If acting legend Dr Rajkumar were alive today, he would have turned 91. Born in a small hamlet in Talavady taluk as Singanalluru Puttaswamy Muthuraj, Rajkumar left an indelible mark in the hearts of millions of movie fans in Karnataka. Even after 14 years of his demise, Rajkumar continues to hold a special place in Kannada cinema.
Rajkumar brought many mythological and folklore characters to life starting from Bedara Kannappa (1954), in which he played a devotee of Lord Shiva. Kannappa’s devotion is so extreme that he doesn’t think twice before gouging out both his eyes to donate to his master. And, as they say, rest is history.
Rajkumar went on to be part of many timeless classics, including Satya Harishchandra (1965). The movie was simultaneously made in Telugu with legendary NT Rama Rao playing the titular role. And a few years later, another acting great Sivaji Ganesan reprised the role of a king who pays a great price for honesty in Harichandra (1968). However, Rajkumar’s acting as King Harishchandra stood out. So much so that the movie can still draw crowds to theaters if it is re-released today.
Not just mythological dramas, he also played a desi version of James Bond in Goa Dalli CID 999 (1968). With more than 200 films, including classics like Kasturi Nivasa, Babruvahana, Sakshatkara, Bangaarada Manushya, Devatha Manushya and Ondu Muttina Kathe among more to his credit, Rajkumar has left behind an everlasting legacy.
On Rajkumar’s birth anniversary, members of Kannada film fraternity and fans have been sharing fond memories of the actor on social media.
Shiva Rajkumar said he was aware of the responsibility that comes with his surname while remembering his late father.
Puneeth Rajkumar to commemorate his father’s birthday released a home-made music video on Instagram. In the video, he has crooned evergreen songs from Rajkumar’s movies.
ಅಪ್ಪಾಜಿಯವರಿಗೆ ಜನ್ಮ ದಿನಾಚರಣೆಯ ಶುಭಾಶಯಗಳು..
Happy birth anniversary to Appaji.https://t.co/eTCJRRI0Ot
— Puneeth Rajkumar (@PuneethRajkumar) April 24, 2020
“Honored to have had such rare opportunities with this great Legend (sic),” tweeted Sudeep, while sharing an old picture of himself and Rajkumar.
“He released AmericaAmerica audio and hugged me..After 20 odd years I can still feel the warmth..Legend for a reason #Dr.Rajkumar (sic),” recalled filmmaker-actor Ramesh Aravind.
“Happy Birthday to the Man of Millenium Varanata Padmabhushana Dr.RAJKUMAR an Inspiration to Generations.A king who rules the heart of CRORES an irresistibly charming person & a true inspiration His Greatness lies in Simplicity Never Before Never AFTER (sic),” tweeted director Krishna.
“Read this and holds true to you sir : There are heroes and theres are legends. Heroes get remembered ,but legends never die. Happy birth anniversary Dr. Rajkumar sir Folded hands (sic),” tweeted filmmaker Prasanth Neel of KGF fame.
Happy birthday Appaji, you are always with us pic.twitter.com/ejtdboQE19
— DrShivaRajkumar (@NimmaShivanna) April 24, 2020
ವರನಟ ಡಾ|| ರಾಜ್ ಕುಮಾರ್ ರವರ ಹುಟ್ಟುಹಬ್ಬದ ಸವಿನೆನಪಿನಲ್ಲಿ. ಅಣ್ಣಾವ್ರು ತಮ್ಮ ಪಾತ್ರಗಳ ಹಾಗೂ ಆದರ್ಶಮಯ ಜೀವನದ ಮೂಲಕ ಕನ್ನಡ ನಾಡಿನ ಮನೆ ಮನೆಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಚಿರಸ್ಥಾಯಿಯಾಗಿ ಉಳಿದಿದ್ದಾರೆ.
ನಿಮ್ಮ ದಾಸ ದರ್ಶನ್ pic.twitter.com/eSqAWesgr9
— Darshan Thoogudeepa (@dasadarshan) April 24, 2020
Honored to have had such rare opportunities with this great Legend.
ಡಾ.ರಾಜ್ ಕುಮಾರ್ ಅಣ್ಣಾವ್ರ ರಿಗೆ ಜನ್ಮದಿನದ ಶುಭಾಶಯಗಳು. 🙏🏼🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/7kDXNKu12b
— Kichcha Sudeepa (@KicchaSudeep) April 24, 2020
What is your memory of Dr Rajkumar?
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