Actor Upendra on Monday celebrated his 50th birthday. It is an important year for the Kannada movie star as recently he announced his political entry in an audio message that went viral. Currently, he is in the midst of preparing to contest the upcoming state elections in Karnataka.
Many actors from Kannada cinema have taken the plunge into politics, but none have been as ambitious as Upendra. He aspires to form his own government next year, while other actors were content with a post in the cabinet of a national party.
You will be seeing a lot of Upendra in the news in the coming days. So here are the important facts about this popular South Indian star.
1) Upendra made his debut as a director in Kannada with Tharle Nan Maga in 1992. The film that introduced actor Jaggesh to the film industry, became the biggest hit and even achieved a cult following among the Kannada fans.
2) Upendra made national headlines in the 1990s when he cast real-life gangsters in his cult film, Om, starring Shivarajkumar in the lead role. The crime drama with a love story at its heart still continues to draw the crowd to the theatres in Karnataka. After first releasing in 1995, it has been re-released over 500 times as of 2015.
3) Upendra made his debut as a lead actor with A in 1998. The film was a big hit at the box office but sparked controversies due to its anti-woman remarks. The film was dubbed into Telugu and was a big hit with the Tollywood audience too.
4) Upendra’s films enjoy a lot of popularity among the Telugu movie goers. In 2001, he wrote and acted in Telugu film Raa that also became a box office hit.
5) Upendra met his future wife Priyanka Trivedi on the sets of Raa. After years of courtship, Upendra married the former Miss Kolkata in 2003. He has two children, daughter Aishwarya and son Ayush.
6) Upendra was the first hero to romance Deepika Padukone on the big screen. He played the lead role in Indrajit Lankesh’s Aishwarya, which marked the acting debut of Deepika in 2006. Deepika revealed that it was Farah Khan who suggested her to do the film before she entered Bollywood with Om Shanti Om opposite Shah Rukh Khan.
7) Upendra made a comeback as a director with 2010 political drama titled Super, in which he took on some of the well-known political personalities in Karnataka. The film also marked Nayanthara’s debut in Kannada. It was a smash at the box office.
8) In 2017, Upendra floated his own political party called Uttama Praja Party.