Darshan, during Sarathi film shooting
|Born||16 February 1977|
Darshan Thoogudeepa, known by his stage name Darshan, is an Indian film actor, producer and distributor, who works predominantly in the Kannada film industry. The son of actor Thoogudeepa Srinivas, Darshan began his acting career in soap operas and bit films in the mid-1990s. His first film in a lead role was in the 2001 film Majestic.
Darshan starred in commercially successful films such as Kariya (2003), Namma Preethiya Ramu (2003), Kalasipalya (2005), Gaja (2008), Saarathi (2011) and Bulbul (2013) Yajamana(2019). His performances in Anatharu (2007) and Sangolli Rayanna (2012) won him praise from critics; his performance in the latter as the 19th-century warrior Sangolli Rayanna won him the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor.
One of the leading contemporary actors of Kannada cinema, Darshan established the production house Thoogudeepa Productions in 2006. Its first production was Jothe Jotheyali, with Darshan in a special appearance.
Darshan was born to actor Thoogudeepa Srinivas and Meena on 16 February 1977. Thoogudeepa is a 1966 Kannada film in which Srinivas acted and gained fame, following which the sobriquet stuck to his name. His father often played the roles of menacing villains in Kannada cinema. Against his father's wishes, Darshan enrolled in Ninasam, a theatre training institute in Shimoga, prior to his father's death in 1995.
Darshan has a sister, Divya, and a younger brother, Dinakar, a film director, screenwriter and producer, who runs the production house, Thoogudeepa Productions. As a child, Darshan received his primary and secondary education in Mysuru.
After graduating from Ninasam, Darshan worked as a projectionist before becoming an assistant cameraman to veteran cinematographer B. C. Gowrishankar. His first acting role came in S. Narayan's television soap. Narayan then offered him a supporting role in his 1997 film Mahabharatha. Darshan subsequently featured in films such as Devara Maga (2000), Ellara Mane Dosenoo (2000), Bhoothayyana Makkalu (2000) and Mr. Harishchandra (2001), mostly in insignificant and supporting, often bit roles. This period also saw him play minor roles in other television soaps.
Darshan's major break in films came with Majestic, directed by P. N. Satya and released in 2001, in which he played the role of Daasa, an innocent youth-turned-underworld don. He then appeared in films such as Kitti, Ninagoskara, Neenandre Ishta and Daasa, produced by Ramesh Yadav. He starred in Prem's directorial debut, the 2003 action film Kariya. He played a budding musician in Laali Haadu, a journalist in Lankesh Patrike and a blind poor man in Namma Preethiya Ramu.
Darshan's next releases were Boss (2011) and Prince (2011). Next came the action drama Saarathi. His 2012 release was Chingari. Next, he played a role in the historical movie Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna and got his maiden Karnataka State Film Awards and Filmfare Award for best actor. In 2013, he had two releases, Bulbul and Brindavana.
His 2014 film Ambareesha received mixed responses, though it was commercially successful. In Mr. Airavata, he played the role of a police officer. The Hindu wrote: "He sizzles on the screen in his tailor-made avatar as Mr. Airavata". In Viraat, his first release of 2016, he played a businessman wanting to provide a solution to the issue of irregular power supply by taking up a thermal power project. The Indian Express, in its review, wrote that despite the loopholes, Darshan "cements them". The reviewer added: "He is seen in his signature style of action, dialogue delivery and mannerism. This time the actor breezes through some dance steps". Darshan's next film Jaggu Dada saw him play a gangster, and received largely negative reviews from critics. Darshan's next film was Chakravarthy in 2017 based on Bangalore Underworld's true story, which gave a mixed response from the audience, but got recognition for the new look. In later 2017, his next movie Tarak was released. On 1 March 2019, his 51st movie Yajamana was released, becoming Darshan's biggest box office opener. Following the success of Yajamana, the big-budget Indian mythological movie Kurukshetra was released on 9 August 2019. Kurukshetra was well received by critics.. In the same year, on 12 December 2019, Darshan released another film, Odeya. In June 2019, filming began on another Darshan film, Roberrt, which is directed by Tharun Kishore Sudhir. According to FilmNotes survey 2018, he has the second highest registered online fan base in South India only behind superstar Rajinikanth.
Darshan married his relative Vijayalakshmi, who was then a student in Chemical engineering, in 2003 at Dharmasthala Temple. They have a son, Vineesh. Darshan runs his own mini zoo in the far east of Mysuru, near Malavalli. Darshan's other passions are cars and bikes. 
