Dr.Rajkumar – The iconic legend
Dr.Rajkumar Alias Singanalluru Puttaswamaiah Mutharaju was born on April, 24th in the year 1929, he was an iconic actor and a famous singer in the Kannada filmdom. This matinee idol has acted in more than 200 movies, all primarily in Kannada and his versatile and brilliant performances has brought him lot of laurels and awards.
Dr.Raj or Natasarvabhouma literally means the emperor of acting which he was fondly called as Dr.Raj or Annavru, he was popular not on in Kannada film world but in entire country, as his views about his fans in his own words that he does not whether he will see god or not, but for him his audiences were the real gods, such was the simplicity he has developed and maintained throughout his life.
Dr.Rajkumar - Early life
Dr.Rajkumar was born in 1929 at Gajanur in the previous kingdom of Mysore, but the village is now situated in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu, which is at the borders of Karnataka and Tamilnadu, his mother tongue is Kannada, he was born to Singanallurur Puttaswamaiah and Lakshmamma and his earlier name was Muthuraju and this name was after the god Lord Muthathiraya, literally Lord Hanuman.
Dr.Rajkumar – His film career
He started his early career in theatre groups along with his father in the theatre company of legendary Gubbi Veeranna, this was his university of learning his acting and singing skills, later he joined the group of M.S.Subbayya Naidu Drama Company.
Bedara Kannappa' which was made in the year 1954, earmarked his entry to film world, this film was directed by another legendary director H.L.N.Simha, who named him as Rajkumar, the most popular song Shivappa Kayo thande is even now a days competing with the recent genre of music, the name Rajkumar was used for his rest of his life, later along with another legendary character actor T.N.Balakrishna he produced a mega hit film Ranadheera Kanteerava, specialty of this movie is the production and technical unit were entirely from Karnataka, which started the beginning of full fledged film making in Karnataka only.
He has a unique record of acting with many heroines likes of Pandaribai, Leelavathi, B.Sarojadevi, Lakshmi, Ambika, Manjula, Jayamala, Jayachitra, Kalpana, Mahalakshmi, Jayanthi, Arathi, Bharathi, Jayaprada, Madhavi, Saritha, Gayathri, Geetha and many more from neighboring states, from directors point of view he acted in the directions of all the directors starting from B.R.Panthulu, Puttanna kanagal to Shankarnag and Nagabharana, he has acted in one Telugu film and with the legendary actor M.G.Ramachandran in Kalahasti Mahathyam in Tamil.
Overall he has acted in 206 movies, which excludes his guest appearances, later had his own film production company named as Vajreshwari Productions, which has produced several movies under the banner of Dakshayini Combines.
Bhagyada Bagilu was the 100th movie he acted and Devatha Manushya was his 200th movie. He acted in Kavirathna Kalidasa which was produced in his own banner, he has produced many movies about the social evils one such movie was Shabdavedi which has shown the abuse of drugs.
D.Rajkumar – Singing career
It was a record that 17 singers has lent their voice to D.Rajkumar before he made singing in his own films a career, other singers who lent their voice are P.B.Srinivas, Yesudas, Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao, Dr.Rajkumar was a trained singer as he had that training when he started his career in Gubbi Veeranna's company, but the accidental way of introduction of his voice in the movie Sampathie Saval the song Yare Koogadali became a super duper, till then P.B.Srinivas used to lend his voice for songs in almost all the movies and Dr.Rajkumar has received a National Award for the film Jeevanachaitra for playback the song ‘Naadamaya' is still a hit, he has sung many songs particularly devotional for many albums, and incidentally he has lent his voice to another legendary singer S.P.Balasubramanyam. D.Rajkumar was also a professional Harmonium player.
Dr.Rajkumar – Some interesting facts
The First Actor in the Indian Film Industry to get Doctorate for acting from Mysore University.
Only Indian Actor to get “Kentucky Colonel", a prestigious awarded from Kentuky state [This award was previously awarded to British Prime Minister and Russian Prime Minister].
