Balakrishna (Kannada actor)
|T. N. Balakrishna|
2 November 1913|
Kingdom of Mysore, British India
|Died||19 July 1995
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Balakrishna (2 November 1913 – 19 July 1995) was an Indian actor in the Kannada film industry. He was said to have a hearing problem and some say that he was totally deaf. However, he would catch the lip movements of the artists and would narrate the dialogues spontaneously. He was popular for his comic and villain roles in films like Muriyada Mane (1964), Bangaarada Manushya (1972), Gandhada Gudi (1973) and Kaamana Billu (1983) and appeared in over a hundred films that starred Rajkumar in the lead role.
Balakrishna is known to have played the most number of roles in Kannada cinema, having appeared in over 560 films, and in variety of roles; as a hero, villain, comedian, good Samaritan, loving father and a lunatic.
Balakrishna was born into a poor family on November 2, 1913 in Arsikere, Kingdom of Mysore. When he was four years old, his mother sold him to a couple for just 8 in order to provide treatment for her ailing husband. He ran away from his adopted parents after having been treated badly.
Balakrishna started his acting career by acting in a play, Shri Rama Pattabhishekha in 1929. Following this, he worked as painter of the stage backdrops for a drama company before becoming a professional sign painter. Later, he became a ticket collector in a drama company for a meagre salary. He returned to acting in theatre with Lakshmasana Drama Company and then with Gowrishankar Nataka Mandali. Following this, he joined the drama company of Gubbi Veeranna, a notable theatre director during the time. Film director B. R. Panthulu happened to visit the drama company, saw his acting on stage and offered him a film role. This was how his career as an actor began in films. He appeared in a negative role in the film Kalachakra, a performance that was appreciated. He appeared in over a hundred Kannada films playing comic roles mostly, that starred Rajkumar in lead roles.
In order to make the Kannada film industry self-reliant and save money for the producers, he started the studio, investing all his money and property. He built the Abhiman studio in Kengeri, Bangalore in a 20-acre plot in 1963, but faced difficulties initially.
When no Kannada films were being made, he got together with other actors like Rajkumar and G. V. Iyer and produced the film Ranadheera Kanteerava. He even raised money from the public at 100 per person to build the studio. The studio was a failure, and Balanna died in penury. Television serials are still being shot at the studio today which is being looked after by Balakrishna's son, B. Ganesh.
|1973||Gandhada Gudi||Venkatappa Naika|
|1975||Daari Tappida Maga|
|1976||Naa Ninna Mareyalare|
|1979||Naa Ninna Bidalaare|
|1987||Ondu Muttina Kathe|
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