Darshan (actor)

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Darshan Thoogudeep kannada film actor.jpg
Darshan in Saarathi, 2011
Native name ದರ್ಶನ್ ತೂಗುದೀಪ್
Born Darshan
(1977-02-16) 16 February 1977 (age 38)
Mysuru, Karnataka, India
Residence Bengaluru, India
Other names Challenging Star, Box Office Sultan, Karunaada Kalarathna, Mass Star, Dasa. D Boss
Occupation Actor, film producer, distributor
Years active 2001–present
Height 6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Spouse(s) Vijaya Lakshmi (m. 2000)
Children 1
Relatives Dinakar Thoogudeep (brother)
Awards Filmfare Awards South
Karnataka State Film Awards

Darshan Thoogudeep (born 16 February 1977), mononymously addressed as Darshan, is an Indian film actor, film producer and distributor who works predominantly in the Kannada film industry. He is the son of veteran Kannada actor Thoogudeepa Srinivas. Darshan initially worked in trivial roles in few films and television shows, later made his debut in a lead role in 2001 film, Majestic, and has since then starred in many commercial and critical hit films such as Kariya (2003), Namma Preethiya Ramu (2003), Kalasipalya (2005), Gaja (2008), Saarathi (2011), Chingari (2012) Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna (2012), Bulbul (2013) and Ambareesha (2014).[1]

After working behind the camera as a assistant cameraman and in small roles, he received his break in 2001 super-hit Majestic which marked the beginning of his successful career. After earning stability and fame in his acting career he forayed into film production and distribution. He established his own production house "Thoogudeepa productions" in 2006, which has since been a successful commercial venture. Its first production was Jothe Jotheyali with Darshan in a special appearance.[2] Because of his consistent performance at box office, he is considered one of the most dependable and commercially successful star in Kannada Cinema. An avid animal lover, he is well known for his strong passion for pets, wild animals and owns a private stud in his farmhouse in the far east of Mysuru city.[2][3][4][5][6]

Early life[edit]

Darshan was born to actor Thoogudeepa Srinivas and Meena on 16 February 1977[7] in the city of Mysuru in Karnataka. Thoogudeepa is the name of a Kannada Film in which Srinivas, father of Darshan, acted and shot to fame. His father often played the roles of menacing villains in Kannada Cinema and enjoyed goodwill in film fraternity. Despite so, Darshan never had it easy since his father was reluctant towards the entry of Darshan into film industry. Srinivas suffered from chronic diabetes and kidney ailment and died due to heart attack on October 16, 1995, aged 52.

Darshan has a sister by name Divya and his younger brother Dinakar Thoogudeep is a film director who scripts films under their home production, Thoogudeepa Productions. As a child, Darshan studied his primary and secondary education at Mysuru.[8] Before entering into films, Darshan appeared in few tele-serials and tele-shows.


Early career[edit]

Darshan entry into the cine world was marked by the continued struggle after his father's death. He took training for acting at Ninasam in Shivamogga. Later after a brief stint as a lightboy in various films, he entered the mainstream moviemaking as an assistant cameraman to veteran cinematographer B. C. Gowrishankar. Then he was recognized by director S. Narayan who offered him a role in his Tele-serial.[9] Later he stepped into the world of bigscreens when S. Narayan offered him a supporting role in his 1997 movie Mahabharatha. Darshan consecutively was featured in films like Devara Maga (2000) as the son of Ambareesh, Ellara Mane Dosenoo (2000), Bhoothayyana Makkalu (2000) and Mr. Harishchandra (2001) mostly in insignificant supporting and uncredited roles. This period saw him play small roles in Television series as well.[10]


Darshan's first break came with the film Majestic directed by P. N. Satya and released in 2001 in which he played the role of Daasa, an innocent youth turned underwold don, for the first time.[2] He then appeared in films such as Kitti, Ninagoskara and Neenandre Ishta, "Daasa" produced by Ramesh Yadav. He starred in Prem's directorial debut, the 2003 action film Kariya. The film was declared as a blockbuster and was one of the major grossers of 2003. His next ventures saw him portraying diverse roles of a budding musician in Laali Haadu, a journalist in Lankesh Patrike and a blind poor man in Namma Preethiya Ramu.

