17 March 1975
Madras, Tamil Nadu, India
|Occupation||Actor, television presenter|
|Spouse(s)||Ashwini Revanth (m. 1999)|
|Children||2 (dhruthi) (vanditha)|
|Relatives||See Rajkumar family|
Puneeth Rajkumar (born 17 March 1975) is an Indian film actor, playback singer and television presenter who works primarily in Kannada cinema. Puneeth has been a lead actor in 25 films; as a child he appeared in films featuring his father, Rajkumar. His performances in Vasantha Geetha (1980), Bhagyavantha (1981), Chalisuva Modagalu (1982), Eradu Nakshatragalu (1983) and Bettada Hoovu (1985) were praised. He won the National Film Award for Best Child Artist for his role of Ramu in Bettada Hoovu. Puneeth's first lead role was in 2002's Appu. He appeared in other successful films, including Abhi (2003), Aakash (2005), Arasu (2007), Milana (2007), Jackie (2010), Hudugaru (2011), Anna Bond (2012), Power (2014) and Raajakumara(2017).
Puneeth, youngest son of celebrated Kannada film actor Rajkumar, is the brother of actors Shiva and Raghavendra Rajkumar. In 2012 he debuted as a television presenter on the popular the game show Kannadada Kotyadhipati, a Kannada version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.
Puneeth was born Lohith at Kalyani Hospital in Bangalore, Karnataka, to Rajkumar and Parvathamma Rajkumar. He is their fifth, and youngest, child. When Puneeth was six years old, his family moved to Mysore. His father brought him and his sister, Poornima, to his film sets until he was ten years old. His elder brother, Shiva Rajkumar, is a popular actor.
Puneeth married Ashwini Revanth on 1 December 1999. They met through a mutual friend, and have two daughters: Drithi and Vanditha.
Director V. Somashekar first brought Puneeth (then known as Lohith) onscreen when he was six months old in his thriller film, Premada Kanike (1976), starring Rajkumar and Aarathi. This was followed by Vijay's Sanaadi Appanna (1977), based on Krishnamoorthy Puranik's novel of the same name, when Puneeth was one year old. Thayige Thakka Maga (1978) was again directed by V. Somashekar and starred his father. Two years later, directors Dorai-Bhagavan cast him as Shyam in Vasantha Geetha (1980). This was followed by K. S. L. Swamy's mythological drama Bhoomige Banda Bhagavantha (1981, appearing as Lord Krishna) and B. S. Ranga's Bhagyavantha (1982), in which he recorded his first popular song: "Baana Daariyalli Soorya", composed by T. G. Lingappa. That year, he appeared in two hit films (Chalisuva Modagalu and Hosa Belaku) with his father. For the former, Puneeth received his first Karnataka State Film Award for Best Child Actor (Male). In 1983 he appeared in two mythological films: Bhakta Prahlada as the protagonist, Prahlada, and Eradu Nakshatragalu, for which he received his second Karnataka State Film Award for Best Child Actor.
In 1984 Puneeth starred with Rajkumar in the thriller Yarivanu and sang "Kannige Kaanuva", written by Rajan-Nagendra. His biggest break as a child actor came in the 1985 drama Bettada Hoovu, directed by N. Lakshminarayan and based on Shirley L. Arora's novel What Then, Raman? For his portrayal of the innocent Ramu, Puneeth received the award for Best Child Artist at the 33rd National Film Awards. In his early teens he appeared in Shiva Mecchida Kannappa (1988) as the young Kannappa with his elder brother, Shiva. Puneeth's final child role was in Parashuram (1989), with his father.
In April 2002 Puneeth made his film debut as a leading man in the masala film Appu with Rakshita, also making her film debut. The musical, directed by Puri Jagannadh and produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar in which he played a college boy, was a box-office success and his dancing skills were praised by critics. Puneeth sang "Taliban Alla Alla", with lyrics by Upendra and music by Gurukiran. The film's success spawned remakes in Telugu (Idiot (2003)) and Tamil (Dum (2003)).
Puneeth next appeared in Dinesh Babu's Abhi (2003) as a plucky college boy who is devoted to his mother. In the film, based on a true story and produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar, he starred with debutante Ramya.
Meher Ramesh's Veera Kannadiga was Puneeth's first 2004 release. The film, written by Puri Jagannadh, was simultaneously made in Telugu as Andhrawala with N. T. Rama Rao Jr. in the lead role. Paired with debutante Anitha it showcased his dancing and stunt skills. Although the film was criticised for its violence and poor plot, it was successful at the box office. Puneeth next starred in S. Narayan's family drama Maurya, a remake of the Telugu Amma Nanna O Tamila Ammayi starring Ravi Teja and written by Puri Jagannadh. The remake enhanced Puneeth's reputation as an actor in his own right.
He released two films in 2005. Mahesh Babu's Aakash reunited Puneeth with Ramya (from Abhi), and he appeared in Veera Shankar's action film Namma Basava with Gowri Munjal. He recorded songs in both films. Puneeth's only 2006 release was Ajay, directed by Meher Ramesh and produced by Rockline Venkatesh. In the film, a remake of the 2003 Telugu Okkadu, he played a professional kabaddi player who protects a girl endangered by her uncle (played by Prakash Raj). As a result of these films, Puneeth was called the "Powerstar of Sandalwood".
