Google today is celebrating the 88th birthday of the famous Indian actor known by his stage name Rajkumar. Today’s Google Doodle portrays the actor s iconic smile sitting in the environment of a theater with the Google text as the backdrop. Born on April 24, 1929, Rajkumar s real name is Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju, and he was an acclaimed actor and singer in the Kannada cinema. Rajkumar passed away on April 12, 2006 after he suffered a cardiac arrest at his residence in Bengaluru. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go powered by Intel Jasper Lake Celeron processor revealedAlso Read - Free COVID-19 vaccine: Today’s Google Doodle urges all to get vaccinated, wear mask
Before beginning his career in the film industry, Rajkumar was a dramatist with Gubbi Drama Company, headed by Gubbi Veeranna. Rajkumar s first break was as a lead in the film Bedara Kannappa in 1954, after which he went on to work in more than 220 films. The last film he acted in was Shabdavedhi in the year 2000. Rajkumar s role as an actor varied from love, action, mythological characters to roles portraying contemporary social causes. Rajkumar was also known as the first Indian actor to play the role of James Bond in the film Jedara Bale. He then went to act in a series of films depicting a James Bond-like role.
Speaking about his musical traits, Rajkumar was trained in classical music during his stint with Gubbi Veeranna s drama club. Rajkumar went on to become a full-fledged singer in the year 1974 and has been known to sing songs of different genres and fitting different moods of the scene in films. Amongst the awards Rajkumar received, the most significant is with him being a recipient of the Padma Bhushan. Rajkumar also received the Karnataka Ratna which is the highest civilian honor in the state. He was also awarded a famous Kentucky colonel award becoming the only Indian actor to receive this award. Rajkumar is also a doctorate from Mysore University. ALSO READ: Jamini Roy s 130th birthday celebrated with a Google Doodle
Rajkumar was considered as an iconic actor, and apart from his acting skills, he was also highly praised for his simple lifestyle. Rajkumar is known to be the only Indian actor who avoided habits like drinking alcohol, smoking and even using foul language both professionally and personally. One important incident in his life occurred in 2000 when he was kidnapped by Veerappan from his farm house at Gajanur. He was released unharmed after a period of 108 days. Veerappan had demanded the release of his gang members who were in jail. This event caused a stir in the Karnataka government and even faced criticism by the Supreme Court for not offering security to Rajkumar despite facing threats by Veerappan. ALSO READ: Savitribai Phule s 186th birth anniversary remembered with a Google doodle