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Rajkumar (actor)

rajkumar actor hindi, rajkumar actor films
Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju 24 April 1929 – 12 April 2006, known mononymously by his stage name Rajkumar, was an Indian actor and singer in the Kannada cinema Widely acclaimed as one of the finest actors in the history of Indian cinema, he is considered a cultural icon, and holds a matinée idol status in the Kannada diaspora, among whom he is popularly adulated as Nata Saarvabhouma Emperor of Actors, Bangarada Manushya Man of Gold, Vara Nata Gifted Actor and Rajanna Brother Raj

A method actor, Rajkumar entered the film industry after his long stint as a dramatist with Gubbi Veeranna's Gubbi Drama Company, which he joined at the age of eight, and got his first break as a lead in the 1954 film Bedara Kannappa He went on to work in over 220 films essaying a variety of roles, and excelling in portraying mythological and historical characters in films such as Bhakta Kanakadasa 1960, Ranadheera Kanteerava 1960, Satya Harishchandra 1965, Immadi Pulikeshi 1967, Sri Krishnadevaraya 1970, Bhakta Kumbara 1974, Mayura 1975 and Babruvahana 1977 and Bhakta Prahlada 1983 Trained in classical music during his theatre days, Rajkumar also became an accomplished singer in Kannada cinema and despite imperfections in Shruti and pitch, he came to be known for his diction in the language He mostly sang for his own films since 1974 The songs "Yaare Koogadali", "Huttidare Kannada", "Hey Dinakara" and "Naadamaya" became widely popular For his rendition of the latter song, he was awarded the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer Well known for his highly disciplined and simple lifestyle in both personal and professional fronts, Rajkumar was also an avid Yoga, Pranayama and Carnatic music performer In 2000, he was kidnapped from his farmhouse at Gajanur by Veerappan and was released after 108 days His final screen appearance came in Jogi in 2005 He died of cardiac arrest at his residence in Bangalore on 12 April 2006 at the age of 77

In his film career, Rajkumar received thirteen Karnataka State Film Awards, Eight South Filmfare Awards and one National Film Award He received the NTR National Award in 2002 He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Mysore, and is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 1983 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1995 for lifetime contribution to Indian Cinema


  • 1 Early life
  • 2 Career
    • 21 As actor
    • 22 As singer
      • 221 Devotional songs
  • 3 Personal life
    • 31 Family
    • 32 Abduction
    • 33 Death and memorial
  • 4 Personality
  • 5 Kannada language movement
  • 6 Awards and honours
    • 61 National Film Awards
    • 62 Filmfare Awards South
    • 63 Karnataka State Film Awards
    • 64 Other awards and honours
    • 65 Sarthaka Suvarna
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links

Early life

Rajkumar was born on 24 April 1929 in Gajanur, a hamlet in a predominantly Kannada-speaking Talavadi taluk in the erstwhile Madras Presidency in present-day Erode district, Tamil Nadu His father, Puttaswamayya and mother, Lakshmamma were impoverished theatre artists from Singanallur Puttaswamayya was good at playing roles such as Kamsa, Ravana and Hiranyakashipu Rajkumar left school at eight and was later discovered by film producers, who cast him in bit roles that he played till he was 25 Originally, he was named Mutturaja, after the Muthaththii Raya a name for the Hindu deity Hanuman, which is a temple deity located in Muthathi, a settlement on the banks of the river Kaveri in present-day Karnataka

Before acting in what would become his first film as a lead; Bedara Kannappa in 1954, he appeared in Sri Srinivasa Kalyana in 1952, as one of the seven Saptarishi sages It was an insignificant role, he remembered that the scene was over before he recognized himself in the scene


As actor

Main article: Rajkumar filmography

Rajkumar started his career with his father in a troupe led by Gubbi Veeranna In 1953, he was spotted by film director H L N Simha, who was on the lookout for well-built, pleasant-faced Bedara Kannappa Simha eventually signed him for the film and christened him "Rajkumar"

