In a shock to the Kannada film industry, popular actor Puneeth Rajkumar passed away on Friday, October 29, at the age of 46 after he suffered a heart attack. The actor, popularly known as ‘Power Star,’ is one of the biggest stars of Kannada cinema, and a fan favourite. He is survived by his wife Ashwini and their two daughters.
Puneeth was rushed to Bengaluru’s Vikram Hospital on Friday, October 29, after he complained of chest pain. According to reports, he suffered a heart attack while he was working out in the gym on Friday morning. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital where he passed away. A large number of fans gathered outside Vikram Hospital on hearing the news.
Puneeth Rajkumar is the son of Kannada superstar Dr Rajkumar and Parvathamma. The couple's youngest son, Puneeth started his career as a child actor, and delivered several hit films including Appu (2002), Abhi (2003), Veera Kannadiga (2004), Mourya (2004), Aakash (2005), Ajay (2006), Arasu (2007), Milana (2007), Vamshi (2008), Raam (2009), Jackie (2010), Hudugaru (2011), Raajakumara (2017), and Anjani Putra (2017). Before his death, he was working on a psychological thriller drama titled Dvita, directed by Pawan Kumar, who rose to fame earlier with the film U Turn. Puneeth's older brother Shiva Rajkumar is also a big star in the Kannada film industry
Puneeth won the National Award for Best Child Artist for Bettada Hoovu in 1985. He won four State Awards, the last one for Jackie in 2010-11. The film, along with Prithvi, brought him box-office success after a slump. The actor was known for his discipline in Sandalwood, and was awarded several Filmfare and SIIMA Awards too.
Puneeth was known to be into fitness, and several videos of him working out at the gym have done rounds on social media.
Known for spending his birthday with fans, Puneeth often went to great lengths to fulfil their wishes. In 2012, he published Dr Rajkumar, the Person Behind the Personality, co-authored with Prakruthi N Banwasi. The book is a biography of Dr Rajkumar, told through his son.
Puneeth made his television debut in 2012 with Kannadada Kotyadhipati, the Kannada version of Kaun Banega Crorepati. Puneeth hosted seasons 1, 2 and 4. He also sang several songs for Kannada films, and reportedly donated the money from singing to charity.