Puneeth Rajkumar

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Puneeth Rajkumar
Puneeth rajumara.jpg
Puneeth Rajkumar in 2017
Lohith Rajkumar

(1975-03-17) 17 March 1975 (age 46) [1]
Other namesAppu
  • Actor
  • singer
  • producer
  • television presenter
Years active1976–1989
Ashwini Revanth
(m. 1999)
Parent(s) Rajkumar (father)
Parvathamma (mother)
RelativesSee Rajkumar family

Puneeth Rajkumar (born 17 March 1975), colloquially known as Appu, is an Indian actor, playback singer, television presenter, and producer who works primarily in Kannada cinema. He has been a lead actor in 29 films; as a child, he appeared in many films. His performances in Vasantha Geetha (1980), Bhagyavantha (1981), Chalisuva Modagalu (1982), Eradu Nakshatragalu (1983), Bhakta Prahaladha, Yarivanu and Bettada Hoovu (1985) were praised. [1] He won the National Film Award for Best Child Artist for his role of Ramu in Bettada Hoovu. [2] He also won Karnataka State Award Best Child artist for Chalisuva Modagalu and Yeradu Nakshatragalu. Puneeth's first lead role was in 2002's Appu . He has been dubbed by media and fans as "Powerstar".


He has appeared as a lead actor in commercially successful films, including Appu (2002), Abhi (2003), Veera Kannadiga (2004), Mourya (2004), Aakash (2005), Ajay (2006), Arasu (2007), Milana (2007), Vamshi (2008), Raam (2009), Jackie (2010), Hudugaru (2011), Raajakumara (2017), and Anjani Putra (2017). [3] [4] He is one of the most famous celebrities and the highest-paid actors in the Kannada cinema. [5] In 2012, he debuted as a television presenter on the game show Kannadada Kotyadhipati , a Kannada version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? . [6] [7]

Personal life

Puneeth (then Lohith) was born in Chennai to Rajkumar and Parvathamma Rajkumar. He is their fifth and youngest child. When Puneeth was six years old, his family moved to Mysore. His father brought him and his sister, Poornima, to his film sets until he was ten years old. [8] His elder brother, Shiva Rajkumar, is a popular actor.

Puneeth married Ashwini Revanth from Chikmagaluru on 1 December 1999. They met through a common friend, and have two daughters: Drithi and Vanditha. [9]


1976–89: As child actor

Director V. Somashekar casted Puneeth (then known as Lohith) onscreen when he was six months old in his thriller film Premada Kanike (1976), and Aarathi. [10] This was followed by Vijay's Sanaadi Appanna (1977), based on Krishnamoorthy Puranik's novel of the same name, [11] when Puneeth was one year old. Thayige Thakka Maga (1978) was again directed by V. Somashekar and starred his father. Two years later, directors Dorai-Bhagavan cast him as Shyam in Vasantha Geetha (1980). This was followed by K. S. L. Swamy's mythological drama Bhoomige Banda Bhagavantha (1981, appearing as Lord Krishna) and B. S. Ranga's Bhagyavantha (1982), [12] in which he recorded his first popular song: "Baana Daariyalli Soorya", composed by T. G. Lingappa. That year, he appeared in two hit films ( Chalisuva Modagalu and Hosa Belaku ) with his father. For the former, Puneeth received his first Karnataka State Film Award for Best Child Actor (Male). In 1983, he appeared in two mythological films: Bhakta Prahlada as the protagonist, Prahlada, and Eradu Nakshatragalu , for which he received his second Karnataka State Film Award for Best Child Actor.

In 1984, Puneeth starred with Rajkumar in the thriller Yarivanu and sang "Kannige Kaanuva", written by Rajan-Nagendra. His biggest break as a child actor came in the 1985 drama Bettada Hoovu , directed by N. Lakshminarayan and based on Shirley L. Arora's novel What Then, Raman? For his portrayal of the innocent Ramu, Puneeth received the award for Best Child Artist at the 33rd National Film Awards. [13] In his early teens, he appeared in Shiva Mecchida Kannappa (1988) as the young Kannappa with his elder brother, Shiva. Puneeth's final child role was in Parashuram (1989), with his father. [14]

2002–07: Debut as lead and breakthrough

In April 2002, Puneeth made his film debut as a leading man in the masala film, Appu with actress, Rakshita also making her film debut. [15] The musical by Gurukiran, directed by Puri Jagannadh and produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar, in which he played a college boy, was a box office success and critics praised his dancing skills. Puneeth sang "Taliban Alla Alla", with lyrics by Upendra and music by Gurukiran. The film's success spawned remakes in Telugu ( Idiot (2003)) and Tamil ( Dum (2003)).

