How your favourite stars get their nicknames

From Rebel star to Kanasina Rani how Sandalwood actors get their names
news Entertainment Monday, March 21, 2016 - 14:56

If they’re popular, South Indian film stars get titles in a manner of speaking: a name added to their name. The new name, a prefix, could come from a movie they acted in, the name of the character they played, the actor's contribution to the industry, or even how they behave in real life.

Here’s a lowdown on the names of some popular Sandalwood stars:

Rebel Star Ambareesh

Ambareesh’s character in several films has been that of a rebellious young man, and so, became known as the "Rebel Star”.

Ambareesh, with wife Sumalatha

He has another, more rooted, nickname – “Mandya-da Gandu”, after the title of a film by the same name in 1994. Fans also call him Kaliyuga Karna, for his generosity.

Golden Star Ganesh

Having started his career with the television industry, Ganesh wowed audiences with the 2006 Mungaru Male, a runaway hit. The film, his second as a lead actor, ran in theatres for a long time.


Ganesh (Source: Twitter account)

His next film too Hudugaata too was a success, although not quite as popular an Mungaru Male. He enjoyed similar success for the next couple of years, thus earning him the name golden star.

Kanasina Rani Malashri

Every film industry has a dream girl, but Sandalwood has a queen of dreams. Malashri got the name ‘Kanasina Rani’ (queen of dreams) after her 1992 movie of the same name.

Malashree in a still from Kanasina Rani

She was known to be an actor ahead of her times, when it came to costumes and roles that she played. 

Power Star Puneet Rajkumar

Popularly called Appu, Puneeth Rajkumar became known for his powerful performances. 

Incidentally, he has acted in a film titled Power (2014), in thriller involving politics, cops and conspiracy.

Sandalwood Queen Ramya

Ramya, which is not her real name, is often called the "Sandalwood queen" because of her successful career between 2005 and 2008. 

Ramya (Source: Facebook page)

Many would agree that she swept off people’s feet during her peak years. It was the sets of her first film Abhi, opposite Puneet Rajkumar in 2003, that she was named ‘Ramya’ by Parvathamma Rajkumar.

Karate King ​Shankar Nag

Shankar Nag, whose untimely death was a huge loss to Kannada cinema, was known to have introduced karate in fight scenes in Kannada movies.

This took action scenes to a higher level, and made them more intense. 


Son of legendary actor Rajkumar, Shivrajkumar has several names, which he acquired during the course of his career:  

His first three films, Anand, Ratha Sapthami (1986) and Mana Mechchida Hudugi (1987) were all successful, which earned him the title Hattrick Hero.

Almost two decades later, director R Chandru called Shivarajkumar ‘Sandalwood King’ when his 99th film Mylaari released in 2010. Later, director and actor Prem called him Century Star for the 2011 film Jogaiah, which was Shivarajkumar's 100th release.

In 2013, director Harsha called Shivrajkumar ‘Karunada Chakravarthy’ on the occasion of the actor's 51st birthday, which falls on June 12. 

Kiccha Sudeep

Actor Sudeep gets the name Kiccha from the character he played in the 2001 hit film “Huccha”. A remake of Kollywood superhit "Sethu", Sudeep’s character is a bully who turns mad after his enemies assault him.

(Source: Sudeep, Twitter account)

The talented actor also owns the production house Kiccha Creations. In 2015, he was felicitated by the cultural wing of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, and given the title “Abhinaya Chakravarthi”. An emotional Sudeep recalled his early days of struggle in the industry before he made it big in Sandalwood.

Duniya Vijay/ Black Cobra

Vijay started off as a junior film artist in the industry playing small insignificant roles. In 2007, he got his big break with Duniya, a tragic love story with a gangster angle. Racist as it may sound, he is also called “Black Cobra” because of his dark complexion and he is known to have done some of the most challenging stunts, and Kari Chirathe (black leopard), after a 2010 film which did not do very well at the box office.

Real Star Upendra

It was with his directorial venture Om, that Upendra or Uppi, became a big name in the Kannada film industry. Although he had directed a couple of films before Om in 1995, the gangster movie drama catapulted him into a star director and gave the name Real Star. The reason: he cast real gangsters in the film while Shivrajkumar played the lead actor.

Sahasa Simha Vishnuvardhan

One of Kannada cinema’s greatest actors, Vishnuvardhan got his name from his 1982 film of the same name, in which he is said to have done all the stunts.

(Source: Sudeep Twitter account)

The actor made his debut in the 1972 film Vamsha Vriksha, directed by Girish Karnad and BV Karnath, based on writer SL Bhyrappa’s novel of the same name.

Others who have such nicknames include Challenging Star Darshan, Crazy Star Ravichandran, Lovely Star Prem, Rocking Star Yash, Diamond Star Srinagara Kitti, Mass Yuvaraja Sandalwood Prince Chiranjeevi Sarja,

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