He acted only in Kannada apart from Sri Kalahastiswara Mahatyam in Telugu, a remake of Bedara Kannappa He acted in 206 movies, excluding his guest appearances He owned a production company called Vajreshwari Production under the banner Dakshayani Combines Bhaagyada Baagilu was his 100th film, Devataa Manushya was 200th film and Shabdavedhi was last film

His character depictions ranged from love to double and triple roles, from action and mythological characters to portrayals of contemporary social causes in the span over five decades Rajkumar along with his contemporaries Udaya Kumar and Kalyan Kumar were "Kumara Thrayaru" of the Kannada cinema He acted in 36 films with Udaya Kumar and in 5 films with Kalyan Kumar The films presented a populist version of Karnataka's history, focusing on the southern kingdoms from the Vijayanagara Empire and later to the intrigue and mystery of the Mysore royalty

He made historical movies such as Ranadheera Kanteerava and Kaviratna Kalidasa He made movies from Kannada novels and made movies against perceived social evils such as Shabdavedhi on drug abuse He acted with heroines of southern cinema such as Jayanti 36 films, Pandaribai 18 films, Leelavathi 28 films, Bharati 28 films, Kalpana 19 films, Aarathi 13 films, B Saroja Devi 10 films, Harini 11 films, Krishna Kumari 8 films, Madhavi 6 films, Manjula 7 films, Jayamala 6 films, Lakshmi 5 films, Geetha 5 films, Saritha 5 films and Jayaprada 4 films Bollywood actress Rekha made her debut in Operation Jackpotnalli CID 999 with him He acted for south Indian directors from BR Pantulu and Puttanna Kanagal to Shankar Nag and T S Nagabharana Chi Udaya Shankar has written dialogues and songs for 85 of his movies

Rajkumar is the first Indian artist to enact the role of James Bond in Jedara Bale Later, in Operation Jackpotnalli CID 999, Goadalli CID 999 and Operation Diamond Racket he played roles chronicling the adventures of Prakash aka Agent CID 999, a James Bondesque superspy Much of these films were made from the directing pair of Dorai and Bhagwan who began making spy flicks relatively late in their career, including Operation Diamond Racket

As singer

Rajkumar trained in classical music when he was with Gubbi Veeranna's theatre troupe The song "Om Namaha Shivaya" from the 1956 film Ohileshwara, that he also starred in, was his first in a film He subsequently sang "Thumbithu Manava" for Mahishasura Mardini 1959 However, he became a full-fledged singer only in 1974 when he sung in place of P B Sreenivas for Sampathige Savaal, who had till then sung for most songs picturised on Rajkumar, fell ill Rajkumar sang the "energetic" song "Yaare Koogadali" for the film which became widely popular during the time and is considered one of his best songs

Rajkumar has been credited for having sung songs of various genres and each rendition according to the mood of the scene in the film In "Yaaru Tiliyaru Ninna" for Babruvahana 1977, a prosodic form of Kannada poetry that required the tone to be a combination of sarcasm and anger, he blended the "twin skills of theatrics and music" For Nee Nanna Gellalare 1981, he sang two songs — "Jeeva Hoovagide" and "Anuraga Enaytu" — beginning both with the refrain "I love you", that is "full of Carnatic gamakas" After the same tone in the refrain, they "take on a life of their own", with the form according to "love and happiness" in the scene and the latter when there is "love, but a discord" in the scene He is known widely for his rendition of "Nadamaya" for Jeevana Chaitra 1992, a song based on raga of Todi and "with complex graces, and strings other ragas as it progresses He switches ragas with ease, and sings complex swara patterns like a professional classical artiste" For the rendition, he was awarded the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer His frequent collaboration with the composer duo of Rajan–Nagendra gave musical hits such as Bangarada Hoovu 1967, Nyayave Devaru 1971, Swayamvara 1973, Sri Srinivasa Kalyana 1974, Nanobba Kalla 1979 and Chalisuva Modagalu 1982

