Vishnuvardhan daughters keerthi and chandana photos

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Vishnuvardhan (born Sampath Kumar 18 September 1950 – 30 December 2009), was an actor known for his works predominantly in . He appeared in over 220 films in , , , and . He was called 'The Phoenix of Indian Cinema'. He made his debut in the 1972 film, , in a supporting role. The same year he played the lead role in 's , and was recognized as the Angry young man of Kannada cinema. He has played a variety of roles in different genres.

In 2008, A poll conducted by CNN-IBN listed Vishnuvardhan as the most popular star in the Kannada Film Industry. A road stretching 14.5 km from Banashankari Temple to Kengeri in Bengaluru has been named after the superstar. It is the longest road in Asia to be named after a celebrity. He was a martial artist, In an interview with , he had said that it was the era of Bruce Lee and it was only and himself who had learnt martial arts in his generation. He was also the story writer of the 1997 movie Ganesha I Love You directed by .

He was also fondly called as Sahasasimha and Abhinaya Bhargava by the people of Karnataka.


Early life[]

Vishnuvardhan was born in to H. L. Narayana Rao and Kamakshamma. His ancestors are from Hallegere, Mandya district of Karnataka. His father was an artist, music composer and a screenwriter who was known for his collection of musical instruments. He had six siblings. His sister Rama was a dancer at the Mysore Palace, and brother Ravi was a who appeared in the 1955 and Kannada bilingual film .Vishnuvardhan was educated first in Mysore's Gopalswamy School and then at 's Kannada Model High School. He attended high school and obtained a degree from National College, , Bangalore.

Personal life[]

Vishnuvardhan married actress on 17 February 1975 in . They have adopted two children, Keerthi and Chandana.

Early career[]

Vishnuvardhan started his career with the National Award-winning movie (1972) directed by based on the novel written by . His first lead role was in , directed by and based on a novel by . It was the first in Kannada film history to complete 100 days in three main theatres of Bangalore. In his 35-year career, he has played a variety of roles in more than 200 films.


He appeared on television for the first time in the 1980s. directed and introduced Vishnuvardhan as the main character Venkat Rao, in an episode called "Rupees Forty-five a Month". Here, his co-star was Gayatri Nag.


Vishnuvardhan started an organisation called Sneha Loka to promote harmony and to help during calamities like floods. He conducted a 'padayatra' to collect funds for the flood-affected people in the northern part of the state. Vishnuvardhan and his wife Bharathi had adopted the Melukote town in Mandya district where he had dug borewells in the water-starved temple town. Many of his other charitable donations were revealed only when the beneficiaries came forward and spoke about it. In January 2005, Vishnuvardhan, cricketer and Shivram participated in a Cancer Awareness Walkathon organised by Bangalore Institute of Oncology (BIO) to commemorate its 15 years of public service in Bangalore.

Film score[]

is record-holder for having sung more than 40,000 songs in Indian languages including Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, and Hindi. SPB's voice suited Vishnuvardhan, and people felt it was a perfect combination. He started singing for Vishnuvardhan in the 1972 film . Balasubrahmanyam as music director, composed all the songs for Vishnuvardhan's Sowbhagyalakshmi. Vishnuvardhan never missed any of the birthdays of . In every film of the actor, he had to sing couple of songs and Vishnu would insist. Balasubrahmanyam has sung all the five songs in his last Kannada film and was awarded the for the song Gharane Ghara Gharane. He dedicated his award to Vishnuvardhan. After Vishnuvardhan's death, Balasubrahmanyam paid tribute to him in musical nights and one such show happened in Bengaluru and Mysuru.

Vishnuvardhan's pairing with director is considered as one of the best pairings of Kannada film industry.His first film with was Asaadhya Aliya which was a successful one. He has a total of 23 films with . The rate of success of this combination was very high. To name a few are , , , , , Karna, , , and many others.

As singer[]

He started singing in movies occasionally and later went on to singing devotional songs for albums. The first song he sang was in the movie Nagarahole and he has recorded some duet songs with the notable legendary singers , and . The first devotional album sung by him was on Lord Ayappa and the title of the album was Jyothiroopa Ayappa. His other albums were "Thayi Bhanashankari" (on goddess Banashankari) and Vishwapremi Ayappa. He also sang devotional songs on 's Lord Manjunathaswamy, Malemadeshwara and Ranachandi Chamundi.

