OBIT: A powerhouse actor

OBIT: A powerhouse actor

OBIT: A powerhouse actor

VishnuvardhanVishnuvardhan, whose real name was Sampathkumar, was born  on September 18, 1950, into a family of artistes. His father H L Narayana Rao, was an artist and a script writer.

He was christened Vishnuvardhan on his debut in the film world through Girish Karnad directed "Vamshavruksha" in 1972.

A towering star of the Kannada celluloid world for about four decades, Vishnuvardhan attained stardom through his role "Ramachari", in 'Nagarahaavu', a film directed by one of Kannada filmland's top directors, Puttanna Kanagal, in 1973. The film also won him the best actor award.

Vishnuvardhan, who has excelled in various roles including as comedian and village chieftan in "Simhadriya Simha", was affectionately given the title of "Sahasa Simha" (a valorous lion) by his fans.

The actor has a huge following.

Besides acting in 197 Kannada films,Vishnuvardhan had acted in other languagues too like "Viduthalai" and Sri Raghavendra in Tamil and "Kauravar" in Malayalam with Mammootty.

He is also a singer and has been of late singing for albums. Among his blockbusters were "Yajamana" and "Muttinahara".

In recognition of his contribution to the film industry, the Bangalore University conferred an honorary doctorate on Vishnuvardhan in 2005.

Performing varied roles and enthralling his fans for 37 years, Vishnuvardhan's death has left a void in the Kannada film industry.