Rajkumar has sung and enacted for songs about Kannadigas, Kannada language and culture, such as "Jenina Holeyo" from Chalisuva Modagalu, "Maanavanagi Huttidmele" from Jeevana Chaitra and "Huttidare Kannada Naadal Huttabeku" from the film Aakasmika He sang a complete English song called "If You Come Today" "Tick Tick Tick" in one of his Bond films – Operation Diamond Racket in 1978 This song became an internet meme in India following Rajkumar's demise in 2006

In later years, he lent his voice to a few actors and sang background solos For the song Kannappa Kottanu, from Muddina Maava, he provided playback to S P Balasubrahmanyam This was a rare occasion He sang Kalidasa shlokas such as "Maanikya Veena" and ghazal-based songs such as "Sadaa Kannale", "Kanneera Dhaare" and "Yaava Kaviyu"

Devotional songs

Rajkumar recorded many devotional songs beginning in the 1970s for Columbia Recording Company starting with "Mantralayakke Hogona" in 1972 His widely popular LP record "Guruvara Bantamma" was also recorded during the time In 1979, Sangeetha Cassettes became India's first licensed pre-recorded cassettes Rajkumar sang for the record producers devotional songs glorifying the saint Raghavendra and the Hindu deity Hanuman

Personal life


Rajkumar married a 14-year-old Parvathamma, his cousin, on 25 June 1953 in Nanjangud It went ahead in accordance to the agreement that their fathers made following the latter's birth Together, they had five children; sons Shiva, Raghavendra and Puneeth, and daughters Lakshmi and Poornima Having lived a "hand to mouth existence" after marriage in a joint family that included 24 children in Madras, the family moved to Bangalore in 1972, after Rajkumar began getting multiple film offers


Main article: Kidnapping of Rajkumar

On 30 July 2000, Rajkumar, his son-in-law Govindaraju and two others were abducted by Veerappan from the actor's palatial house at Gajanur Erode district of Tamil Nadu Veerappan demanded the release of his gang members who were being held in jail under a defunct anti-terrorism law The event prompted a massive manhunt and threw the Karnataka government into crisis The Supreme Court of India opined that it was "unpardonable" on the part of the government of Tamil Nadu for not providing security to Rajkumar, although they had information a year earlier that he faced a threat of being kidnapped by Veerappan A Special Task Force STF set up to capture Veerapan had earlier warned Rajkumar against visiting the farmhouse, but his son Raghavendra later acknowledged that his father had not taken the threat seriously

After a total of 108 days in captivity, Rajkumar was released unharmed on 15 November 2000 His abduction and the manner in which his release was secured are a mystery

Death and memorial

Bust of Rajkumar in Jayanagar

On 12 April 2006, Rajkumar returned to his Sadashivanagar residence after his regular 20-minute walk and had a general medical check-up by 11:30 am IST At 1:50 pm IST, as he sat on a sofa, he asked a member of his family to slow the fan down and immediately collapsed His personal physician Ramana Rao was called for, who rushed within three minutes, and performed external cardiac massage and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation Rajkumar was then taken to MS Ramaiah Memorial Hospital and was administered intracardiac injections Efforts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead at 2:05 pm IST

Rajkumar's death triggered an outpouring of grief There was major shutdown in the city of Bengaluru An unofficial bandh closure of all shops and other establishments was observed Several people attempted suicide after hearing the news; most of them were rescued The funeral cortège the next day started from Sree Kanteerava Stadium to Kanteerava Studios a few minutes before 12:30 pm IST, a distance of 14 kilometres 87 mi Around two million people followed his remains However, the entire cortège was marked with violence with mourners attacking public property and police, who resorted to lathi-charge and tear gas Passing through Krishna Raja Circle, Palace Road, T Chowdiah Road, Sadashivanagar, Yeswanthpur and Goraguntepalya localities, the cortège reached the Studios at 4:45 pm IST His body was buried with State honors at 5:45 pm IST at the premises of the studios The last rites were performed by his eldest son Shiva, guided by priests from the city's ISKCON and the Gayathri Temples His eyes were donated to two visually impaired persons the same day

