New Delhi: Google has dedicated its today’s Doodle to late Kannada actor Rajkumar. Born on April 4, 1929, as Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju, the Kannada icon used the screen name Rajkumar and was fondly called Appaji, Annavru among other names.
The Google Doodle shows a young Rajkumar in a movie theatre with a silhouette of several people sitting to watch his movie. Rajkumar was 8 when he started his career with his father in the Gubbi Drama Company. In 1953, he was spotted by film director H. L. N. Simha who signed him for Bedara Kannappa. Rajkumar has acted in over 200 films, his last one being Shabdavedhi in 2000.
In 2000, Karnataka witnessed much tension after Rajkumar was kidnapped from his farm house by notorious sandalwood and ivory smuggler Veerappan. He was released after 108 days. He died of cardiac arrest at his residence in Bangalore on 12 April 2006 at the age of 77.
Rajkumar is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan (in 1983) and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award (in 1995) for the lifetime contribution to Indian Cinema. The Kannada icon has also received eleven Karnataka State Film Awards, ten South Filmfare Awards in his film career. He also won two National Film Awards and a National Film Award for Best Playback Singer for song “Naadamaya”.
Rajkumar was well known for his highly disciplined and simple lifestyle. According to reports, he is also credited for being the only Indian Super Star who never endorsed drinking, smoking and uttering swear words in all the roles he performed in his long spanning career.