In 2004 he starred in Kalasipalya directed by Om Prakash Rao and in P. N. Satya's Daasa, both of which were Blockbuster hits. In 2005, he acted in three more commercially successful films Annavru, Shashtri produced by his close friend Anaji Nagaraj and Ayya.

He starred again in Anaji Nagaraj's Swamy (2005). His subsequent hits include Suntaragaali (2006), Dattha (2006), Bhoopathi (2007), Snehana Preethina (2007) and Anatharu (2008), where he starred with Upendra.

In 2008, Gaja gave him a bigger break and became a blockbuster hit. This movie helped him to establish a niche for himself as a well built, rustic yet posh young man among the masses. This movie brought him a mass following pan Karnataka and Darshan became the highly paid, most sought after hero in Kannada cinema. After Gaja, his further movies include Indra (2008), Arjun (2008), Navagraha (2008), Yodha (2009), Abhay (2009).

In 2010, he acted as cop disguised as a rogue in Porki which was a remake of 2009 Telugu blockbuster Pokiri. His next movie was Shourya (2010). Boss (2011) and Prince (2011).


His next releases were Boss (2011) and Prince (2011). Next to them came the action drama "Saarathi". It has since been the biggest blockbuster in his career. His 2012 release was Chingari. Next, he played a protagonist role in the historical movie Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna and got his maiden Karnataka State Film Awards and Filmfare Award for best actor.[11] In 2013 he had two major releases, Bulbul (film) and Brindavana, both of which were much anticipated and declared as blockbusters.

His much expected 2014 movie Ambareesha received mixed responses though it was a commercially successful. In 2015 most expected movie Mr. Airavata Directed by A P Arjun and Produced by Sandesh nagaraj released on 1st October 2015 and Darshan leading a cop role, he loss is weight 8 kgs,he build a body and make six pack for this movie.[12] His future projects include Mumtaz (2015) (cameo appearance ), Viraat (2015), Jaggu Dada (2016), Chakravarthi (2016), Sarvantrayami (2017) and Aaspota (2018).[13]

Personal life[edit]

Darshan married his relative Vijayalakshmi, who was then a student in Chemical engineering, in 2000 at Dharmasthala Temple. They have a son together, Vineesh. Darshan runs his own mini zoo privately in far east of Mysuru near Tirumakudal Narsipur. Darshan's other passions are cars and bikes.[14][15][16][17][18]

Darshan was embroiled in a controversy in September 2011 when his wife complained to police against him accusing of domestic violence. He was subsequently arrested and spent 14 days in judicial custody at Parappana Agrahara.[19][20] However the marital discord later reached in a happy compromise and was settled out of court due to the entry of industry veterans like Ambareesh, Jaggesh and others.[21][22] He later issued a public apology to his fans for the controversy.[23] Though this whole episode was expected to dent his image, his immediate release Saarathi (2011) became a blockbuster hit.[24][25]


Main article: Darshan filmography

Below are the selected filmography of Darshan:

Production and distribution[edit]

In 2006, After much success in his career he ventured into film production also. He established his own production house "Thoogudeepa productions" and its first film was "Jothe Jotheyali" starring Prem, Ramya and had Darshan Thoogudeep in a special appearance. The film was a commercial hit running 150 days in theatres.[26] In 2013, his family established a distribution company called Thoogudeepa Distributors. Bulbul (film) (2013), produced under the home banner became the first movie to be distributed. It's other notable projects include distribution of Brindavana (2013), Prakash Rai's Oggarane (2014), Sharan starrer Jai Lalitha (2014) and V. Ravichandran starrer Paramashiva (2014).

