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Dr M. H. Ambareesh
Indian Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting
In office
24 October 2006 – 15 February 2007
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Succeeded by Choudhury Mohan Jatua & Dr. S. Jagathrakshakan
In office
Preceded by S. M. Krishna
Succeeded by Cheluvarayaswamy
Constituency Mandya
Personal details
Born M. H. Amarnath
(1952-05-29) 29 May 1952 (age 63)
Mandya, Mysore State, India
Political party Indian National Congress
Spouse(s) Sumalatha
Children 1
Residence Bangalore
Profession Actor
Religion Hindu
As of 21 August, 2009

Malavalli Huchche Gowda Amarnath (born 29 May 1952), known mononymously by screen name Ambareesh, is an Indian film actor, media personality and a politician from the Karnataka state. Born and raised at Maddur town in Mandya District of Karnataka, he is fondly referred to as Mandayada Gandu (English: Man of Mandya).[1] Following his debut in Puttanna Kanagal's National Film Award-winning Naagarahaavu (1972), his acting career commenced with a brief phase of portraying antagonistic and supporting characters in Kannada films. After establishing himself as a lead rebellion actor in a number of commercially successful films, he became synonymous with the term "rebel star"[2] and has since continued to hold a matinee idol status in the popular culture of Karnataka state.

He's currently the MLA with the Indian National Congress party, winning the assembly election of the Mandya constituency, by a margin of 42,937 votes.[3][4] He is the present Minister of Housing for the Karnataka State.

Besides winning many State Government awards and filmfare awards for his acting career, Ambareesh was felicitated with the honorary doctorate from the Dharwad university in 2013 at their 63rd annual convocation ceremony.[5]

Early life[edit]

Ambareesh was born into a Gowda family on May 29, 1952, in Doddarasinakere village of Mandya district in the erstwhile Mysore State (now Karnataka). He was named as Malavalli Huchche Gowda Amarnath, and was the sixth of seven children to Huche Gowda and Padmamma. His grandfather was the popular violin player, Chowdiah.[6] Ambareesh completed his schooling in Mandya before moving to Saraswathipuram in Mysore for higher studies. He was a regular street watcher with a bunch of friends at Mysore near the Maharani's college.[7]


Acting career[edit]

While the eminent Kannada film director Puttanna Kanagal was in search of a new face to play a brief antagonist role for his upcoming film, one of Ambareesh's close friend, Sangram Singh, suggested his name for the screen test much against his wishes. At his screen test, he was asked to walk in a certain fashion, utter a dialogue and toss a cigarette in his mouth. Impressed, Kanagal cast him in his 1972 film Naagarahaavu.[8] The film also saw the debut of Vishnuvardhan, another actor who would go on to become one of Kannada cinema's most popular actors.

Ambareesh has since appeared in about 208 films, including other films of Kanagal such as Paduvaaralli Pandavaru, Shubhamangala, Masanada Hoovu and Ranganayaki. As in 2010, Ambareesh had acted in most films as lead in Kannada films, surpassing Rajkumar's record of 206 films as lead actor and Vishnuvardhan's record of 230 films (including Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam films) as a lead actor. The record has not been broken yet. He has also supported many actors at the beginning of their career.

Ambareesh played the angry young man of the 1980s, and several films were tailor-made accordingly. The earliest of them was the political satire Antha (1981), directed by Rajendra Singh Babu and remade into Hindi and Tamil. This controversial film was the first in India to depict politicians and government officials as corrupt and villainous. Chakravyuha and New Delhi were made on the same lines, the first remade into Hindi as Inquilaab, starring Amitabh Bachchan and the second a remake of the Malayalam hit of the same name. His other notable films include Ranganayaki, Tony, Rani Maharani, Olavina Udugore, Hrudaya Haadithu, Hongkongnalli Agent Amar, Mannina Doni and Odahuttidavaru. His performance in Masanada Hoovu, Elu Suttina Kote and the Malayalam film Gaanam were critically acclaimed. He also showed the great performance in mamateya madilu,elu sutinaa kote and mouna raga. He also acted with legend Rajkumar. He is well known as Mandyada Gandu, Kaliyuga Karna (for his generosity), and Rebel Star. He has been awarded the State award best actor for antha and best supporting role for masanada hoovu, NTR Award by Andhra Pradesh Government,filmfare best actor award for Olavina Udugore and Film Fare Award (lifetime achievement award). He was the first Kannada actor to inaugurate the world famous Mysore Dasara festival organized by the government of Karnataka. He also won the Karnataka Government's Dr.Vishnuvardhan State Award in the year 2011.

