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Indian actor (born 1950)

Vishnuvardhan (September 18, 1950 - December 30, 2009), born Sampath Kumarwas an Indian film actor primarily in the Kannada cinema.[2] He has appeared in more than 220 films together in Kannada, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu.[3] He was called The phoenix of Indian cinema.[4][5][6] He made his debut in the 1972 film, Vamsha Vrikshain a supporting role. In the same year he starred in Puttanna Kanagals Naagarahaavuand was recognized as "The Angry Young Man of Kannada Cinema".[7] He has played different roles in different genres.[8][9][10][11]

In a poll conducted by CNN-IBN, Vishnuvardhan was named the most popular star in the Kannada film industry in 2008.[12] A road that stretches 14.5 km from Banashankari Temple to Kengeri in Bengaluru is named after him. It's the longest street in Asia named after a celebrity.[13][14] He was a martial artist, in an interview with The HinduHe had said it was the era of Bruce Lee and only Kamal Haasan and himself had learned martial arts in his generation.[15] He was also the story writer for the 1997 film Ganesha I love you Directed by Phani Ramachandra.

Personal life [edit]

Early life

Vishnuvardhan was born in Mysore to HL Narayana Rao and Kamakshamma. His ancestors come from Hallegere, Mandya district in Karnataka. His father was an artist, music composer, and screenwriter who was known for his collection of musical instruments. He had six siblings. His sister Rama was a Kathak dancer in the Mysore Palace, and brother Ravi was a child actor who appeared in the 1955 Tamil language and in the bilingual Kannada film Modala Thedi.[16] Vishnuvardhan was taught first at Gopalswamy School in Mysore and then at Kannada Model High School in Bangalore. He attended high school and graduated from the National College in Basavanagudi, Bangalore.[17][18]

Married life

Vishnuvardhan married the actress Bharathi on February 17, 1975 in Bangalore. They adopted two children, Keerthi and Chandana.[19]

Vishnuvardhan co-starred on the set of the 2006 Kannada film Sirivantha

Early career and debut (1972-1980) [edit]

Vishnuvardhan began his career with the National Award winning film Vamshavruksha (1972) by Girish Karnad based on the novel by SL Bhyrappa. His first leading role was in Naagarahaavu, Directed by Puttanna Kanagal and based on a novel by TR Subba Rao. It was the first in the history of Kannada to complete 100 days in three main Bangalore theaters. In his 37-year career, he played various roles in more than 200 films.[20] Then he appeared in along with Rajkumar Gandhada Gudi. It was released in 1973 and was the top-selling Kannada film of the year. In 1974 he appeared in Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu. In 1977 he appeared in many films, but three of them were with Rajinikanth. These films where Sahodarara Savaal, Kiladi Kittu and Galatas samsara. They appeared together in other films. In 1978 he appeared in Hombisilu

Later career and success (1981-1999) [edit]

1982 his film Sahasa Simha became another blockbuster and it also got the title Sahasa Simha. In 1984 he made his debut in the critically acclaimed Bollywood film Ek Naya Iittihas. And in the same year he appeared in Bandhana. It became a turning point in his career. In 1985 he appeared again with Rajinikanth in Tamil films Sri Raghavendrar. In the same year he appeared in Jeevana chakra that was successful. Next year he appeared in the multi-star cult film Viduthalai (1986) with Sivaji Ganesan, Rajinikanth, Madhavi, Vijayakumar, RN Sudarshan, K. Balaji and YG Mahendran. It was a remake of the 1980 Bollywood Hindi film Qurbani (film) starring Feroz Khan (actor), Vinod Khanna, Amjad Khan (actor), Zeenat Aman, Shakti Kapoor and Aruna Irani. However, Qurbani (film) ended up being the grossest of the year, while Viduthalai (1986 film) was average at the box office. In 1989 his two films Hrudaya Geethe and Deva were successful. In 1990 his film Muthina Haara with Suhasini Maniratnam (who previously appeared in Bandhana with Vishnuvardhan) became one of Vishnuvardhan's best films. Next year 1991 he appeared in Lion Jagapathi Rao, from which he received an award. In 1992, his Malayalam film Kauravar with Mammootty received critical acclaim. In 1993 he appeared in the bilingual film Vishnu Vijaya (In Hindi Ashant) by Hindi Kannada. Co-star with Akshay Kumar. It was a failure in Hindi, but a success in Kannada. In 1994 his film Halunda Tavaru was a blockbuster. In the same year he appeared again with Akshay Kumar in the hit film Zaalim. In the 1990s he appeared in successful films such as Habba and Jeevanadhi.