Puneeth next appeared in Dinesh Babu's Abhi (2003) as a plucky college boy who is devoted to his mother. In the film, based on a true story and produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar, he starred with debutante Ramya. [16]

Meher Ramesh's Veera Kannadiga was Puneeth's first 2004 release. The film, written by Puri Jagannadh, was simultaneously made in Telugu as Andhrawala with N. T. Rama Rao Jr. in the lead role. Paired with debutante Anitha, it showcased his dancing and stunt skills. Although the film was criticised for its violence and poor plot, it was successful at the box office. [17] Puneeth next starred in S. Narayan's family drama Maurya , a remake of the Telugu Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi , starring Ravi Teja and written by Puri Jagannadh. The remake enhanced Puneeth's reputation as an actor in his own right. [18]

He released two films in 2005. Mahesh Babu's Aakash reunited Puneeth with Ramya (from Abhi) and he appeared in Veera Shankar's action film Namma Basava , with Gowri Munjal. He recorded songs in both films. Puneeth's only 2006 release was Ajay , directed by Meher Ramesh and produced by Rockline Venkatesh. In the film, a remake of the 2003 Telugu Okkadu , he played a professional kabaddi player who protects a girl endangered by her uncle (played by Prakash Raj). As a result of these films, Puneeth was called the "Powerstar of Sandalwood". [19]

Puneeth's first release in 2007 was his production Arasu , directed by Mahesh Babu, in which he played an expatriate businessman who renounces his wealth for the woman he loves. For his performance, he received his first Filmfare Best Actor award. [20] Puneeth's other release that year was Prakash's reaffirmation of traditional family values Milana . Actress Parvathy Parvathy (actress) made her debut into Kannada films with this film. Puneeth played the radio jockey Akash. For the film, he received his first Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor. [21]

2008–11: Career challenges

The actor released two films in 2008: D. Rajendra Babu's Bindaas and Prakash's Vamshi . Puneeth's first 2009 release was Raaj - The Showman . Although the film (directed by Prem) was criticised, his performance was praised. [22] His other film Raam , with Priyamani, was a remake of the Telugu hit Ready .

Puneeth returned to the limelight in 2010 with back-to-back hits. The first was Jacob Varghese's political thriller Prithvi , in which he played a bureaucrat in Ballari district who fights corruption. His next release was the action film Jackie , directed by Duniya Soori, [23] which was a commercial success. Puneeth Rajkumar is praised by both the critics and fans. His dare-devil stunts in movies are still a record in South Indian cinema. He also danced well in the movie.[ citation needed ]

2011–15: Hudugaru and other films

In 2011, Puneeth co-starred in K. Madesh's Hudugaru , a remake of the Tamil film Nadodigal [24] in which he reprised M. Sasikumar's role in the original. For his performance, he received his second Filmfare and first SIIMA Best Actor awards. [25] In Yogaraj Bhat's travelogue Paramathma , Puneeth's next release, his character searches for love. [26]

He worked with Soori again in 2012 on the action film Anna Bond , produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar. [27] For his performance, he received the Suvarna Best Actor award and was nominated for an IIFA award. Puneeth starred in another Tamil remake Poraali , filmed in Kannada as Yaare Koogadali , by Samuthirakani. [28] He played Kumar, who escapes with his friend from a mental asylum and finds refuge in a man's house.

In 2014, Puneeth starred in Jayanth C. Paranjee's romance Ninnindale , with Erica Fernandes. Although his performance as a New York-based adventure enthusiast based in New York was praised by critics, [29] the film was unsuccessful at the box office. Puneeth's next release was K. Madesh's Power*** , a remake of the Telugu film Dookudu . Appearing with Trisha for the first time, he played a tough police officer. The film earned a record ₹22 crore (220 million) in six days. [30] In 2015, he played himself in B. M. Giriraj's film Mythri , which also starred Mohanlal and Bhavana. Puneeth's other release that year was Pawan Wadeyar's Rana Vikrama , an action film with Adah Sharma and Anjali.


In March 2016, Puneeth worked for M. Saravanan's Chakravyuha and Duniya Soori's Doddmane Hudga . In 2017, he appeared in Santhosh Ananddram 's Raajakumara , which broke all-records in box-office and became the most highest-grossing Kannada-language film of all time beating previous record of Mungaru Male , [31] [32] later the record was taken up by the movie K.G.F: Chapter 1 . He also had the starring role in A Harsha's Anjani Putra alongside with Rashmika Mandanna, which was remake of Tamil film Poojai . Puneeth Rajkumar has played narrator role in the Anup Bhandari directed Rajaratha. In 2019 his film Natasaarvabhowma was released and also had commercial success.

