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This page relates to the Kannada actor, Rajkumar; for other uses of the name see Raj Kumar.
Padmabhushan Dr. Rajkumar ‌
ಡಾ. ರಾಜಕುಮಾರ್

Born Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju
April 24, 1929(1929-04-24)
Gajanur, Kingdom of Mysore
Died April 12, 2006 (aged 76)
Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
Occupation Actor, Singer
Years active 1954 - 2000
Spouse(s) Parvathamma Rajkumar

Rajkumar (Kannada: ಡಾ. ರಾಜಕುಮಾರ್; born Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju, April 24, 1929 - April 12, 2006) was an actor and singer in the Kannada film industry. He acted in more than 200 Kannada movies. He worked primarily in Karnataka.[1]

He was called "Dr. Raj" and "Natasarvabhouma" (meaning "emperor of acting") and was hugely popular in Karnataka. His primary view about his fans was "I don't know whether I will ever see God. But for me all my fans are my Gods."[2][3]


Early life

Rajkumar was born on April 24, 1929 in a Kannada speaking family at Gajanur[4] . The village is located in the Erode district of Tamil Nadu .[5][6][7] His mother tongue was Kannada. His father, Singanalluru Puttaswamayya, was a theater artist. His mother's name was Lakshmamma, and his Original name was Mutturaju named after Lord Muthathi Raya.[8]




Main Article : Rajkumar filmography

A painting of Rajkumar in a streetboard in Bangalore

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.

with MGR

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.

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.


Dr. Raj was trained in classical music while in Gubbi Veeranna's drama troupe. 

He had sung a song in the movie Mahishasura Mardini with G K Venkatesh as the music director. Rajkumar however, did not become a full fledged singer until his song Yare Koogadali from the movie Sampathige Sawal. Prior to his singing in Sampathige Sawal, Rajkumar's songs were sung by P. B. Sreenivas. After Yare Koogadali he started singing for all his movies. He expertise in singing was such that he went on to win a national award in the best singer category for the song "Naadamaya" in the film "Jeevana Chaitra". He sang for many private albums which were mainly devotional albums. Rajkumar lent his voice to a few other actors and sang many background solos.

Rajkumar also knew to play harmonium .[9] [10]

        He got a national Award in Best Male Playback Singer category in the year 1993 

for the song "Naadamaya ee Lokavella" from the movie "Jeevana Chaitra". He used to sing in almost of his film. He got state award for singing "hrudaya samudra karagi, ukkide dweshada benki". This song is appreciated by all the karnataka people. He also sung many songs in those movie where his childrens like punith raj kumar and shiva raj kumar. He was not only expert in singing, but also he was a proficiant

in playing harmonium. He used to do some pranayaama (meditation) like uchwaasa and
nishwaasa, which helped him sing as a expert singer

Personal life


Rajkumar had married Parvathamma with whom he had 5 children of whom Shivrajkumar and Punithrajkumar are successful actors. He had a brother named Varadaraj. Parvathamma and Varada raj have contributed a lot to Rajkumar's success. Rajkumar's finances were handled by his wife and his brother finalised the script of movies in which Rajkumar worked. Parvatamma was like a CFO and Varadaraj was like a creative head for all the Rajkumar's projects. Parvathamma ventured into production, distribution and even exhibition casting only Rajkumar or his sons in her movies. Almost each and every movie produced by her is a success.

Kannada language movement

Rajkumar was asked to lead a movement about making Kannada a compulsory language for primary education based on the "Gokak report" popularly known as "Gokak varadhi". He became actively involved in the movement and soon became the force behind the Gokak movement. He took a rally from Belgaum to Bangalore and gave speeches about the importance of Kannada.Thousands of people gatherd only to have a glimpse of rajkumar and listen to his speech.The movement became such a rage that the government had to bow down and made kannada a compulsory language of education in Karnataka.


On July 30, 2000, at the age of 72, Rajkumar, his son-in-law Govindaraju and two others were kidnapped from the actor's house at Gajanur in Tamil Nadu by Veerappan ,a notorius kidnapper,who has killed over 200 people . Rajkumar was released unharmed on November 15, 2000, after 109 days of captivity. [11]

Death and aftermath

Rajkumar died at his home in Sadashivanagar, Bangalore, on April 12, 2006 following a cardiac arrest.

His death precipitated a state-wide reaction. Following the news of his death, there was major unrest in the city of Bangalore. The then Chief Minister, H.D.Kumaraswamy, later claimed that the violence was instigated by vested political interests. However the opposition blamed it on lack of timely arrangements by responsible organizations. An unofficial bandh (closure of all shops and other establishments) was announced. More than 100 vehicles were burnt and eight people were killed in police firing.[12]

Some of the unrest was caught on film during the "Outsourcing" episode of the Morgan Spurlock show 30 Days (TV Series).

The Karnataka government announced to make a Rs 10 crore memorial in the memory of Rajkumar at Kanteerava studios.

Awards and honours

Rajkumar received numerous state, national and international awards.

Book on Dr.Rajkumar

A book named Bangarada manushya (Golden Man), the chronicle of Dr. Rajkumar, written by A. N. Prahlada Rao is the achievements of Dr.Rajkumar both on and off the screen. This book is a referral volume on Kannada film industry, for it is rich in details of the growth and evolution of the Kannada Film Industry. The book was released at Washington D.C, New Jersey. This book has been translated to English titled "Dr.Rajkumar: The Inimitable Actor with Golden Voice" and this book was also released at New Jersey.


14 Rajkumar was dearly called as "Rajanna" by his mates and as "Annavru" (Big Brother) by his fans.

External links


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