Career in the 2000s (2000 - 2009) [edit]

In 2000, his film Yajamana was a huge box-office hit and eventually became the top-selling Kannada film of the year. And in the same year his other films such as Soorappa, Simhadriya Simha and Surya Vamsha as well as Jamindaru became blockbusters. In 2001 his film Diggajaru with Ambareesh became a blockbuster. Between 2003 and 2004 his films Varsha, Sahukara, Kadamba and Apthamithra became blockbusters. His two 2007 films, Ee Bandhana and Maathaad Maathaadu Mallige, received critical acclaim. And his other Neenello Naanalle got a box office and his film Bellary Naga was an average hit.

Aptharakshaka (2010) was his last film to be released and was a blockbuster. And became the most successful Kannada film of the year. In 2016 he performed through computer graphics in Nagarahavu (2016) and Rajasimha (2018).

TV career [edit]

He first appeared on television in the 1980s. Shankar Nag directed Malgudi days and introduced Vishnuvardhan as the main character to Venkat Rao in an episode entitled "Forty-Five Rupees a Month". Here was his co-star, Gayatri Nag.[21][22][23]


Vishnuvardhan founded an organization called Sneha Loka to promote harmony and help with disasters such as floods. He conducted a “Padayatra” to raise money for people affected by floods in the north of the state. Vishnuvardhan and his wife Bharathi had adopted the city of Melukote in the Mandya district, where he had dug boreholes in the arid temple city. Many of his other donations were not revealed until the beneficiaries reached out and discussed them.[24] In January 2005, Vishnuvardhan, cricketer Syed Kirmani and Shivram took part in a Cancer Awareness Walkathon organized by the Bangalore Institute of Oncology (BIO) to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the civil service in Bangalore.[25]

Frequent collaboration [edit]

SP Balasubramanyam

SP Balasubrahmanyam's voice matched Vishnuvardhan and people thought it was a perfect combination.[26] He began singing for Vishnuvardhan in film in 1972 Naagarahaavu. Balasubrahmanyam as music director composed all the songs for Vishnuvardhan Sowbhagyalakshmi. Vishnuvardhan never missed any of SP Balasubrahmanyam's birthdays. In each of the actor's films, he had to sing a couple of songs and Vishnu would insist on it. Balasubrahmanyam sang all five songs in his last Kannada film Aptharakshaka and was awarded the Best Playback Singer Filmfare Award for the song Gharane Ghara Gharane. He dedicated his award to Vishnuvardhan. After Vishnuvardhan's death, Balasubrahmanyam paid tribute to him on musical nights and one such show took place in Bengaluru and Mysuru.

HR Bhargava

Vishnuvardhan's pairing with director HR Bhargava is considered to be one of the best pairings in the Kannada film industry. His first film with HR Bhargava was Asaadhya Aliya, which was successful. He has made a total of 23 films with HR Bhargava. The success rate of this combination was very high. To name just a few Guru Sishyaru, Jeevana chakra, Karunamayi, Jana Naayaka, Hrudaya Geethe, Karna, Math Haditu Kogile, Onde Guri, and Krishna Nee Begane Baaro.


Vishnuvardan's couple with actress Suhasini Maniratnam were one of the most lovable couples in Karnataka.


Rajinikanth has also worked with Vishnuvardhan in films such as:

Akshay kumar

Akshay Kumar worked with Vishnuvardhan in two films, Vishnu Vijaya and Zaalim. Both were successful at the box office.

Other collaborations [edit]

Ambareesh also starred with him in films. Actor Ramesh Bhat starred with Vishnuvardhan in more than 75 films

Other names [edit]

Vishnuvardhan is known as “The Phoenix of Indian Cinema”. He was affectionately known as Sahasa Simha, Abhinava Bhargava and Vishnu Dada from his fans in Karnataka.

