BENGALURU: Google India, on Monday, honoured one of Kannada cinema’s greatest actors, Dr Rajkumar, by dedicating a doodle on his 88th birth anniversary. The doodle is a sketch of Rajkumar acting in a movie, with the audience watching it.
It appears to have been inspired from one of the Phalke award winner’s classic films- 'Kasturi Nivasa'. In 2000, Rajkumar was kidnapped and kept hostage for 109 days by notorious brigand, Veerappan, who operated in the forests of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
A recipient of several awards, including the Padma Bhushan (1982) and the MTR award, Rajkumar was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Mysore for his contribution to films.
Dr Rajkumar, whose stage name was Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju, with over 200 films to his credit, including historic and mythical roles, has never acted as a villain.
He has also never smoked a cigarette onscreen and rarely played the role of a drunkard. Sixteen films with him in the lead were released in 1968.
His death due after a cardiac arrest on April 12, 2006, aged 77, brought Bengaluru to a standstill.
He sang for many of his films since 1974, and has been credited with several hit songs over the past few decades. He has also sung the only English song in the history of Kannada movies, in the 1987 film Operation Diamond Rocket.
Google had earlier teased film buffs to identify the subject of their next doodle, with a silhouette sketch of the actor playing a mythological character.
After the doodle went live in India, Google tweeted: “Actor, singer, legend. Remembering the great #Rajkumar on his 88th birth anniversary.”
Google then started a thread asking twitterati to name the actor’s best film. Several actors from the Kannada film industry, and former cricketer Anil Kumble, also paid tributes on Twitter.
Actor-director Rakshith Shetty shared the doodle with, "Happy Birthday to the Legend, the face of Kannada Cinema, to our Annavru. This is so awesome. Check this out."
He was often called 'Annavaru'- respected older brother in Kannada, by his fans.