On 19 April, the government of Karnataka announced that a memorial would be made in Rajkumar's honor at Kanteerava Studios in association with the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce at the cost ₹100 million The blueprint of the memorial was constituted by a panel comprising members of Rajkumar's family, representatives of the Kannada film industry and the state government After a delay over allocation of funds and land, it was finally opened on November 2014, after a sum of ₹70 million was used in developing it over an area of 25 acres 10 ha It included "an open-air auditorium, mini-water body, landscaping and a bust" of Rajkumar 40 photographs of selected films of Rajkumar were kept on display at the inauguration A permanent exhibition on the history of Rajkumar's films that included his photographs, trophies and souvenirs, alongside a stock of dialogue, scripts, songs and other memorabilia associated with him were put on display An annual calendar for 2012 was released containing photographs of Rajkumar and stills from his films


Rajkumar was best regarded for being a highly disciplined man in both his personal and professional lives He practised Carnatic music for an hour each day in the morning and in the evening His punctuality is another noted aspect Waking up every morning at 4 am, he performed Yoga and Pranayama, which is said to be the reason behind his physical and mental fitness His Yoga performances can be seen in the first clips of his film Kaamana Billu Rajkumar is the first actor of world cinema who has mastered Yoga

He shunned smoking and drinking both on screen and off To avoid setting a precedent among his fans, he made sure that the roles he accepted did not require him to smoke or drink or utter swear words, and extended this decision to real life His dress code always consisted of a simple white dhoti and shirt He spent most of his vacations in his hometown, Gajanur, near the forest area where he was later abducted

He estimated producers as "Anna Daataru" food providers and adored fans as "Abhimaani Devarugalu"Fan Gods

He was a devotee of Raghavendra Swami

Kannada language movement

Main article: Gokak agitation

Although Rajkumar rejected numerous offers to don the political mantle, he was able to influence the State's political fortunes without ever being officially involved in politics However, his apolitical outlook did not prevent him from protecting and espousing the cause of Kannada and Karnataka He had time and again advocated the cause of seeking primacy to Kannada, and hence was asked to lead a movement about making Kannada a compulsory language for primary education based on the "Gokak report", popularly known as Gokak varadhi He became actively involved in the movement and soon became the force behind the Gokak movement He took a rally from Belagavi to Bengaluru and gave speeches about the importance of Kannada Millions of people gathered only to have a glimpse of Rajkumar and listen to his speech The movement became such a rage that the government relented and made Kannada a compulsory language of education in Karnataka

Awards and honours

Rajkumar was awarded numerous State, National and International awards He was a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, a doctorate from Mysore University and the Karnataka Ratna, the highest civilian honour of the State of Karnataka, recognising him as a "Jewel of Karnataka State" In 1985, he was honored by a famous Kentucky colonel award by the then-governor of Kentucky, United States By this, he became the only Indian actor to receive this prestige from the state of Kentucky, USA In 1995, he received the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his outstanding contributions to the Kannada film industry In 2011, during the 83rd birth anniversary of Rajkumar, the Chief Minister of Karnataka announced that the state government is recommending Rajkumar for a Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of the country for his outstanding contribution to the film industry

National Film Awards

  • 1992 – Best Male Playback Singer for the song "Naadamaya Ee Lokavella" from the movie Jeevana Chaitra
  • 1995 – Dadasaheb Phalke Award
  • 2002 – NTR National Award

Filmfare Awards South

Rajkumar holds the record of winning Eight South Filmfare Awards in the Best Actor category in Kannada cinema Below is the films for which he received the Best Actor awards include:

  • Gandhada Gudi in 1973
  • Mayura in 1975
  • Shankar Guru in 1978
  • Keralida Simha in 1981
  • Shravana Banthu – 1984
  • Ade Kannu – 1985
  • Bhagyada Lakshmi Baramma – 1986
  • Aakasmika in 1993

Total of 8 Filmfare awards for best actor category

Karnataka State Film Awards

  • Rajkumar has won 13 Karnataka State Film Awards 9 for best actor, 2 for best singer, 1 lifetime achievement

Best Actor:

  • 1967–68 – Bangaarada Hoovu
  • 1970–71 – Kula Gourava
  • 1974–75 – Bhakta Kumbara
  • 1976–77 – Babruvaahana
  • 1981–82 – Hosa Belaku
  • 1982–83 – Haalu Jenu
  • 1988–89 – Devatha Manushya
  • 1992–93 – Jeevana Chaitra
  • 1993–94 – Odahuttidavaru

Best Singer:

  • 1993–94 -Aakasmika – Huttidare Kannada Naadal Huttabeku
  • 1994–95 – Thayi Illada Thavaru – Arishina Kunkuma

Other awards and honours

  • Padma Bhushan in 1983
  • Karnataka Ratna in 1992 and Title: Nata Saarvabhouma in 1967 from the Government of Karnataka
  • An honorary Doctorate from the Mysore University in 1976
  • Kentucky colonel, an honorary order from the governor of Kentucky, United States in 1985
  • Postal Stamps and Gold coins bearing the actor's likeness were issued in 2009 by the Central Government of India
  • More than 1100 statues of Rajkumar are placed in Karnataka A statue in the Mayura touch placed in Basaveshwaranagar is worth 10 million rupees
  • The Nadoja Award, an honorary Doctorate from Hampi University in 1999
  • Nine Karnataka State Film Awards in the Best Actor category
  • Two Karnataka State Film Awards in the Best Male Playback Singer category
  • "Vishwa Maanava" named by Kannada poet Kuvempu
  • Etv Kannadiga of the Year Award in 2003
  • A 6-kilometre 37 mi road is named Dr Rajkumar road The road stretches from the government soap factory in Yeshwanthpur to Prasanna theater, Magadi road in Bangalore
  • On 24 April 2017, Rajkumar's 88th birth anniversary, Google India dedicated a Google Doodle in his honor

Sarthaka Suvarna

On July 2005, the government of Karnataka captioned by N Dharam Singh, the Chief Minister of Karnataka conducted a felicitation ceremony for honoring Rajkumar for his 50 years of service to Karnataka at Bangalore Palace named Sarthaka Suvarna Significant Gold This ceremony was attended by the entire Kannada film industry marking respect and tribute to the legend, and could be called an official celebration of Golden Jubilee of Rajkumar's works and services to the Kannada film industry