Darshan was involved in a controversy in September 2011, when his wife complained to police, accusing him of domestic violence. He was subsequently arrested and spent 14 days in judicial custody at Parappana Agrahara. However, the marital discord was later settled out of court. He issued a public apology to his fans for the controversy. Though this was expected to dent his image, his immediate release Saarathi (2011) performed well at the box office.
selected filmography of Darshan:
- Majestic (2002)
- Kariya (2003)
- Namma Preethiya Ramu (2003)
- Daasa (2003)
- Bhagavan (2004)
- Kalasipalya (2004)
- Ayya (2005)
- Shastri (2005)
- Swamy (2005)
- Mandya (2006)
- Suntaragaali (2006)
- Bhoopathi (2007)
- Gaja (2008)
- Indra (2008)
- Navagraha (2008)
- Yodha (2009)
- Porki (2010)
- Saarathi (2011)
- Chingari (2012)
- Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna (2012)
- Bulbul (2013)
- Mr. Airavata (2015)
- Jaggu Dada (2016)
- Chakravarthy (2017)
- Tarak (2017)
- Kurukshetra (2019)
- Yajamana (2019)
- Odeya (2019)
- Robert (2020)
- Raja Veera Madakari Nayaka (2020)
Production and distribution
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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 in a special appearance. The film was a commercial hit running 150 days in theatres. In 2013, his family established a distribution company called Thoogudeepa Distributors. Bulbul (2013), produced under the home banner became the first movie to be distributed. Its other notable projects include distribution of Brindavana (2013), Prakash Raj's Oggarane (2014), the Sharan starrer Jai Lalitha (2014),the Sriimurali starrer Ugramm and the V. Ravichandran starrer Paramashiva (2014).
Awards and nominations
|2010||Zee Kannada Innovative Film Awards||-||Onida Style Icon||Won|||
|2012||TV9 awards||Saarathi||Best Actor||Won|||
|Suvarna Film Awards||Favorite Hero||Won|||
|Filmfare Awards South||Best Actor||Won|
|SIIMA Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|Bangalore Press Club Man of the Year||-||-||Won|||
|Bangalore Times Film Awards||Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna||Best Actor||Won|||
|2013||SIIMA Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|Suvarna Film Awards||Best Actor||Won|||
|Filmfare Best Actor Award||Best Actor||Won|||
|Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor||Best Actor||Won|||
- "Darshan's fans donate food to Siddaganaga Mutt on his birthday". The Times of India.
- "Challenging limits". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Darshan double bonanza in 'Kurukshetra': Sources say he'll play Karna and Duryodhana". thenewsminute.com. 7 June 2017. Retrieved 12 November 2017.
- Aiyappa, Manu (16 September 2011). "Actor Darshan: From Rs 200 per day to Rs 10.25 crore per film". The Times of India. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- Darshan (30 January 2016). Weekend with Ramesh Season 2 – Episode 11 – January 30, 2016 – Full Episode (in Kannada). Zee Kannada. Event occurs at 5:00. Retrieved 8 February 2016.
- "The rise and fall of Kannada star Darshan". Rediff. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Darshan — GGpedia". Wiki.gandhadagudi.com. Archived from the original on 13 December 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- "And the Filmfare Award for Kannada goes to..." The Times of India.
- "Mr. Airavata: No logic, but enjoy Darshan magic". The Hindu. 3 October 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- "Viraat Keeps Darshan Fans on Their Feet". The New Indian Express. 30 January 2016. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- Nathan, Archana (11 June 2016). "Jaggu Dada: A torturer's paradise". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- Suresh, Sunayana (13 June 2016). "Jaggu Dada Movie Review". The Times of India. Retrieved 23 March 2017.
- "Darshan Biography, Darshan Profile". OneIndia. 16 February 1977. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- "Sudeep, Darshan proud owners of Harley Davidson bikes". Filmibeat.com. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Darshan's new ride". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Darshan on Bike". Indiaglitz. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Upcoming Movies — Darshan". Filmibeat. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Kannada actor Darshan held for domestic violence". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "'Challenging Star' back in Parappana Agrahara jail". Daily Bhaskar. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Compromise Formula to Save Kannada Actor Darshan from Jail?". Daijiworld. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Darshan released after High Court grants bail". The Hindu. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "After all the drama, Kannada actor Darshan says I am sorry". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Darshan ruling the roost". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Darshan's Saarathi riding steady at BO". CNN-IBN. 11 November 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Darshan Biography, Darshan Profile". OneIndia. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- "Darshan Puts Fans Before God". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Darshan adopts tiger cub". The Times of India. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "Darshan: An actor, but no gentleman". Deccan Chronicle. 10 September 2011. Archived from the original on 10 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2012.
- "Zee Kannada Innovative Film Awards". Cineloka. Archived from the original on 18 June 2015. Retrieved 17 June 2015.
- "TV9 awards".
- "4th Suvarna film awards Part 1.mp4". Retrieved 18 June 2015 – via YouTube.
- "SIIMA — South Indian International Movie Awards". Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- bharatstudent (14 December 2012). "Darshan and Superstar Rajinikanth among man of the year list — Kannada Movie News". Bharatstudent.com. Retrieved 4 February 2014.
- "Bangalore Times Film Awards 2012 goes to..." The Times of India. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- "SIIMA 2013". Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- "Suvarna Awards 2013 – DECLARED". Gandhada Gudi. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- "Filmfare Awards 2013 (South): Complete List of Winners". International Business Times. Retrieved 18 June 2015.
- "Darshan Thanks 'Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna' Team, Fans After Winning State Award". International Business Times. Retrieved 18 June 2015.