Singing career

Puneeth, just like his father, is one of very few actors that have excelled in professional singing too. He sang alone in Appu, and sang a duet on "Jothe Jotheyali" from Vamshi . [33] He sang a fast number in Jackie and sang in his brother Shiva's films Lava Kusha and Mylari . [34] Puneeth Rajkumar have sung a song "Kanna Sanne Indhalene" for Akira movie which was composed by B. Ajaneesh Loknath. He has revealed that his compensation for singing for other than his home-productions goes to charity. [35]


In 2012, Puneeth hosted the first season of Kannadada Kotyadhipati , modelled on the Hindi show Kaun Banega Crorepati , which in turn, was modelled on the British show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? . [6] Its first season was successful [36] and a second season followed. The success of second season was cited as a prime reason for Suvarna channel replacing Udaya TV from the top slot for the first time in 19 years. [37] He again hosted the fourth season replacing Ramesh Aravind. [38] [39] [40] He also went to be the host of Colors Kannada's reality show, Family Power . [41] Currently he is producing a serial Netravathi in Udaya TV. [42] [43]

Other works

Puneeth has been involved in philanthropy with his mother at the Shakti Dhama ashram in Mysore, [44] and owns the Bengaluru Premier Futsal team. [45]


Puneeth has been a brand ambassador for Karnataka Milk Federation's Nandini Milk products, LED Bulb Project, [46] 7 Up (PepsiCo), F-Square, Dixcy Scott, Malabar Gold, [47] Gold Winner, [48] Ziox Mobile, [49] Pothy silks, Flipkart and Manappuram, [50] and was a brand ambassador of the Indian Premier League cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore. [51] [52] Puneeth also owns a team in Premier Futsal, Bengaluru 5. [53]

PRK Audio

Puneeth is the founder and owner of the music label PRK Audio [54] [38] with over 1 million subscribers [55] across YouTube.



Awards and nominations

Puneeth Rajkumar awards and nominations
Totals [lower-alpha 1]
  1. Certain award groups do not simply award one winner. They recognize several different recipients, have runners-up and have third place. Since this is a specific recognition and is different from losing an award, runner-up mentions are considered wins in this award tally. For simplification and to avoid errors, each award in this list has been presumed to have had a prior nomination.

National Film Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1985 Bettada Hoovu Best Child Artist [56] Won

Karnataka State Film Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1982-83 Chalisuva Modagalu Best Child Actor Won
1983–84 Eradu Nakshatragalu Best Child Actor Won
2007–08 Milana Best Actor Won
2010–11 Jackie Best Actor Won

South Indian International Movie Awards

YearNominee / workAwardResult
2011 Hudugaru Best Actor Won
2012 Anna Bond Best Actor Nominated
2013 Yaare Koogadali Youth Icon of South Indian Cinema (male) [57] Won
2016 Rana Vikrama Best Actor Won
2017 Doddmane Hudga Best Actor Nominated
2018 Raajakumara Best Actor Won

Filmfare Awards South

YearNominee / workAwardResult
1985 Bettada Hoovu Filmfare Best Child Actor [58] Won
2007 Arasu Best Actor Won
2011 Hudugaru Best Actor Won
2012 Anna Bond Best Actor Nominated
2014 Power Best Actor Nominated
2015 Rana Vikrama Best Actor Won
2016 Doddmane Hudga Best Actor Nominated
2017 Raajakumara Best Actor Won

Suvarna Film Awards

The Suvarna Film Awards are presented by Asianet Suvarna , a Kannada television channel to honour artists in Kannada cinema. The awards were established in 2008.

YearNominated workCategoryResult
2008 Milana Best Actor Won
2010 Jackie Best Actor Won
2013 Anna Bond Favorite Hero Won

South Scope Award

The South Scope Award for Best Actor are presented by Southscope , is an Indian-based, monthly, English-language film magazine which focuses on South Indian films The awards were established in 2008.

YearNominated workCategoryResult
2008 Vamshi Best Actor Won
2009 Raaj - The Showman Best Actor [59] Won
IIFA Utsavam
Other awards

Related Research Articles

Kannada cinema Kannada language film industry

Kannada cinema, also known as Sandalwood, Kannada Film Industry or Chandanavana, is the segment of Indian cinema dedicated to the production of motion pictures in the Kannada language widely spoken in the state of Karnataka. The 1934 film Sati Sulochana directed by Y. V. Rao was the first talkie film in the Kannada language. It was also the first film starring Subbaiah Naidu and Tripuramba, and was the first motion picture screened in the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom. The film was produced by Chamanlal Doongaji, who in 1932 founded South India Movietone in Bangalore.

