Dr Rajkumar (77), Kannada superstar and winner of the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award, died of cardiac arrest at a Bangalore hospital this afternoon. The superstar had come in the limelight when he was held captive by late sandalwood smuggler Veerappan for more than 100 days, about six years ago, according to sify.com.
As per his wish, the eyes of Kannada thespian Rajkumar were donated to an eye Bank, the actor's personal physician Dr Ramana Rao said. Dr Bhujanga Shetty of Narayana Nethralaya performed the surgery to remove the eyes soon after Rajkumar died, Rao said. It was Rajkumar's wish that his eyes be donated.
Rajkumar's movies have always carried a social message. The mother was given the highest place in practically every movie. So were good values, ethics, Kannada culture and patriotism. He had enjoyed a larger-than-life image among the people of Karnataka as he always played the role of an ordinary good man.
But unlike his contemporaries, Rajkumar never tried to convert his mass image into votes as he was never interested in politics. His most memorable films include Hannele Chiguridaga, Kasturi Nivasa, Uyyale, Eradu Kanasu, Bhakta Kumbhara, Babruvahana and Bangarada Manushya. Shankar Guru, in which he played an unforgettable triple role, will be remembered for a long, long time to come.
Rajkumar had acted in over 200 Kannada films, and never outside Kannada films. He was also a good singer and a wonderful human being.
He is survived by wife Parvathamma Rajkumar, three sons and a daughter. His death has left millions of fans and the entire Karnataka in a state of deep sorrow.