16 February 1977
Ponnampet, Kodagu, Karnataka, India
|Occupation||Actor, film producer, distributor|
|Spouse(s)||Vijaya Lakshmi (m. 2000)|
|Relatives||Dinakar Thoogudeep (brother)|
Darshan Thoogudeepa (born 16 February 1977), mononymously addressed as Darshan, is an Indian film actor, 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).
After working behind the camera as an 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. 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.
Darshan was born as Hemanth Kumar to actor Thoogudeepa Srinivas and Meena on 16 February 1977 in Ponnampet, Kodagu district, in the Indian state of Karnataka. Thoogudeepa is a 1966 Kannada film in which Srinivas, acted and shot to fame, prior to which he was credited in films as Mysore Srinivas. His father often played the roles of menacing villains in Kannada Cinema. Despite so, Darshan never had it easy since his father was reluctant towards the entry of Darshan into films. Against his wishes, Darshan got himself enrolled in Ninasam, a theatre training institute, in Shimoga, prior to his father's passing in 1995.
Darshan has a sister, Divya and a younger brother, Dinakar Thoogudeepa, a film director, screenwriter and producer, running the production house, Thoogudeepa Productions. As a child, Darshan studied his primary and secondary education at Mysuru. Before entering into films, Darshan appeared in few tele-serials and tele-shows.
After passing out from Ninasam, Darshan worked as a lightboy in various films, before entering the mainstream filmmaking 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 television soap. Narayan then offered him a supporting role in his 1997 film 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 minor roles in television soaps as well.
Darshan's major break came in films came in 2000 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, for the first time. 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 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 commercially success. 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).
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. 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 1 October 2015 and Darshan leading a cop role, he lost 8 kg, he build a body and make six pack for this movie. His future projects include Mumtaz (2015) (cameo appearance ), Viraat (2016), Jaggu Dada (2016), Chakravarthi (2017), Sarvantrayami (2018) and Aaspota (2019).
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.
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. 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. He later issued a public apology to his fans for the controversy. Though this whole episode was expected to dent his image, his immediate release Saarathi (2011) became a blockbuster hit.
Below are the selected filmography of Darshan:
- Majestic (2001)
- Kariya (2003)
- Kalasipalya (2004)
- Shastri (2005)
- Dattha (2006)
- Anatharu (2007)
- Snehana Preethina (2007)
- Abhay (2009)
- Saarathi (2011)
- Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna (2012)
- Bulbul (2013)
- Ambareesha (2014)
- Viraat (2016)
- Jaggu Dada (2016)
Production and distribution
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. 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. Its 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
|1||2006||Jothe Jotheyali||Dinakar Thoogudeep |
|3||2013||Bulbul||M. D. Shridhar|
|4||2015||Maduveya Mamatheya Kareyole||Kaviraj|
- As distributor
|1||2013||Bulbul||M. D. Shridhar|
|5||2014||Jai Lalitha||Pon Kumaran|
|7||2014||Jai Bajarangibali||Ravivarma Gubbi|
|8||2015||Rhaatee||A. P. Arjun|
|10||2016||Maduveya Mamatheya Kareyole||Kaviraj|
|11||2016||Devara Naadalli||B. Suresha|
Awards and nominations
|2010||Zee Kannada Innovative Film Awards||-||Onida Style Icon||Won|||
|2012||TV9 awards||Saarathi||Best Actor||Won|||
|2012||Suvarna Film Awards||Saarathi||Favorite Hero||Won|||
|2012||Filmfare Awards South||Saarathi||Best Actor||Nominated|
|2012||SIIMA Awards||Saarathi||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|2012||Bangalore Press Club Man of the Year||-||-||Won|||
|2012||Bangalore Times Film Awards||Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna||Best Actor||Won|||
|2013||SIIMA Awards||Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna||Best Actor||Nominated|||
|2013||Suvarna Film Awards||Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna||Best Actor||Won|||
|2013||Filmfare Best Actor Award||Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna||Best Actor||Won|||
|2013||Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor||Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna||Best Actor||Won|||
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