Political career[edit]

Ambareesh joined the Indian National Congress and has since continued to represent the same Mandya Lok Sabha constituency for two more terms. He was minister of state for Information and Broadcasting in the 14th Lok Sabha, but resigned over his dissatisfaction with the Cauvery Dispute Tribunal award, though the resignation was not formally accepted. He was defeated in the May 2009 General Elections.He helped in elections for H.D.Kumaraswamy(in kanakapura parliament election in 90s),S.M. Krishna(99) and K.R pete Krishna.

During the course of his public life, he has held the following positions:

  • Member, 12th Lok Sabha: 1998–1999
  • Member, 13th Lok Sabha: 1999–2004
  • Member, 14th Lok Sabha: 2004–2009
  • Minister of State, in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, from 24 October 2006 to 2008.
  • Resigned as the Minister of state in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, protesting against the injustice done to Karnataka by Kaveri dispute tribunal in 2008.
  • Deputy president of KPCC in the year 2012
  • At present MLA of Mandya and also Minister in Karnataka Government in the ministry of Housing (Vasathi)
  • Resigned MP position during Cauvery River issue without fighting member of parliament.

Vishnuvardhan and Ambareesh[edit]

Vishnuvardhan and Ambareesh debuted together in Nagarahavu under Putanna Kanagal's direction. From then they both have been larger than life friends. Though Ambareesh was a villain in many films after Naagarahavu and Vishnu was already a star, their friendship remained the same and even when Ambareesh rose to fame as a hero, though they were on two parallel tracks, they never considered each other as competition and neither did they have any ego problems. When Vishnu departed in 2009, Ambarish was seen handling every bit of his close friend's funeral. From co-ordinating with the stars, to co-ordinating with the government, from shifting the body to managing crowds, he did every thing that the Police and the Government had to do. At one point he even picked up the microphone in the funeral place and shouted at a few frenzied fans and took situation into control.[9] Ambareesh's wife and Vishnuvardhan's good friend, co-star Sumalatha Ambareesh says that she has never seen this kind of friendship in any other Industry between two actors in the peak who remained closest of closest friends throughout their life.[10] They went on to act in Snehitara sawaal,Maha Prachandaru & Avala Hejje in the 80"s. Again they came together in Diggajaru in 2000 and this film is remembered by both their fans as their Best. It also had the memorable hit "Kuchikku, Kuchikku", a song about friendship featuring the two.


The following is the filmography of Ambareesh. Besides Kannada he has also acted in Tamil, Malayalam and Hindi films.