Some of his renderings are:

  • "Hegiddharu Neene Chenna" (Sahasa Simha)
  • "Shashiya Kandu Moda Helithu" (Sirithanakke Savaal)
  • "Thuthu Anna Thinnoke" (Jimmi Gallu)
  • "Beda Annoro Unte" (Sididedda Sahodara)
  • "Kannadave Nammamma" (Mojugara Sogusugara)
  • "Abhimani Gale Nanna Pranaa" (Vishnu Sena)
  • "Ee Notake" (Naagarahole)
  • "Madilalli" (Kiladi Kittu)
  • "Aasegala THota" (Hanthakana Sanchu)
  • "Naguve Swarga" (Naaga Kaala Bhirava)
  • "Olavina jodi" (Kallu Veene Nudiyithu)
  • "Vayyari Nee" (Gandugali Rama)
  • "Savi Maathanu" (Chinnadantha Maga)
  • "Cheluvina Chenniga" (Rudra Naga)
  • "Muthe Maniye" (Khaidi)
  • "Nammora Beediyali" (Benki Birugali)
  • "Kannalli Nee Bandu" (Simha Gharjane)
  • "Kandaddu Kandahaage" (Huli Hejje)
  • "Anuraaga Geetheyalli Apaswaravu"(Benki Birugali)

Later years and death[]

On 30 December 2009, Vishnuvardhan died due to a massive cardiac arrest at King's Court Hotel in . He was survived by his wife, Bharathi Vishnuvardhan, and two daughters, Keerthi and Chandana. He was cremated with full state honours at Abhiman studio in .

There have been many books about the life, career, achievements, philanthropy of this versatile actor.

Some important books about Dr. Vishnuvardhan are listed below.

Name of Book Author(s) Vishnu - Noorondu Nenapu Sadashiva Shenoy Sahasa Simhayana S. Jagannath Rao Bahule Hrudayavantha Vishnu: Avadootharu B. Vinod Kumar Kala Jnani Dr. Vishnuvardhan H. Krishnappa Sneha Sampatthu H. Narasimha Murthy Kannadada Sampatthu Manjunath Alde Dr. Vishnuvardhana - Nanna Haadu Nannadu Nandakumar Mareyada Maanikya - Yajamanru Dr. Vishnuvardhan Janardhan Rao Salanke Simha Gharjane Janardhan Rao Salanke Karunamayee Dr. Vishnuvardhan Janardhan Rao Salanke Anna - Nammanna Babu Dinakar Naagarahaavu: Nenapu - Meluku Babu Dinakar Naagarahaavu Janardhan Rao Salanke Bhava Shilpi Dr. Vishnuvardhan B. Vinod Kumar Nenapina Mutthina Haara

Awards and honors[]

Main article:

  • As an acknowledgment to his service to Indian cinema, the state government decided to name its annual lifetime achievement award to long-serving film personalities after Vishnuvardhan, renaming it as the Karnataka State .
  • He has appeared on postage stamps issued by the Government of India.
  • Vishnuvardhan was awarded with Filmfare South Lifetime achievement award in 2002 for his contribution to Kannada film Industry.
  • The State Government has named roads and parks in the capital city Bengaluru after him. A park in Jayanagar, Bengaluru has also been named as Dr.Vishnuvardhan Park.
  • The government of Karnataka decided to build a film city in the name of Dr. Vishnuvardhan. It will be similar to the model of Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad.
  • The Karnataka Assembly showed respect to the star by praying for a minute for his soul to rest in peace for. After that, the election of the Speaker was held under chaotic circumstances as the Opposition parties wanted the elections to be postponed due to this shocking and unexpected incident.
  • There are statues erected in his honour, especially in Bengaluru. A 7-foot-high (2.1 m) statue in Gowri Palya on 1 March 2012, Laggere on 4 March 2012, Kengeri on 9 October 2011, KP Agrahara in Vijayanagar on 11 March 2012 and in other places of Bengaluru and Karnataka were unveiled.
  • Vishnuvardhan was cremated at the Abhimaan Studios, in the outskirts of Bengaluru on 30 Dec 2009 with full state honors. Almost all the leading politicians and actors were present there.
  • A 14.3 km-long stretch of road between the Banashankari Temple and Kengeri in Bengaluru has been named after the superstar. It is the longest road in Asia to be named after a celebrity.
  • Vishnuvardhan's fans for whom he is a demi-god have built a temple for him naming it Dr. Vishnuvardhan Mandir.


Main article:


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External links[]


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