A look at Puneeth's special association with Tollywood

Puneeth Rajkumar death: 'Appu' had a special association with Telugu cinema

Puneeth made his 'official' debut with 'Appu', directed by Telugu filmmaker Puri Jagannadh

Actor Puneeth Rajkumar. Credit: DH File Photo

Actor Puneeth Rajkumar, who passed away on Friday (October 29), was an inseparable part of the Kannada film industry. Matinee idol Rajkumar's youngest child enjoyed an enviable fan following due to his charming personality and impressive body of work. While everyone is aware of his contribution to Sandalwood, not many know that he shared a unique connection with Telugu cinema. The star's association with the industry began with Appu, which marked his 'official debut. 

The film was directed by Telugu filmmaker Puri Jagannadh and emerged as a big hit. It was remade in several languages, which helped it attain cult status. In 2004, Puneeth acted in Meher Ramesh's Kannada film Veera Kannadiga, which was simultaneously made in Telugu by the Paisa Vasool helmer as Andhrawala with Jr NTR in the lead. The Kannada version did well at the box office but the Telugu one failed to live up to expectations. 

Also Read | Puneeth Rajkumar death: 4 reasons why Appu was more than just a hero

Puneeth and Tarak come together in 2016, nearly 12 years after Veera Kannadiga/Andhrawala, when the 'Young Tiger' sang for Chakravyuha. The film was directed by Saravanan and catered to 'Appu' fans. Kajal Aggarwal, the star of Telugu biggies such as Magadheera and Yevadu, lent her voice to the Yenaithu song from the film. The flick's soundtrack was composed by S Thaman. 

The Rajkumar family also shares a strong bond with Chiranjeevi. Shivarajkumar had graced the pre-release event of Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy in Bengaluru a couple of years ago. Puneeth was seen alongside Sayyeshaa, who made her acting debut with the Telugu film Akhil, in Yuvrathnaa. It received rave reviews but did not reach its potential at the box office due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The film premiered on an OTT platform in multiple languages, days after its theatrical release. 

Puneeth's death has, meanwhile, left his colleagues in a state of shock. He had finished major portions of James before his death and was to begin work on his project with Pavan Kumar. He was also set to team up with Santosh Ananddram for the third time. The two had previously collaborated for Yuvarathnaa and the 'industry hit' Raajakumara.

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