In a podcast, director Yogaraj Bhat also narrated Annavru’s surprising response from when he was kidnapped by Veerappan.

Late Sandalwood star Dr. Rajkumar is seen wearing a white shirt and shawl in the,via Wikimedia Commons
Flix Sandalwood Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 13:25

The late Dr Rajkumar was Kannada film industry’s most cherished actor. Known for his humility, he had touched many lives during his lifetime and enjoyed a great fan following. His contribution to the world of Kannada cinema is well-recognised. On his 15th death anniversary on Monday, many fans shared their remembrances of the actor on social media.

Dr Rajkumar’s family, including his sons Shiva Rajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar and Puneeth Rajkumar, visited his memorial in Bengaluru. Speaking to the press, Puneeth expressed his gratitude towards his father’s fans who continued to support him and his brothers as well.

Celebrated director-writer-musician Yogaraj Bhat talked about ‘Annavru’, as Dr Rajkumar was fondly called by his fans, in a podcast. Discussing various incidents and talents of the late actor, Yogaraj also narrated an interesting anecdote from Dr Rajkumar’s life — when he was abducted by Sandalwood brigand Veerappan.

The actor was abducted by Veerappan in 2000 in Tamil Nadu’s Gajanur and released 108 days later. Recounting the moments just before Rajkumar was freed by the brigand, Yogaraj Bhat says, “This incident is reportedly from the last minutes before his release. The actor shared a very heartfelt yet humorous exchange. For the world, Veerappan was scary, but for Rajkumar he never seemed that way. It’s truly fascinating that they would share such a bond.” 

Later in the podcast, the director spoke about the actor’s love for language and his proficiency in singing.

Raghavendra Rajkumar shared the video on Facebook in memory of his father.

Many celebrities also expressed grief at the void that Dr Rajkumar’s passing left. In a series of tweets, actor Jaggesh wrote about the thespian and his humility. Recounting the memory of hearing about the actor’s death, Jaggesh wrote, “I was taken aback and could not process anything. I felt the same pang I had when my father had passed away.”

From being the first actor in Sandalwood to act in 100 films as the leading man to winning the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke award, Dr Rajkumar’s contribution as a cultural icon was significant in shaping the Kannada film industry. Karnataka’s popular matinee idol, Dr Rajkumar was also honoured with the Karnataka Ratna award.

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