Puneeth's first release in 2007 was his production Arasu, directed by Mahesh Babu, in which he played an expatriate businessman who renounces his wealth for the woman he loves. For his performance, he received his first Filmfare Best Actor award. Puneeth's other release that year was Prakash's reaffirmation of traditional family values, Milana, in which he played the radio jockey Akash. For the film, he received his first Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor.
The actor released two films in 2008: D. Rajendra Babu's Bindaas and Prakash's Vamshi. Puneeth's first 2009 release was Raaj - The Showman. Although the film (directed by Prem) was criticised, his performance was praised. His other film, Raam with Priyamani, was a remake of the Telugu hit Ready.
Puneeth returned to the limelight in 2010 with back-to-back hits. The first was Jacob Varghese's political thriller Prithvi, in which he played a bureaucrat in Ballari district who fights corruption. His next release was the action film Jackie directed by Duniya Soori, which was a commercial success. Puneeth Rajkumar is praised by both the critics and fans. His dare-devil stunts in movies are still a record in South Indian cinema. He also danced well in the movie.
In 2011 Puneeth co-starred in K. Madesh's Hudugaru, a remake of the Tamil film Nadodigal in which he reprised M. Sasikumar's role in the original. For his performance, he received his second Filmfare and first SIIMA Best Actor awards. In Yogaraj Bhat's travelogue Paramathma, Puneeth's next release, his character searches for love.
He worked with Soori again in 2012 on the action film Anna Bond, produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar. For his performance, he received the Suvarna Best Actor award and was nominated for an IIFA award. Puneeth starred in another Tamil remake, Poraali, filmed in Kannada as Yaare Koogadali by Samuthirakani. He played Kumar, who escapes with his friend from a mental asylum and finds refuge in a man's house.
In 2014, Puneeth starred in Jayanth C. Paranjee's romance Ninnindale with Erica Fernandes. Although his performance as a New York-based adventure enthusiast based in New York was praised by critics, the film was unsuccessful at the box office. Puneeth's next release was K. Madesh's Power ***, a remake of the Telugu film Dookudu. Appearing with Trisha for the first time, he played a tough police officer. The film earned a record ₹22 crore (₹220 million) in six days. In 2015 he played himself in B. M. Giriraj's Kannada-Malayalam bilingual film, Mythri, which also starred Mohanlal and Bhavana. Puneeth's other release that year was Pawan Wadeyar's Rana Vikrama, an action film with Adah Sharma and Anjali.
In 2013, Puneeth hosted the first season of Kannadada Kotyadhipati, modeled on the Hindi show Kaun Banega Crorepati, which in turn, modeled on the British show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Its first season was successful, and a second season followed.
Puneeth has been a brand ambassador for Karnataka Milk Federation's Nandini Milk products, LED Bulb Project, 7 Up (PepsiCo), F-Square, Dixcy Scott, Malabar Gold and Manappuram, and was a brand ambassador of the Indian Premier League cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore. Puneeth also owns a team in Premier Futsal, Bengaluru 5.
Filmography and awards
Awards and nominations
- 1982–83: Best Child Actor (Male) — Chalisuva Modagalu
- 1983–84: Best Child Actor (Male) — Eradu Nakshatragalu
- 2007–08: Best Actor — Milana
- 2010–11: Best Actor — Jackie
- 2017: Best Playback Singer- Male - Nanna Ninna Prema Kathe - Nominated for 'Maduve Munji'
- 2017: Best Playback Singer- Male - Run Anthony - Nominated for 'Jhanak Jhanak'
- 1985: Filmfare Best Child Actor - Bettada Hoovu 
- 2006: Best Actor — Arasu
- 2011: Best Actor — Hudugaru
- 2015: Best Actor - Rana Vikrama
- 2010: Best Actor - Jackie - Nominated
- 2012: Best Actor - Anna Bond - Nominated
- 2014: Best Actor - Power *** - Nominated
- 2016: Best Actor - Doddmane Hudga - Nominated
- 2016: Best Playback Singer- Male - Run Antony - Nominated for 'Jhanak Jhanak'
- 2014: Best Playback Singer- Male - Power*** - Nominated for 'Guruvara Sange
- 2011: Best Actor — Hudugaru
- 2012: nominated, Best Actor — Anna Bond
- 2013: Youth Icon of South Indian Cinema (Male)
- 2016: Best Actor — Rana Vikrama
- South Scope Film Awards
- Other awards
- 2010: Suvarna Film Award for Best Actor — Jackie
- 2012: Suvarna Film Award for Most Favorite Actor — Anna Bond
- 2010: Udaya Film Award for Best Actor — Jackie
- 2015: Zee Music Awards For Best Singer - "Adhyaksha"
- 2016: Mirchi Music Awards South - Sensational Singer Of The Year, 2015
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- Refer watch hotstar Tamil 63rd Filmfare awards episode red carpet puneet rajkumar told in 1986 I won best child actor award from filmfare Chennai at shanmugananda hall
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