Only Actor in the Indian Film Industry, in whose name the State Government is giving an Award this award was started when he was still alive and every year to a person who has given outstanding contribution to the Film Industry.
He was the only Actor to receive National Award for both singing in the film Jeevanachaitra and for acting nine state awards.
MovieBedara Kannappa was the first movie to win National Award for best in which Dr.Rajkumar has acted.
First actor from Kannada film world to win Dada Saheb Phalke Award, prestigious award given by Indian Government for the achievement in the Film Industry.
Only Actor to have won more than ten titles given by the Government and other Associations.
Other important titles and awards Dr.Rajkumar holds many titles and awared few of them are, Karnataka Rathna, Rasikara Raja, Kannada Kanteerava, Kala Kausthuba, Padmabhushana, Gana Gandharva, Nata Sarvabhouma, Kentuky colonel, Annavaru, Nithya Noothana Nata Shreshta, Doctorate.
Only Kannada actor who have to received Padmabhushana award for his achievement to Film Industry.
Only actor in the Indian film industry to receive nine state awards for acting, ten Film Fare Awards and two state awards for singing.
Only actor ever to act in fourteen films in a single year two times, once in 1964 & another once in 1968.
Only Kannada actor to act as hero with both mother and her daughter in the Kannada Movies.
First Actor to have a song written on him, his honor for no particular reason but the fact that he could sing and act like so many of our fellow politicians for the movie Bedara Kannappa.
Only Kannada actor to win the prestigious NTR Award given by Andhra Pradesh Government, who have given an outstanding contribution to the Film Industry.
He is the only hero of the longest running Kannada movie ever made that is Bangarada Manushya, which has ran for over two years in one of the theatres in Bangalore and one year in five centres.
The Success Rate of Dr.Rajkumar's movies were 95%, highest ever than any other actor in the Indian Film Industry
Dr.Rajkumar – His family
S.P.Varadaraju, brother of Dr.Rajkumar has worked in his production company, Dr.Rajkumar had two sisters by name Sharadamma and Nagamma, Dr.Rajkumar was Dr.Rajkumar's brother, S.P. Varadaraju worked with him in his production company. He had 2 sisters, Sharadamma and Nagamma. Dr.Rajkumar married to Parvathamma who is also a film producer, Dr.Rajkumar has three sons and two daughters, his sons Raghavendra Rajkumar, Shivarajkumar and Puneet all are well established actors now.
Dr.Rajkumar – His link to Kannada language movement
Dr.Rajkumar has been asked to spread the movement about making the language Kannada as compulsory in primary education which was based on Gokak's Report, which was popularly know Gokak Varadhi, he was actively involved in that movement and later he became a force behind this agitation, a rally from Belgaum to Bangalore was organized under his leadership, he has inspired many with his speeches, ultimately the then government has responded and later made Kannada as compulsory language.
Dr.Rajkumar – Kidnapping incidents
July 30th, 2000 was a black letter day for Karnataka film fans as Dr.Rajkumar at the age of 72, his son-in-law Govindaraju and two others were kidnapped from their house at his birthplace by Veerappan, a notorious who has killed over 200 people, later Dr.Rajkumar was released on 15th, November 2000 after a captivity of 109 days.
Dr.Rajkumar – His death and aftermath
This was the most sad day for Kannada film world and for his fans, the Dr.Rajkumar was died at his home near Sadashivanagar on 12th of April, 2006 following a cardiac arrest.
But his death has made a city wide reaction, uncontrolled fans went berserk, a major unrest happened, an unofficial bundh was declared, more than 100 vehicles were burnt out and nearly eight people were killed.
The government has made an announcement to spend about ten crores for his memorial near Kanteerava Studios, where his last rights were performed.
Dr.Rajkumar – A book called Bangarada Manushya
Bangarada Manushya literally means golden man was the name of the book released later which was written by A.N.Prahlada Rao, based on his achievements both on and off the film world. The vast details are rich in nature in this book, this book was released at the Washington D.C., New Jersey, later to reach even the non Kannada people, this book has been translated to English
Dr.Rajkumar – The iconic legend