As a singer

He occasionally began singing in films and later sang devotional songs for albums. The first song he sang was in the movie Nagarahole and he has recorded several duet songs with notable legendary singers S. Janaki, Bangalore Latha, Vani Jairam and P. Susheela. The first devotional album he sang was up Lord Ayappa and the title of the album was Jyothiroopa Ayappa. His other albums were “Thayi Bhanashankari” (about the goddess Banashankari) and Vishwapremi Ayappa. He also sang devotional songs on Dharmastala's Lord Manjunathaswamy, Malemadeshwara, and Ranachandi Chamundi.[27][28][29][30]

Some of his renderings are:

Later years and death

On December 30, 2009, Vishnuvardhan died of massive cardiac arrest at King’s Court Hotel in Mysore. He was survived by his wife, Bharathi Vishnuvardhan, and two daughters, Keerthi and Chandana. He was cremated with full state honors at the Abhiman studio in Bangalore.[31][32]

Akshay Kumar said after Vishnuvardhan's death: “We made a Hindi and a Kannada version of Ashaant. The Kannada version was a huge hit. The Hindi version was a flop. I realized that Vishnuji was a much bigger star than I could ever be. ”

The books on Vishnuvardhan include:

book Author (s)
Vishnu - Noorondu NenapuSadashiva Shenoy
Sahasa SimhayanaS. Jagannath Rao Bahule
Hrudayavantha Vishnu: AvadootharuB. Vinod Kumar
Kala Jnani Dr. VishnuvardhanH. Krishnappa
Sneha SampatthuH. Narasimha Murthy
Kannadada SampatthuManjunath Alde
Dr. Vishnuvardhana - Nanna Haadu NannaduNandakumar
Mareyada Maanikya - Yajamanru Dr. VishnuvardhanJanardhan Rao Salanke
Karna maadida sampathu - Dr. VishnuvardanaHemanth G Nag
Simha GharjaneJanardhan Rao Salanke
Karunamayee Dr. VishnuvardhanJanardhan Rao Salanke
Anna - NammannaBabu Dinakar
Naagarahaavu: Nenapu - MelukuBabu Dinakar
NaagarahaavuJanardhan Rao Salanke
Bhava Shilpi Dr. VishnuvardhanB. Vinod Kumar
Nenapina Mutthina HaaraSV Rajendra Singh Babu

Legacy, Awards and Honors [edit]

Karnataka State Film Awards

  • In recognition of his services to Indian cinema, the state government named the annual Lifetime Achievement Award to long-standing film personalities after Vishnuvardhan and named it in Karnataka State Dr. Vishnuvardhan Award.[33]
  • It has appeared posthumously on government stamps of India.[34][35]
  • Vishnuvardhan received the Filmfare South Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002 for his contribution to the Kannada film industry.
  • The state government has named streets and parks in the capital Bangalore after him.[36] A park in Jayanagar, Bengaluru, is also known as Dr. Vishnuvardhan Park called.[37]
  • The government of Karnataka decided on behalf of Dr. Vishnuvardhan to build a film city. It will be similar to the model of the Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad.[38]
  • The Karnataka Congregation showed respect for the star by praying for a minute that his soul would rest in peace. After that, the election of the spokesman took place under chaotic circumstances as the opposition parties wanted the elections to be postponed due to this shocking and unexpected incident.[39][40]
  • Statues were erected in his honor, particularly in Bangalore. A 2.1 m high statue was unveiled in Gowri Palya on March 1, 2012, Laggere on March 4, 2012, Kengeri on October 9, 2011, KP Agrahara in Vijayanagar on March 11, 2012 and other locations in Bengaluru and Karnataka.[41][42]
  • Vishnuvardhan was cremated with full government honors on December 30th, 2009 at Abhimaan Studios on the outskirts of Bangalore. Almost all of the leading politicians and actors were there.[43][44]
  • A 14.3 km long road between Banashankari Temple and Kengeri in Bangalore was named after the superstar. It's the longest street in Asia named after a celebrity.[13][14]
  • Vishnuvardhan's fans, for whom he is a demigod, built a temple for him, which Dr. Vishnuvardhan calls Mandir.[45]



References [edit]

