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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 before he got his first break as a lead in the 1954 film Bedara Kannappa. He went on to work in over 205 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), Babruvahana (1977) and Bhakta Prahlada (1983). 13 of his films have received National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Kannada (Rajat Kamal) within a span of 15 years from 1954 to 1968. 17 of his films have received Karnataka State Film Awards in five different categories.
Raj Kumar Film Songs Download
Trained in classical music during his theatre days, Rajkumar also became an accomplished playback singer. He mostly sang for his films since 1974. The songs Yaare Koogadali, Huttidare Kannada, Hey Dinakara, Hrudaya Samudra, Manikyaveena and Naadamaya became widely popular. For his rendition of the latter song, he was awarded the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer.
Muthuraj started his acting career with his father in a drama troupe led by Gubbi Veeranna and later joined the drama company of Subbaiah Naidu. In 1953, he was spotted by film director H. L. N. Simha, who was on the lookout for well-built, pleasant-faced man for the starring role in film, Bedara Kannappa. Simha eventually signed Muthuraj for the film and named him Rajkumar.
Prior to Bedara Kannappa, Rajkumar had appeared as a child artist in the 1942 film Bhakta Prahlada in a small role and also in the 1952 film, Sri Srinivasa Kalyana, as Sage Agasthya, one of the Saptarishis (seven sages). It was an insignificant role in which his scene was over even before he recognized himself.
His character depictions ranged from mythological, historical, devotional, James Bond styled spies to romantic, rural, action roles and portrayals of contemporary social causes in the span of over five decades. Rajkumar along with his contemporaries Udaya Kumar and Kalyan Kumar were referred as the Kumara Thrayaru of Kannada cinema. He acted in 36 films with Udaya Kumar and in 5 films with Kalyan Kumar.
Between 1954 to 1969, Kannada film industry produced 207 movies within a span of 15 years and Rajkumar starred in 100 of those. While the early 60s saw him appearing in fantasy genre movies such as Rani Honnamma (1960), Aasha Sundari (1960), Devasundari (1962), Bala Nagamma(1966) and Devara Gedda Manava(1967), he was also noted for doing swashbuckler films such as Vidhivilasa (1962), Veera Kesari (1963), Katari Veera (1966), Madhu Malathi (1966), Simha Swapna (1968), Jaga Mecchida Maga (1972), Bahaddur Gandu (1976) and Huliya Haalina Mevu (1979) at regular intervals in the 1960s and the 1970s.
He acted with heroines of southern cinema such as Jayanti (38 films), Pandaribai (18 films), Leelavathi (28 films), Bharati (26 films), Kalpana (19 films), Aarathi (13 films), B. Saroja Devi (12 films), Rajasree (10 films), Harini (11 films), Krishna Kumari (8 films), Madhavi (7 films), Manjula (7 films), Jayamala (6 films), Lakshmi (5 films), Geetha (5 films), Saritha (5 films) and Jaya Prada (4 films). Actress Rekha made her debut in a lead role with his movie Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999. Sri Lankan based actress Sabeetha Perera also made her Indian movie debut with his film Goa Dalli CID 999. Chi. Udaya Shankar has written dialogues and songs for 85 of his movies. G. K. Venkatesh has scored music for over 50 of his movies. He also has the distinction of having worked with more than 75 directors.
Rajkumar trained in classical music when he was with Gubbi Veeranna's theatre troupe. The track "Om Namaha Shivaya" from the 1956 film Ohileshwara, which he also starred in, was his first song for a film. He subsequently sang "Thumbithu Manava", a duet with S. Janaki, for the movie Mahishasura Mardini (1959). However, he became a full-fledged singer only in 1974 when he sang 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 "Yaare Koogadali" for the film which became widely popular during the time and is considered one of his best songs.
During his career, Rajkumar sang and performed for songs about Kannadigas, the Kannada language and culture, such as "Jenina Holeyo" from Chalisuva Modagalu, "Maanavanagi Huttidmele" from Jeevana Chaitra and "Huttidare Kannada" from the film Aakasmika. He sang a complete English song called "If You Come Today" ("Tick Tick Tick") in the movie 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 Deepavali Deepavali  from Muddina Maava, he provided playback to S. P. Balasubrahmanyam. This was a rare occasion. "Hrudaya Samudra Kalaki" from Ashwamedha and "Hey Dinakara" from Om are the two other popular songs sung by Rajkumar for other actors. He also sang Kalidasa shlokas such as "Maanikya Veena" and ghazal-based songs such as "Sadaa Kannale", "Kanneera Dhaare" and "Yaava Kaviyu".
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 the devotional songs glorifying the saint Raghavendra and the Hindu deity Hanuman.
At the age of 24, Rajkumar married his 14-year-old cousin, Parvathamma, on 25 June 1953 in Nanjangud. This was in accordance with the betrothal 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.
It was observed that after 15 years into his career, in the mid sixties, when new young filmmakers were searching for actors who were less theatrical, Rajkumar had to undergo a transformation in his acting style and succeeded in proving that he could handle roles which were subtle, mellow and soft without the need for theatrical histrionics. He went on to be known for portraying versatile roles with elan.
Amitabh Bachchan had praised Rajkumar's simplicity and his ability to perform any role to perfection. Anil Kapoor called him the "emperor of all the actors" and a pride of Indian film industry.
Some observers are of the opinion that his star appeal helped bring together the diverse regions of Karnataka. The state was carved out in 1956, bringing together different regions like Hyderabad Karnataka, which were areas ruled by the erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad; Mumbai Karnataka, which has a strong Marathi influence; Old Mysore region ruled by the Mysore royal family and the hilly regions and coastal belt. Each region has a distinct identity within the state and Rajkumar was accepted as a Kannada icon across all regions. He spoke Kannada in a distinct way which had a universal appeal across the state. This was an important aspect since his career played out when the state's identity was still evolving. Rajkumar's movies were largely credited for creating a unified Kannada cultural space after the formation of the state. It was reported that before linguistic reorganization of the states, the default state border for the Kannada speaking population was the last point where Rajkumar films were distributed.
He was considered as a strong symbol of Kannada identity. Bollywood actor Prithviraj Kapoor had requested Rajkumar to act with him in a Hindi movie but Rajkumar had refused the offer in spite of Hindi movies having wider market than Kannada. Later, Prithviraj Kapoor went on to share the screen with him in the Kannada movie Sakshatkara directed by Puttanna Kanagal. He had also refused to appear in a cameo for Amitabh Bachchan's 1983 Hindi movie Coolie as he did not want to appear in a non-Kannada movie. Further, he thought that it would not be good for an actor to look down on another actor as the scene involved Amitabh touching the feet of Rajkumar's character - a sequence which appeared before the introduction song of Amitabh's character. In spite of having appeared only in Kannada movies, he was reasonably popular amongst the non- Kannadigas too. His films have inspired many non-Kannadigas to learn the language. In spite of strong Kannada conservatism in his movies, they were noted to have transcended the barriers of language to connect with the ethos of the nation.
On the occasion of Rajkumar's 90th birthday, an audio-visual musical extravaganza fund raiser programme titled Raj Vaibhava was conducted in Greater Boston for the benefit of a retirement home in Mumbai. In 2012, an entertainment programme called Dr.Raj Vaibhava based on his movies and songs was conducted in Kuwait in his honour.
Rajkumar was known 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. He was referred to as Gaanagandharva (translation: a heavenly singer). 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. His waist size was 32 at the time of his death. This fitness is attributed to his practice of Yoga. Actor John Kokken had revealed that Rajkumar was the inspiration behind him performing Yoga every day.