Films that have not yet been released Denotes films that have not yet been released
Year Film Role Director(s) Notes Ref.
1972 Naagarahaavu Jaleela Puttanna Kanagal Supporting role
1973 Bangarada Kalla D. Shankar Singh Supporting role
Seethe Alla Savithri Jawahar - Vadiraj Supporting role
1974 Zehreela Insaan Jaleel Puttanna Kanagal Hindi film
Chamundeshwari Mahime Addala Narayana Rao Supporting role
1975 Mahadeshwara Pooja Phala Sangram Supporting role
Shubhamangala Mooga Puttanna Kanagal Supporting role
Bhagya Jyothi K. S. L. Swamy
Nagakanye Rajendra Singh Babu
Onde Roopa Eradu Guna A. M. Samiullah
Bili Hendthi Puttanna Kanagal
Devara Kannu Y. R. Swamy
1976 Hudugatada Hudugi Amrutham
Hosilu Mettida Hennu
Bangarada Gudi K. S. R. Das
Kanasu Nanasu Amrutham
1977 Dhanalakshmi K. S. Satyanarayana Guest appearance
Nagara Hole Rajendra Singh Babu
Maagiya Kanasu K. S. L. Swamy
Manasinanthe Mangalya Giribabu
Mugdha Manava
Chinna Ninna Muddaduve A. M. Samiuallah
Banashankari K. S. L. Swamy
1978 Halli Haida
Havina Hejje
Muyyige Muyyi Y. R. Swamy
Siritanakke Savaal T. R. Ramanna
Paduvaaralli Pandavaru Puttanna Kanagal
Sneha Sedu V. Madhusudhan Rao
Kiladi Jodi Rajendra Singh Babu
Amarnath Amar Mani Murugan
Balu Aparoopa Nam Jodi K. Janakiram
Priya Bharath S. P. Muthuraman Tamil film
1979 Pakka Kalla Y. R. Swamy
Kamala C. V. Rajendran
Putani Agent 123 Geethapriya
Savathiya Neralu
1980 Dhairya Lakshmi Gopu
Vajrada Jalapatha Giribabu
Ondu Hennu Aaru Kannu V. Madhusudhan Rao
Subbi Subbakka Suvvalali
Nyaya Neethi Dharma A. T. Raghu
Driver Hanumanthu Hanumantha
1981 Leader Vishwanath Vishwanath Mani Murugan
Ranganayaki Puttanna Kanagal
Antha Kanwar Lal
Susheel Kumar (Dual Role)
Rajendra Singh Babu Winner Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor
Maha Prachandaru Joe Simon
Snehitara Savaal K. S. R. Das
Bhaari Bharjari Bete Rajendra Singh Babu
Avala Hejje H. R. Bhargava
1982 Shankar Sundar Shankar
A. T. Raghu Dual roles
Prema Matsara C. V. Rajendran
Maava Sose Savaal
Snehada Sankole
Ajith Ajith V. Somashekhar
Gaanam Sreekumaran Thampi Malayalam film
Tony Tony H. R. Bhargava
Khadeema Kallaru Raja Vijay
1983 Thirugu Baana K. S. R. Das
Aasha A. T. Raghu
Hosa Theerpu Shankar Nag
Avala Neralu A. T. Raghu
Chakravyuha Amarnath V. Somashekhar
Matthe Vasantha K. S. L. Swamy
Maneli Ramanna Beedili Kamanna
Geluvu Nannade S. A. Chandrasekhar
Hasida Hebbuli S. A. Chandrasekhar
Dharma Yuddha A. T. Raghu
1984 Gajendra Gajendra V. Somashekhar
Naane Raja C. V. Rajendran
Gandu Bherunda Bijju Rajendra Singh Babu
Onti Dhwani T. S. Nagabharana
Guru Bhakti K. N. Chandrashekar Sharma
Sidilu B. Subba Rao
Kalinga Sarpa D. Rajendra Babu Guest appearance
Rowdy Raja
Mooru Janma H. R. Bhargava
Shapatha Amrutham
Onde Raktha Sreekumaran Thampi
1985 Goonda Guru A. T. Raghu
Dharma Vijay Gujjar Guest appearance
Guru Jagadguru A. T. Raghu
Aahuthi T. S. Nagabharana
Amara Jyothi Amar
Shabhash Vikram Vikram Renuka Sharma
Devara Mane A. T. Raghu
Sneha Sambandha
Giri Baale B. Mallesh
Chaduranga V. Somashekhar
Devarelliddane V. Somashekhar
Masanada Hoovu Puttanna Kanagal Winner Karnataka State Film Award for Best Supporting Actor
Mamatheya Madilu Eeranki Sharma
1986 Madhura Bandhavya Amrutham
Sathkara Renuka Sharma
Mrugaalaya V. Somashekhar
Preethi A. T. Raghu Dual roles
Matthondu Charitre
Bete V. Somashekhar
Vishwaroopa V. Somashekhar
1987 Premaloka V. Ravichandran Guest appearance
Bazar Bheema Perala
Olavina Udugore D. Rajendra Babu Winner Filmfare Award for Best Actor
Prema Kadambari
Mr. Raja Raja V. Somashekhar
Poornachandra C. V. Rajendran
Antima Theerpu A. T. Raghu
Digvijaya Somu
