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Kannada actors remember Annavaru

Industry recalls him as the gentle giant, finds Yojana Sharma. Bye, Annavaru

india Updated: Apr 14, 2006 19:10 IST

With Rajkumar's demise, Kannada cinema has lost its doyen. He was rightly called Annavaru, for he always stood up for the welfare of Kannada cinema and culture.

Not only was he a fine actor, he was also a noted singer and a champion of social causes. People from the industry remember him as a person who was very grounded to reality.

He never cared for his super star status. Actor Ramesh recalls Rajkumar as the "son of the soil".

"Though I haven't worked with him, I have had the chance to meet him. I haven't met anyone as humble as him. He was the gentle giant of Kannada cinema," recalls Ramesh.

Also see:

Good bye, Annavaru

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Remembering Rajkumar

His collegue, Upendra, shares the same memory. "I have worked with his son, Shiv Rajkumar. That is when I got to meet

Annavaru

. I discussed my scenes with him. The first thing that hit me about Rajkumar was his simplicity. He came across as a very gentle, extremely polite and a learned person. Apart from cinema, he had a god knowledge of literature as well," says Upendra.

Annavaru  called his fans Abhimanadevaru, meaning 'fan gods'. His philosophy was that if my fans can hail me as God, then they are also God for me. Such was the humility of Rajkumar.

Ramesh remembers him as "a master of languages". Rajkumar was seen as a crusader for Kannada culture. He would talk Kannada, show keen interest in activities of the cultural societies and help the upcoming actors, singers and writers.

These are just few of the reasons why his fans and Upendra call him "the Everest of Kannada cinema". "There is no match to the person, in reel life or real life. No body in the present genre of Kannada actors can match up to his charisma," claims Upendra.

His fans also hailed him for his range of acting. He has portrayed as possible characters on screen. "He has played a cop, a dacoit, a king, a mythological character, a lawyer. .. from anything to everything," says Ramesh. He calls Rajkumar as "some one like Amitabh Bachchan for his acting skills and some one like Bala Saheb Thackeray for his crusade for Kannada culture".