<i>Parashuram</i> (1989 film) 1989 Indian film directed by V. Somashekhar

Parashuram is a 1989 Indian Kannada film directed by V. Somashekar and produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar. The film starred Rajkumar, Mahalakshmi and Vani Viswanath in lead roles. This was V. Somashekhar's last movie with Rajkumar, who incidentally started his directing career with Rajkumar's Bangaarada Panjara (1974). Also this was last movie of Puneeth Rajkumar as a child actor, who later returned as a fully fledged hero in the movie Appu (2002). The film's score and soundtrack was composed by Hamsalekha.

<i>Milana</i> (film) 2007 Indian Kannada-language film directed by Prakash

Milana (transl. Rendezvous) is a 2007 Indian Kannada-language romantic drama film co-written and directed by Prakash, starring Puneeth Rajkumar, Parvathy Thiruvothu and Pooja Gandhi. The film was the latter's debut in Kannada cinema. The supporting cast features Dileep Raj, Sumithra and Mukhyamantri Chandru. Music for the film was composed by Mano Murthy.

<i>Vamshi</i> (film) 2008 Indian film directed by Prakash

Vamshi is an Indian Kannada-language action drama film starring Puneeth Rajkumar and Nikitha in the lead roles. It is directed by Prakash and produced by Smt. Parvathamma Rajkumar. The film was released on 2 October 2008.

<i>Appu</i> (2002 film) 2002 film by Puri Jagannadh

Appu is a 2002 Indian Kannada romantic action comedy film directed by Puri Jagannadh. It stars Puneeth Rajkumar and Rakshita in lead roles. The supporting cast features Avinash, Srinivasa Murthy and Sumithra. The film was produced by Puneeth's mother, Parvathamma Rajkumar under Poornima Enterprises, the production banner of the Rajkumar family. It marked the screen debut Puneeth and Rakshita in lead roles.

Vijay Raghavendra Indian Kannada actor

Vijay Raghavendra is an Indian film actor who appears predominantly in Kannada films. Referred to popularly as "Chinnari Mutha", Vijay is the son of producer S. A. Chinne Gowda and nephew of actor Rajkumar.

<i>Bettada Hoovu</i> 1985 film

Bettada Hoovu is a 1985 Indian Kannada-language film directed by N. Lakshminarayan, based on the Shirley L. Arora's novel What then, Raman?. Produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar, it stars her son Puneeth Rajkumar in the lead role. Puneeth plays Ramu, a young boy born into a poor family, who is fond of reading books, but is forced to discontinue his studies and support his family financially. His performance earned him the National Film Award for Best Child Artist. Deccan Herald rated the film number one among the best "children's movies in Kannada".

<i>Jackie</i> (2010 film) 2010 Indian film directed by Duniya Soori

Jackie is a 2010 Kannada action drama film directed by Soori and features Puneeth Rajkumar and Bhavana in the lead roles. It was released in Kannada on 14 October 2010 to a critical acclaim and was adjudged the Best Film of 2010 at the South Filmfare Awards. The Telugu dubbed version was released on 6 May 2011

<i>Paramathma</i> (film) 2011 Indian film directed by Yogaraj Bhat

Paramathma is a 2011 Indian Kannada-language romantic comedy film written, directed and co-produced by Yogaraj Bhat. It stars Puneeth Rajkumar and Deepa Sannidhi in the lead roles and it was released on 6 October 2011, on the eve of Vijayadashami. Halfway through its production, the film's TV rights was procured for a record 3.5 Crore. Even before the release, the film grossed a record amount of over 25 Cr included broadcasting and distribution rights. Since release, the movie has garnered a cult status for its metaphorical narration and out-of-the box storytelling.

<i>Anna Bond</i> 2012 Indian film directed by Duniya Soori

Anna Bond is a 2012 Kannada romantic action film written and directed by Duniya Soori. Produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar, it stars Puneeth Rajkumar, Nidhi Subbaiah and Priyamani in the lead roles and Jackie Shroff in a negative role. The movie was released on 1 May 2012. V. Harikrishna was the music director for the film. The film follows Bond Ravi, a karate champ, as he valiantly searches for Charlie, a precarious rival, with his sidekick, Chapathi Babu, so as to rescue his ladylove Meera.