See also

  • Rajkumar filmography
  • Cinema of Karnataka


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  4. ^ a b c d e Sharma, Ravi 5 May 2006 "Pride of Kannada" Frontline Bangalore 
  5. ^ a b c "Nata Saarvabhouma Dr Rajkumar no more" Deccan Herald 12 April 2006 Archived from the original on 17 October 2013 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Rajkumar, Beloved Indian Film Star, Dies at 77" The New York Times Retrieved 30 October 2013 
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  8. ^ a b Times of India – Total recall of 109 days of kidnap drama The Times of Indiaindiatimescom 29 July 2001
  9. ^ a b Deccan Herald News Service – Eight deaths and a funeral Deccan Herald 14 April 2006
  10. ^ a b "40th National Film Festival" PDF Directorate of Film Festivals dffnicin pp 49–50 Retrieved 18 September 2011 
  11. ^ a b "Google doodles legendary Kannada actor Dr Rajkumar on 88th birth anniversary" Retrieved 24 November 2017 
  12. ^ a b "Padma Awards Directory1954–2009" PDF Ministry of Home Affairs Archived from the original PDF on 10 May 2013 Retrieved 14 December 2010 
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  14. ^ a b "Dr Raj Kumar | Gubbi Karnataka Films | Bedara Kannappa | Shabda vedhi | ನಟಸಾರ್ವಭೌಮ 'ರಾಜ್' ಐದನೇ ಪುಣ್ಯತಿಥಿ" Kannadawebduniacom Retrieved 30 October 2013 
  15. ^ Also in Tamil VEDAN KANNAPPA" A remake of Bedara Kannappa Archived 1 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
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  19. ^ Archived 15 September 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "Frontline : In-depth analysis of issues and events in India and around the world" Frontlineonnetcom Archived from the original on 21 September 2012 Retrieved 30 October 2013 
  21. ^ In ‘Shabdavedi’ Dr Rajkumar waged a war against drug menace Supergoodmoviescom 6 June 2011
  22. ^ "The man who changed Kannada cinema" Rediffcom Retrieved 30 October 2013 
  23. ^ Rajkumar Filmography Rajkumarmemorialcom
  24. ^ Vijayasarathy, RG 17 April 2006 "The best of Dr Rajkumar" Rediff India Abroad Retrieved 25 September 2007 
  25. ^ Shivaraj Kumar to play James Bond in Operation Golden Gang Entertainmentoneindiain 20 July 2010
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  31. ^ Video on YouTube
  32. ^ "Songs sung by DrRajkumar | Dr Rajkumar" Annavaru Archived from the original on 2 November 2013 Retrieved 30 October 2013 
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  38. ^ Veerappan's prize catch The Hindu 20 December 1998
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  40. ^ "Kannada actor Rajkumar dies of heart attack" The Times of India 13 April 2006 Retrieved 24 April 2017 
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  42. ^ "Rajkumar fans turn violent in Bangalore" Press Trust of India Hindustan Times 13 April 2006 Archived from the original on 24 April 2017 Retrieved 24 April 2017 
  43. ^ "Rajkumar's eyes grafted to two visually impaired" Press Trust of India The Times of India 13 April 2006 Retrieved 24 April 2017 
  44. ^ "Rajkumar Memorial to cost Rs10 Crore" indiaglitzcom 20 April 2006 Archived from the original on 24 April 2017 Retrieved 24 April 2017 
  45. ^ "Dr Rajkumar Memorial" Kanteerava Studios kanteeravastudioscom Archived from the original on 24 April 2017 Retrieved 24 April 2017 
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  47. ^ "Dr Rajakumar Calender Continues" supergoodmoviescom 5 January 2012 Archived from the original on 10 September 2012 Retrieved 24 April 2017 
  48. ^ "Padmabushana Dr Rajkumar – The name will have a mesmerizing effect on several lachs of Kannadigas who have grown with the aura and magical presence of Rajkumar in the field of Kannada Cinema and Culture Online Bangaluru Bengaluru" Online Bangalore Retrieved 30 October 2013 
  49. ^ Archived 6 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  50. ^ Times of India – Gajanur awaits the return of the native The Times of Indiaindiatimescom 12 November 2001
  51. ^ Outlook Press Trust of India – Rajkumar: Undisputed cult figure in Karnataka Newsoutlookindiacom
  52. ^ State to recommend Raj for Bharat Ratna Deccan Herald 25 April 2011
  53. ^ "Ilayaraja, Ambarish, Krishna get NTR award" Hyderabad: The Hindu, Business Line 30 August 2007 Retrieved 4 January 2012 
  54. ^ a b c https://commonswikimediaorg/wiki/File:41st_Filmfare_Awards_Southjpg
  55. ^ a b c The Times of India directory and year book including who's who The Times of India 1984 p 235 
  56. ^ "Govt Of Karnataka Organizes 88th Birthday Anniversary Of Karnataka Ratna Dr Rajkumar | #HappyBirthdayDrRaj" wwwfilmibeein 
  57. ^ "Book on Dr Rajkumar presented to British Library" Deccan Herald Retrieved 24 November 2017 
  58. ^ "Archived copy" Archived from the original on 5 April 2012 Retrieved 24 September 2011 
  59. ^ "A requiem for Dr Rajkumar – Times Of India" Articlestimesofindiaindiatimescom Retrieved 30 October 2013 
  60. ^ "Dr Rajkumar : Kannada Actor| Singer Movies, Biography, Pictures" chilokacom 
  61. ^ HDMC did volte-face on renaming road: Vedike, The Times of India, 22 April 2011
  62. ^ "Google honours veteran Kannada actor Rajkumar with a doodle on his 88th birth anniversary" The Indian Express 24 April 2017 
  63. ^ Awards    "Sarthaka Suvarna – Honor To Rajkumar" Chitralokacom Retrieved 30 October 2013 CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list link

External links

  • Rajkumar on IMDb
  • Farewell, Dr Rajkumar Rediffcom

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