Veteran Kannada actor, producer & director Dwarakish passes away

Born on August 19, 1942, at Hunsur in Mysuru district, Dwarakish was best known for his comedy roles which made him a household name in the State.
Veteran Kannada film actor, producer and director Bungle Shama Rao Dwarakanath, popularly known as Dwarakish
Veteran Kannada film actor, producer and director Bungle Shama Rao Dwarakanath, popularly known as DwarakishPhoto | Special arrangement

BENGALURU: The Kannada film industry mourns the loss of Bungle Shama Rao Dwarakanath, affectionately known as Dwarakish, who succumbed to a heart attack on April 16. The veteran star who had been battling prolonged age-related illness, died at the age of 81.

Born on August 19, 1942, in Ittigegud, Mysuru, Dwarakish's journey from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of cinema was marked by determination and talent. After his education at Sharada Vilas and Banumaiah’s school, he later earned a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from CPC Polytechnic.

Following his education, Dwarakish and his brother embarked on an entrepreneurial venture, founding Bharath Auto Spares in Gandhi Square, Mysore. Yet, his true passion lay in acting, a flame ignited by his uncle, renowned cinema director Hunusur Krishnamurthy. In 1963, he made the courageous decision to leave business behind and pursue a career in film.

Bestowed with the name Dwarakish by Kannada filmmaker C. V. Shivashankar, he made significant contributions to the industry, notably as the first producer to introduce Kishore Kumar to Kannada cinema, a move immortalized by the chart-topping song 'Aadu Aata Aadu'.

Initially, he ventured into production with the film Mamatheya Bandhana, but it was through Mayor Muthanna that Dwarakish truly established himself as a full-fledged producer. Under his banner, he produced over 50 films, each contributing to the vibrant collections of Kannada cinema.

He was also bestowed with an honorary doctorate and was honored by the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce for his significant contributions to the Kannada film industry when he turned 80.

His impact on Kannada cinema was unparalleled, marked by numerous milestones. He pioneered international collaborations in filmmaking, with groundbreaking works.

Dwarakish holds the distinction of being the first person from Kannada to shoot the Kannada movie Singapuradalli Rajakulla outside India, which was released in 1978. His other popular projects include Africadalli Sheela, Nee Bareda Kadambari, and Raja Nanna Raja. He also takes credit of bringing singer Kumar Sanu to Kannada cinema.

He has collaborated with luminaries such as Dr Rajkumar and Vishnuvardhan in over a dozen of films including the popular Apthamitra, Mayor Muthanna and Bhagyavanta.

Dwarakish crafted films that delved into diverse themes, from student-teacher relationships to reimagining the Ramayana in contemporary contexts, and exploring the intricacies of familial bonds. He has collaborated with stars like Ambareesh, Rajnikanth, Chiranjeevi, Shashi Kumar, Vinod Raj, Darshan, and Sudeep.

As an actor, Dwarakish adorned various roles with finesse, earning acclaim for his portrayal of characters like Agent 000. His versatility shone through in his last film directed by Ayushman Bhava, showcasing his prowess in comedic roles alongside stalwarts like Narasimha Raju, and Balakrishna.

He was also bestowed with an honorary doctorate and was honored by the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce for his significant contributions to the Kannada film industry when he turned 80. He leaves behind a lasting legacy, celebrated by his peers and fans alike.

Sandalwood celebrities have taken to social media to express their grief over his demise. His mortal remains will be kept for public viewing at his residence and tomorrow at Ravindra Kalakshetra, and he is expected to be laid to rest tomorrow.

With Dwarakish's passing, the Kannada film industry bids farewell to a legendary celebrity.

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