<i>Kannadada Kotyadhipati</i>

Kannadada Kotyadhipati is an Indian Kannada language quiz game show, produced by BIG Synergy which is official adaptation of Internationally acclaimed Britain's game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. The first season was aired on Star Suvarna from 12 March 2012. First two seasons hosted by Puneeth Rajkumar and Ramesh Aravind for third season. The fourth season started from June 22, 2019 on Colors Kannada with Puneeth Rajkumar as a host. Season 4 onwards it streams on OTT platform Voot.

Parvathamma Rajkumar Indian film producer and distributor

Parvathamma Rajkumar was an Indian film producer and distributor. She was the wife of veteran Kannada actor Rajkumar. She produced successful films featuring Rajkumar and their sons Shiv Rajkumar, Puneeth Rajkumar and Raghavendra Rajkumar under the production house named "Poornima Enterprises". Actresses who found fame in her productions include Malashri, Prema, Rakshita, Sudha Rani and Ramya. She was awarded a doctorate from Bangalore University.

S. P. Varadappa

Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Varadaraju, also spelt Singanallor Puttaswamaiah Varadaraj and popularly known as Varadappa or S. P. Varadappa, was a Kannada actor and producer, who produced movies such as Bhootayyana Maga Aiyyu starring Lokesh and Hemavathi starring Udaykumar.

<i>Power</i> (2014 Kannada film) 2014 Kannada film by K. Madesh

Power is a 2014 Indian Kannada-language action comedy film. It is a remake of the 2011 Telugu film Dookudu which itself was partially inspired from the 2003 German tragicomedy film Good Bye, Lenin!. It was directed by K. Madesh and produced by Ram Achata, Gopichand Achanta, and Anil Sunkara for 14 Reels Entertainment. It features Puneeth Rajkumar and Trisha in lead roles, alongside Prabhu, Kelly Dorjee, Rangayana Raghu, Sadhu Kokila in supporting roles.

Puneeth Rajkumar filmography Filmography of Indian actor Puneeth Rajkumar

Puneeth Rajkumar is an Indian actor known for his work in Kannada films. As a six month old infant, he made a cameo appearance in V. Somashekar's Premada Kanike (1976) and followed it with Sanaadi Appanna (1977) when he was a year old. Most of his earlier films had his father Rajkumar playing his reel father as well. Films like Thayige Thakka Maga, Vasantha Geetha and Bhagyavantha followed up which also showcased his singing skills. For the N. Lakshminarayan film Bettada Hoovu he was awarded the National Film Award for Best Child Artist. He ended his childhood appearances with the action film Parashuram.

Santhosh Ananddram is an Indian film lyric writer, screenwriter, director who works in Kannada cinema. He rose to fame with his debut directional venture 2014 film Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari. He later went on and directed Kannada Star Puneeth Rajkumar in Raajakumara, which was considered to be an all time industry hit in Kannada cinema.

<i>Run Antony</i> 2016 Indian film directed by Raghu Shastri

Run Antony is a 2016 Indian Kannada action thriller film written and directed by Raghu Shastri, making his debut. Produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar and Guru Rajkumar under Vajreshwari Hospitality banner, the film stars Vinay Rajkumar and debutants Sushmita Joshi and Rukhsar Mir in the lead roles. The film's score and soundtrack is composed by Manikanth Kadri whilst the cinematography is by Manohar Joshi.

<i>Raajakumara</i> 2017 Indian film directed by Santhosh Ananddram

Raajakumara is a 2017 Indian Kannada language action drama film written and directed by Santhosh Ananddram and produced by Vijay Kiragandur under the Hombale Films banner. It stars Puneeth Rajkumar and Priya Anand in lead roles. Apart from them, the film features an ensemble cast of Ananth Nag, Sarath Kumar, Prakash Raj, Chikkanna, Sadhu Kokila, Achyuth Kumar, Avinash in important roles. V. Harikrishna composed the film's score and soundtrack. The film was released on 24 March 2017 and received positive reviews from critics and audience. The film went to become Highest Grossing Kannada Film at the time of its release until K.G.F: Chapter 1 surpassed it.

Honnavalli Krishna is an Indian film actor in the Kannada film industry. Some of the notable films of Honnavalli Krishna as an actor include Ratha Sapthami (1986), Aasegobba Meesegobba (1990), Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu (1974), Janumada Jodi (1996).

Puneeth Rajkumar discography Discography of Indian actor Puneeth Rajkumar

Puneeth Rajkumar is an Indian actor cum singer who works in Kannada films.


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