As producer
Sl No. Year Title Director
1 2006 Jothe Jotheyali Dinakar Thoogudeepa [27]
2 2008 Navagraha (film) Dinakar Thoogudeepa
3 2013 Bulbul (film) M. D. Shridhar
4 2015 Maduveya Mamatheya Kareyole Kaviraj
As distributor
Sl No. Year Title Director
1 2013 Bulbul M. D. Shridhar
2 2013 Brindavana K. Madesh
3 2014 Ugramm Prashanth Neel
4 2014 Oggarane Prakash Rai
5 2014 Jai Lalitha Pon Kumaran
6 2014 Paramashiva Mahesh Babu
7 2014 Jai Bajarangibali Ravivarma Gubbi
8 2015 Rhaatee A. P. Arjun

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Nominated work Category Result Ref.
2010 Zee Kannada Innovative Film Awards - Onida Style Icon Won [28]
2012 TV9 awards Saarathi Best Actor Won [29]
2012 Suvarna Film Awards Saarathi Favorite Hero Won [30]
2012 SIIMA Awards Saarathi Best Actor Nominated [31]
2012 Bangalore Press Club Man of the Year - - Won [32]
2012 Bangalore Times Film Awards Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Best Actor Won [33]
2013 SIIMA Awards Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Best Actor Nominated [34]
2013 Suvarna Film Awards Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Best Actor Won [35]
2013 Filmfare Best Actor Award Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Best Actor Won [36]
2013 Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Best Actor Won [37]


  1. ^ "Challenging limits". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Aiyappa, Manu (16 September 2011). "Actor Darshan: From Rs 200 per day to Rs 1.25 crore per film - Times Of India". Articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Darshan Biography, Darshan Profile". entertainment.oneindia.in. n.d. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Darshan Puts Fans Before God". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Challenging Star Darshan Adopted An Elephant Calf In Mysuru Zoo". Bollywooddrama.com. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Darshan adopts tiger cub". THE TIMES OF INDIA. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "Darshan". entertainment.oneindia.in. 1977-02-16. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  8. ^ "Profile and Biography of Kannada Actor Darshan Thoogudeepa". Karnatakaspider.com. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  9. ^ "The rise and fall of Kannada star Darshan". Rediff. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Darshan - GGpedia". Wiki.gandhadagudi.com. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  11. ^ And the Filmfare Award for Kannada goes to...
  12. ^ "Ambareesha kannada movie Satellite rights sold". Reporter365. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "Darshan booked till 2016!". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  14. ^ "Darshan Biography, Darshan Profile". entertainment.oneindia.in. 1977-02-16. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  15. ^ "Sudeep, Darshan proud owners of Harley Davidson bikes". Filmibeat.com. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  16. ^ "Darshan's new ride". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  17. ^ "Darshan on Bike". Indiaglitz. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  18. ^ "Upcoming Movies - Darshan". Filmibeat. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "Kannada actor Darshan held for domestic violence". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  20. ^ "'Challenging Star' back in Parappana Agrahara jail". Daily Bhaskar. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  21. ^ "Compromise Formula to Save Kannada Actor Darshan from Jail?". Daijiworld. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  22. ^ "Darshan released after High Court grants bail". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  23. ^ "After all the drama, Kannada actor Darshan says I am sorry". Dnaindia. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  24. ^ "Darshan ruling the roost". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  25. ^ "http://www.ibnlive.com/news/india/darshans-saarathi-riding-steady-at-bo-417911.html". IBNLIVE. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  26. ^ "Darshan: An actor, but no gentleman". Deccan Chronicle. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2012. 
  27. ^ Jothe Jotheyalli Review – Kannada Movie Review by RGV. Nowrunning.com (2006-09-22). Retrieved on 2011-12-06.
  28. ^ "Zee Kannada Innovative Film Awards". Cineloka. Retrieved 17 June 2015. 
  29. ^ TV9 awards[dead link]
  30. ^ "4th Suvarna film awards Part 1.mp4". Youtube. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  31. ^ "SIIMA - South Indian International Movie Awards". Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  32. ^ http://www.bharatstudent.com/ (2012-12-14). "Darshan and Superstar Rajinikanth among man of the year list - Kannada Movie News". Bharatstudent.com. Retrieved 2014-02-04. 
  33. ^ "Bangalore Times Film Awards 2012 goes to...". THE TIMES OF INDIA. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  34. ^ "SIIMA 2013". Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  35. ^ "Suvarna Awards 2013 - DECLARED". Gandhada Gudi. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  36. ^ "Filmfare Awards 2013 (South): Complete List of Winners". IBTIMES. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 
  37. ^ "Darshan Thanks 'Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna' Team, Fans After Winning State Award". IBTIMES. Retrieved 18 June 2015. 

External links[edit]