Inspector Krantikumar Kranti Kumar A. T. Raghu
Bedi V. Somashekhar
Bandha Muktha
Aapadbhandava A. T. Raghu
1988 Brahma Vishnu Maheshwara Doctor Brahmendra Rajachandra
Praja Prabhutva D. Rajendra Babu
Arjun Arjun A. T. Raghu
Nava Bharatha K. V. Raju
Elu Suttina Kote B. C. Gowrishankar
Vijaya Khadga V. Somashekhar
New Delhi Joshi
Sangliyana P. Nanjundappa
Ramanna Shamanna Rama B. Subba Rao
Thayigobba Karna Karna Raj Kishor
1989 Hongkongnalli Agent Amar Amar Joe Simon
Jockey B. Subba Rao
Guru Srikanth Nahatha
Gandandre Gandu
Avatara Purusha Raj Kishor
Indrajith Indrajith K. V. Raju
Samsara Nouke D. Rajendra Babu
Anthintha Gandu Nanalla Srinivas
Nyayakkagi Naanu A. T. Raghu
Onti Salaga V. Somashekhar
Jai Karnataka Dwarakish
Raja Yuvaraja Raj Kishor
Jayabheri G. K. Mudduraj
1990 Matsara K. V. Jayaram
Nammoora Hammera Perala
Ranabheri V. Somashekhar
Aasegobba Meesegobba M. S. Rajashekar Special appearance
Kempu Surya A. T. Raghu
Kempu Gulabi Vijay
Chakravarthy D. Rajendra Babu
Ekalavya Srikanth Nahatha
Rani Maharani B. Ramamurthy
Utkarsha Sunil Kumar Desai
1991 Hrudaya Haadithu Dr. Prasad M. S. Rajashekar
Kadana K. V. Raju
Neenu Nakkare Haalu Sakkare Himself Dorai - Bhagawan Guest appearance
Garuda Dhwaja Raj Bharath
Kalachakra D. Rajendra Babu
Puksatte Ganda Hotte Thumba Unda Raj Kishor
Gandu Sidigundu M. S. Rajashekar
Rowdy & MLA Om Sai Prakash
Aranyadalli Abhimanyu H. R. Bhargava
1992 Entede Bhanta D. Rajendra Babu
Mysore Jaana A. T. Raghu
Solillada Saradara Om Sai Prakash
Saptapadhi H. R. Bhargava
Bhanda Nanna Ganda Himself Raj Kishor Guest appearance
Prema Sangama H. R. Bhargava
Megha Mandara K. V. Jayaram
Mannina Doni Karthik M. S. Rajashekar
Mallige Hoove Raj Kishor
1993 Suryodaya A. T. Raghu
Olavina Kanike
Vasantha Poornima H. R. Bhargava
Midida Hrudayagalu A. T. Raghu
Hrudaya Bandhana B. Ramamurthy
Munjaneya Manju P. H. Vishwanath
1994 Musuku P. H. Vishwanath
Odahuttidavaru Dorai - Bhagawan
Gold Medal Om Prakash Rao
Mandyada Gandu A. T. Raghu
Vijaya Kankana Shankar Sugnalli
1995 Professor Renuka Sharma
Kalyanotsava Rajendra Singh Babu
Betegara A. T. Raghu
Balondu Chaduranga
Karulina Kudi V. P. Sarathy
Operation Antha Kanwar Lal Rajendra Singh Babu
Mr. Abhishek Abhishek N. T. Jayarama Reddy
1996 Mounaraga S. Mahendar
Palegara Om Prakash Rao Dual roles
1997 Rangena Halliyage Rangada Rangegowda V. Umakanth
Baalida Mane G. K. Mudduraj
April Fool A. N. Jayaramaiah
Prema Geethe
1999 Habba D. Rajendra Babu
2000 Devara Maga D. Rajendra Babu
2001 Vande Matharam Om Prakash Rao
Diggajaru Wodeya D. Rajendra Babu
Sri Manjunatha K. Raghavendra Rao Kannada – Telugu bilingual
Prema Rajya
2002 Mutthu H. Vasu
2003 Annavru Om Prakash Rao Remake of Thalapathi
2004 Gowdru Gowdru S. Mahendar 200th Film
2005 Karnana Sampathu R. Shantaram Kanagal
2006 Thandege Thakka Maga Chowdaiah S. Mahendar Remake of Thevar Magan
Savira Mettilu Puttanna Kanagal
D. B. Basave Gowda
K. S. L. Swamee
Pandavaru Kempe Gowda K. V. Raju
Kallarali Hoovagi T. S. Nagabharana
2007 Ee Preethi Yeke Bhoomi Melide Prem Guest appearance
2009 Vayuputra Kishore Sarja
2010 Thipparalli Tharlegalu Rajendra Singh Babu
Veera Parampare Varade Gowda S. Narayan
2012 Katariveera Surasundarangi Yama Suresh Krissna
Rana Amarnath S. Narayan
Sri Kshetra Adichunchanagiri Om Sai Prakash Guest appearance
Drama Himself Yogaraj Bhat Guest appearance
2013 Varadanayaka Ayyappa P Sharma Guest Appearance
Remake of Lakshyam
Bulbul Amarnath M. D. Sridhar Nominated – Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor - Kannada
Remake of Darling
2014 Ambareesha Kempegowda Mahesh Sukhadhare
2015 Dodmane HudugaFilm yet to be released Duniya Soori Filming

