audience sitting in a theatre cheer for him.

Here are a few facts on the actor:
  • He was born on April 24, in the year 1929 at Gajnaur, as Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju. Later, to suit his silver screen image, he took up the screen name of Rajkumar
  • Apart from being an acclaimed actor, Rajkumar was also trained in Carnatic music and had even sung hundreds of songs in a career spanning over four decades
  • He was in the news in the year 2000, when notorious dacoit Veerappan abducted him from his farm house at Gajanur, Karnataka. He was released after 108 days
  • The veteran actor was honoured with various awards for his work including two National Awards and one for best playback for the song 'Naadamaya'. The government had also honoured him with the Padma Bhushan in 1983 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1995
  • His best works include Ranadheera Kanteerava, Sampathige Saval, Kaviratna Kalidasa, Jedara Bale and Gowri, among others.
  • Shabdavedhi (2000) was the last film of the noted actor
  • Rajkumar passed away at the age of 77 in April 2006, at his residence in Bengaluru due to a cardiac arrest.
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Google Doodle remembers Kannada actor Rajkumar on his 88th birth anniversary

Google Doodle has paid a tribute to Kannada superstar Rajkumar on his 88th birth anniversary.

A popular name in Kannada cinema, Rajkumar has innumerable hits to his name. The veteran actor, who is a four-time National award winner, was remembered on his birth anniversary.

The doodle shows a larger-than-life Rajkumar on the silver screen as the audience sitting in a theatre cheer for him.

According to Google doodle team's post on their blog, "Early drafts of today's Doodle featured different interpretations of the beloved star's work. The first illustrates Rajkumar singing and holding the white bird from Kasturi Nivasa, a quintessential Kannada drama and a cornerstone of Rajkumar's cinematic legacy. Another Doodle draft showcases an array of iconic characters Rajkumar played over a half century of acting. Ultimately, the Doodle team decided to feature Rajkumar's larger-than-life personality beaming at a crowd of moviegoers from the silver screen where his legacy lives on for generations of Indian audiences."

Born in 1929 as Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju, the legendary actor is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan (in 1983) and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (in 1995) for the lifetime contribution to Indian Cinema.

He started his film career in 1954 in the film Bedara Kannapa and went on to star in over 220 movies, his last being Shabdavedhi in 2000.

The actor died of cardiac arrest at his residence in Bangalore on April 12, 2006 at the age of 77.


Remembering Rajkumar: 10 Lesser Known Facts About Kannada Superstar

On the 88th birth anniversary of Kannada superstar Rajkumar, Google has given the actor his own doodle in India and Pakistan. Considered one of the most talented and popular actors of Kannada industry, Rajkumar was born on April 29, 1929, in a poor family of actors, and went on to become one of the greatest.

Rajkumar isn’t just a cultural icon. He holds a status which goes beyond that being an idol in the Kannada diaspora. He is popularly remembered as Nata Saarvabhouma (Emperor of Actors), Bangarada Manushya (Man of Gold), Vara Nata (Gifted Actor) and Rajanna (Brother Raj). Rajkumar joined the film industry following his stint as a dramatist with Gubbi Veeranna's Gubbi Drama Company at the age of eight.

Remembering the thespian on his 88th birth anniversary, here are some little-known facts about the actor:
- Rajkumar was born as Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju in Gajanur and was brought up in a poor family.
- He only studied up to 3rd standard before he dropped out of school. He wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, a traveling actor who performed in various villages.
- Before acting in what would become his first film as a lead, Bedara Kannappa, he appeared in Sri Srinivasa Kalyana in 1952, as one of the seven Saptarishi (sages). It was an insignificant role, he remembered the scene was over before he recognized himself in the scene.
- He frequently played rugged heroes who defeated scheming villains, but he never smoked a cigarette on screen, and rarely played a drunkard. He acted in over 200 films and never played a villain.
- His fans called him 'Annavaru' which means 'respected elder brother' in the Kannada language.
- On July 30, 2000, he was kidnapped by a notorious bandit named Veerappan who had spent decades eluding police in the forests of southern India. Kumar was freed after 109 days of being held hostage in the forest. He denied reports that a large ransom was paid.
- Trained in classical music during his theater days, Rajkumar also became an accomplished singer in Kannada cinema and despite imperfections in Shruti and pitch, he came to be known for his diction in the language. He mostly sang for his own films since 1974.
- Dr. Rajkumar has sung the only English song in the history of Kannada movies in Dorairaj Bhagawan's 1978 Kannada film Operation Diamond Rocket.
- In the year 1968, 16 movies with Rajkumar as a hero were released in a single year
- In his film career, Rajkumar received eleven Karnataka State Film Awards, ten South Filmfare Awards, one National Film Award. He received the NTR National Award in 2002. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Mysore and is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 1983 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1995 for the lifetime contribution to Indian Cinema.

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