The beauty of Cinema is that it is a creative collection of different talents coming together to create a magic on the silver screen. Cinema has always been a medium through which a Common Man palpated his unsung emotions. When a Director wants to tell a story then he creates characters through whom he manifests his imaginations and ideas. When we say characters, we are not just confined to “Hero and Heroine’ but the portrayal of different roles which show up in the narrative. We have tagged these characters under ‘Supporting roles’ who share a minimal screen space but end up leaving a magical impact on the audience.
When we look at the Kannada film industry, we have a number of talented supporting actors who are immensely ingenious and versatile. The way they portray themselves on the silver screen adapting to different roles is simply incredible. Among these supporting actors, there are few actors who are so brilliant that they can give the lead actors run for their money. Simply put, they are as popular as a Hero in the movie. Here we are with the list of such Popular Supporting Actors in Kannada (from past and the present).
Brilliant Supporting Actors in Kannada
Tiptur Ramaraju Narasimharaju was a popular Kannada actor who was known for his unrestricted comedy timing. He was not just confined to comedy roles but the actor has successfully managed to portray the roles of a different genre. Narasimharaju was a comedy stalwart of Kannada film industry (Hasya Chakravarthy) who acted in 250+ Kannada movies between 1954 and 1979. He was so popular that the directors used to have a duet song for him and he was a part of almost every movie which was made in those times.
An actor who was said to be deaf has appeared in over a hundred films that starred Dr. Rajkumar in the lead role. The way he would catch the lip movements of the artists to deliver the dialogues spontaneously was truly magical. Balakrishna was a popular Villian and a Comedian of those times loved by people from all walks of life. He has acted in 560+ films as a hero, villain, comedian, loving father and a lunatic. Some of his classic roles have come in the movies like Gandadagudi, Bangarada Manushya, Bangarada Panjara, Daari Tappida Maga, Ranadheera Kanteerava and many others.
Karaganahalli Subbaraya Ashwathnarayana has appeared in 370+ films during his five-decade-long career. K.S Ashwath is considered as one of the finest actors in Kannada who is known for his brilliant acting skills in some of the Sandalwood classics. Words really fall short to explain his dedication and perseverance. Who can forget his role in Nagarahaavu as Chaamayya Meshtru or his impeccable performance in a movie titled Galigopura? He is a legend.
Do you remember him? Rajashankar was extremely talented and a good-looking actor who appeared in most of the black and white Kannada films. He is greatly remembered for his roles in Kasturi Nivasa, Sampattige Savaal, Bhakta Kumbara, Anuradha, and Srinivasa Kalyana (Hathiram Babaji).
The dynamic Vajramuni is one of the legendary Villians of Kannada film industry known for his thundering voice and sterling performances. It is said that people used to afraid of him when he appeared on the screen. The way he used to roar with his dialogues and groove with the narrative, people call him as Natabhayankara. He made his debut with Puttanna Kangal’s Mallammana Pavada and went on to act in some of the Kannada classics like Mayura, Babruvahana, Sampattige Savaal, Sangliyana, Sahasasimha, Shankar Guru, Premada Kanike and the list goes on and on.
Mysore Srinivas or popularly known as Thoogudeepa Srinivas is again an eminent actor who has contributed a lot to Kannada film industry. He was a great villain who used to get that demon kind of charm on the silver screen. Some of his classic performances came in movies named Mayor Muthanna, Banggarada Panjara, Gandhada Gudi, Vasantha Lakshmi, Sipayi Ramu, Giri Kanye and etc.
Umashree is the National Award-winning actress and one of the most versatile artists of Kannada film industry. She has acted in more than 400+ Kannada movies portraying all kinds of roles leaving no genre behind. She is greatly remembered for her comic roles with the actor N.S Rao and for the characters, she played in movies like Gulabi talkies and Putnanja.
Dodddanna has acted in about 500 films playing different roles from a villain, comedian and other family characters. The way he got transformed himself from portraying villain roles to comedy characters, Doddanna stand out in many ways. He comes with the talent of making people laugh and cry at the same time. If you have to witness his acting prowess then you have to watch the movie Sirivantha.
Being in the industry for two decades now, Avinash has appeared in more than 2000 films. He is known for his authentic portrayal of complex characters and versatility. He is one of the few supporting actors to enjoy both critical and commercial success.
Achyuth Rao is one of the most accomplished actors who can play roles of a different kind to their fullest. He started his career through Girish Kasaravalli’s Gruhabanga. He has also acted in TV Serials like Moodala Mane and Preethi Illada Mele. Achyuth Rao began his film career in 2007 with Moogina Manassu which gave him a good break. Later on, he went on to act in movies like Aa Dinagalu, Lucia, Mr. And Mrs. Ramachari, Manasaare, Rajadhani, Edegarike, Urvi, Yaare Koogadali and etc. It is an absolute delight to watch him on the silver screen.
Rangayana Raghu has acted in 250+ Kannada films portraying mostly comic and negative-shaded characters. The actor is known for his brilliant comedy timing and for the depth he brings to the character. Some of his classic performances came in movies like Duniya, Director special, Kaddipudi, Inthi Ninna Preethiya, Raam, and Modalasala.
An actor who gets whistles when appears on the screen. An actor who can tickle your funny bones and make you go ROFL. Sadhu Kokila is an amazing comedian, brilliant music director, an ace director and one of India’s fastest musical keyboard players.
An actor with a dynamic voice started his film career as a Dubbing artist. Ravishankar has dubbed for over 2600 films with more than 1000 films each in Telugu and Tamil languages coupled with 150 Kannada films. He rose to fame with the 2011 blockbuster Kempegowda starring Kiccha Sudeep. Today, in every film, he is welcomed by whistles and claps by his Kananda fans and that speaks about his popularity and fame.
Chikkanna is today’s comedy sensation in KFI who comes with an incredible comedy timing on screen. He made his debut in films with Kirataka and some of his hit performances came in movies titled Rajahuli, Adyaksha, Rambo, and Masterpiece.
Other Popular names are – Dwarakish, N.S Rao, Musuri Krishna Murthy, Sundar Krishna Aras, Dinesh, Dheerendra Gopal and Sudheendra.
There is no end to the list of Actors in Kannada film industry but these people have proved that one need not have to play Hero roles to become popular and get recognized.