Awards and recognitions[edit]

  1. Karnataka State Award for Best Actor for Antha in 1982.
  2. Karnataka State Award for "Best Supporting Actor"(1985–86) in the film Masanada Hoovu, directed by Puttanna Kanagal
  3. Filmfare Award for Best Actor in the film "Olavina Udugore directed by Rajendra Babu.
  4. Received NTR National Award for the year 2005.[11]
  5. Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South 2009.
  6. Andhra Government honoured Nandhi Award 2009.
  7. Puttanna Kanagal award in 90s but rejected{later went to actor T.N.Bala krishna}
  8. TV9 Sandalwood Star Awards – 2012, Lifetime Achievement Award
  9. Karnataka Government Dr.Vishnuvardhan State Award in the year 2011
  10. Honorary Doctorate from the Karnataka University, Dharwad in the year 2013[12]
  11. SIIMA Lifetime Achievement Award 2012


  1. ^ "‘Mandyada Gandu’ gets rousing welcome". The Hindu. 13 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "When 'Rebel Star' rewinds past days in Mysore". Deccan Herald. 20 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "2013 Karnataka Legislative Assembly Elections Results – Mandya". Election Commission of India. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Ambareesh and Umashree manage a win". The Times of India. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  5. ^ "Ambareesh gets a doctorate degree". The Times of India. 17 February 2013. 
  6. ^ "Ambareesh profile". Media9. 
  7. ^ "When 'Rebel Star' rewinds past days in Mysore". 20 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Rebel with a cause". The Hindu. 16 October 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ Our Bureau: Ilayaraja, Ambarish, Krishna get NTR award, Indian Express, 31 August 2007.
  12. ^ "Ambareesh gets a doctorate degree". The Times of India. 17 February 2013. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 

External links[edit]