  1. ^"Vishnuvardhan's son-in-law who reproduces‘ Shasa Simha ’in‘ Raja Simha ‘" ".
  2. ^“Vishnuvardhan - Indian film actor from Mysore”. December 30, 2009. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  3. ^“Vishnuvardhan comes to life as a cartoon character”. The times of India.
  4. ^Sandalwood: Vishnuvardhan comes to life as a cartoon character Kannada Movie News - Times of India. (December 26, 2013). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  5. ^A final homage to the phoenix of Indian cinema: ‘Nagarahavu’ - Movie Mint. (May 31, 2016). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  6. ^OUR KARNATAKA: Dr. Vishnuvardhan. (February 25, 2012). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  7. ^“” ‘Angry young man made of sandalwood says goodbye“. Deccan Herald. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  8. ^“Girish Kasarvalli pays tribute to Vishnuvardhan”. Rediff. December 30, 2009. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  9. ^“Naagarahaavu 1972”. The Hindu. Chennai, India. October 18, 2008.
  10. ^“Vishnuvardhan: Kannada Actor | Singer films, biography, pictures ”. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  11. ^“Vishnuvardhan News | Bollywood actors on Newsaajtak | Newsaajtak | News Aajtak ”. Archived from the original on March 10, 2016. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  12. ^June 24, 2008, 3:47 pm [IST] (June 24, 2008). “Dr.Vishnu's Most Popular Star”. Filmibeat. Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  13. ^ ab“The Dr. Vishnuvardhan Road is the longest street that an actor is named on? - The Times of India ”. The times of India.
  14. ^ ab“14 km long road named after Vishnu”. Bangalore mirror. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  15. ^“An actor by mistake”. The Hindu. Chennai, India. May 11, 2007.
  16. ^“Story 31 - 1955: The Year of Star Debuts”. August 29, 2013. Archived from the original on March 9, 2017. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  17. ^“Suhasini as director of the Kannada film”.
  18. ^SHARADHA SRINIDHI, TNN (July 9, 2010). “Suhasini is not directing with Ash!”. The times of India.
  19. ^“Vishunuvardhan's life in pictures”. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  20. ^“Vishnuvardhan helped me become famous: Rajinikanth”. The Hindu. Chennai, India. January 7, 2010.
  21. ^“Suhasini on her last film with the late Kannada actor”. January 20, 2010.
  22. ^“About Vishnu Vardhan - Thoughts from Sumalatha”. Videogirmit. Archived from the original on October 22, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  23. ^“Ambareesh's five best films”. The times of India. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  24. ^“Dr. Vishnu was more than a film icon ”. Rediff. December 30, 2009.
  25. ^“Many come to the Cancer Walkathon‘ “”. The Hindu. January 10, 2005. Retrieved August 24, 2005.
  26. ^Sandesh (September 17, 2013). “Remembering Sahasasimha Vishnuvardhan on his birthday”. Greynium Information Technologies Pvt. GmbH. Retrieved April 7, 2014.
  27. ^"Vishnu still tells me what to do". Bangalore mirror. Archived from the original on November 7, 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
  28. ^"Welcome to". Retrieved June 1, 2016.
  29. ^“Movie List”. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  30. ^“Suhasini directs Kannada movie! - Telugu Movie News ”. May 30, 2009.
  31. ^“Dr. Vishnuvardhan is to be cremated with state honors ”. December 30, 2009.
  32. ^“Dr. Vishnuvardhan is to be cremated with state honors ”. Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  33. ^"Karnataka government discusses film city named after Rajkumar, Vishnuvardhan". Retrieved May 3, 2013.
  34. ^“Dr.Vishnuvardhan - Latest news on Dr. Vishnuvardhan - Dr. Vishnuvardhan Photos - Rediff Realtime News Search ”. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  35. ^“A stamp for Dr. Vishnuvardha ”. The times of India. May 12, 2013. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  36. ^“Directions from Vidya Peetha Circle to Dr. Vishnuvardhan Road, Hyderabad ”. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  37. ^“Street and Park by Dr. Named Vishnuvardhan ”. Deccan Chronicle. December 18, 2012. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  38. ^Hooli, Shekhar H. (Jan 2, 2010). “Karnataka Govt is building Dr. Vishnuvardhan Film City ”. Oneindia Entertainment. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  39. ^“Fans mourn Vishnuvardhan”. Retrieved April 1, 2015.
  40. ^Karnataka mourns Vishnuvardhan. Indian Express (December 31, 2009). Retrieved on 2018-11-08.
  41. ^Rajendra (March 3, 2012). “Vis ಚಾರ್ಚ್ ನಡುವೆ ಡಾ.ವಿಷ್ಣು ಪುತ್ಥಳಿ 03-03 Dr. Vishnuvardhan statue Gowri Palya ”. Oneindia Entertainment. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  42. ^Hooli, Shekhar (April 7, 2011). “Dr. Vishnuvardhan's statue of Dwarakish unveiled ”. Oneindia Entertainment. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  43. ^“Dr. Vishnuvardhan is to be cremated with state honors ”. December 30, 2009.
  44. ^“” ‘Apthamithra‘ Dr. Vishnu cremated! - Kannada Movie News ”. December 31, 2009.
  45. ^“Photos by Dr. Vishnuvardhan (Sahasasimha) - Dr. Vishnuvardhan (Sahasasimha) - Facebook ”. Retrieved April 1, 2015.

External links [edit]