Puneeth Rajkumar
Puneeth Rajkumar

Puneeth Rajkumar

  • Kannada film star Puneeth Rajkumar passed away after suffering cardiac arrest on Friday (29-10-2021). He was 46. The actor was taken to Vikram hospital in Bengaluru at 11.30 AM today. He was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). A group of doctors was constantly monitoring him and treating him.

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Puneeth Rajkumar (17 March 1975 – 29 October 2021), affectionately known as Appu by his fans, after his first lead role in the movie Appu, was an Indian actor, philanthropist, playback singer, television presenter and producer, who worked in Kannada cinema. He was the youngest son of actor and matinee idol Dr. Rajkumar. He was one of the most popular actors in Kannada cinema. He appeared as a lead in 32 films. As a child, he appeared in many films. His performances as a child actor in Vasantha Geetha (1980), Bhagyavantha (1981), Chalisuva Modagalu (1982), Eradu Nakshatragalu (1983), Bhakta Prahaladha (1983), Yarivanu (1984) and Bettada Hoovu (1985) were praised. He won the National Film Award for Best Child Artist for his role of Ramu in Bettada Hoovu. He also won Karnataka State Award Best Child artist for Chalisuva Modagalu and Eradu Nakshatragalu. Puneeth's first lead role was in 2002's Appu. In a career spanning three decades, he has won one National Film Award, four Karnataka State Film Awards, six Filmfare Awards South and five SIIMA awards. He was conferred with the Doctorate by Mysuru University. The Karnataka Government conferred the state's highest civilian award, Karnataka Ratna, to Puneeth Rajkumar on 1 November 2022, posthumously.Puneeth was nicknamed "Power Star" by media and fans. His films as an actor were primarily family dramas and action films but the films produced by him under the PRK Productions banner were of the comedy drama genre, with the theme of family relationships and conveying social messages. He appeared as a lead actor in many commercially successful films such as Appu (2002), Abhi (2003), Veera Kannadiga (2004), Mourya (2004), Aakash (2005), Ajay (2006), Arasu (2007), Milana (2007), Vamshi (2008), Raam (2009), Jackie (2010), Hudugaru (2011), Power (2014), Rana Vikrama (2015), Raajakumara (2017), Anjani Putra (2017), Natasaarvabhowma (2019), Yuvarathnaa (2021) and James (2022). His last silver screen appearance, the docu-drama Gandhada Gudi where he played himself, was released on 28 October 2022 coincidentally marking his first death anniversary. He was one of the most famous celebrities and one of the highest paid actors in Kannada cinema of his time. In 2012, he debuted as a television presenter on the game show Kannadada Kotyadhipati, a Kannada version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. Post his eye donation, Narayana Nethralaya recorded 85,000 pledges within one year as against 65,000 pledges in 28 years.

Personal life

Puneeth (born Lohith) was born in Madras to the matinee idol Dr. Rajkumar and Parvathamma Rajkumar on 17 March 1975. He was 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 brothers, Shiva Rajkumar and Raghavendra Rajkumar, are also professional actors.Puneeth married Ashwini Revnath from Chikmagalur on 1 December 1999. They met through a common friend, and have two daughters Drithi and Vanditha.

Acting career

Director V. Somashekar cast Puneeth (then known as Lohith) onscreen when he was six months old in his thriller film ''Premada Kanike'' (1976). 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 1994, Puneeth began working as a manager in his family's production house. His first film as a manager was ''Geluvina Saradara'' (1996) starring Raghavendra.In April 2002, Puneeth made his film debut as a leading man in the film ''Appu'' with actress, Rakshita also making her film debut. The musical by Gurukiran, directed by Puri Jagannadh and produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar, in which he played a college boy, was a box office success and critics praised his dancing skills. Puneeth sang "Taliban Alla Alla", with lyrics by Upendra and music by Gurukiran. The film's success spawned remakes in Telugu (Idiot (2002)) 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''. Actress Parvathy Parvathy (actress) made her debut into Kannada films with this film. Puneeth 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. 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.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 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 March 2016, Puneeth worked for M. Saravanan's ''Chakravyuha'' and Duniya Soori's ''Doddmane Hudga''. In 2017, he appeared in Santhosh Ananddram 's ''Raajakumara'', which broke all-records in box-office and became the highest-grossing Kannada-language film of all time beating previous record of ''Mungaru Male'', later the record was taken up by the movie ''K.G.F: Chapter 1''. He also had the starring role in A Harsha's ''Anjani Putra'' alongside Rashmika Mandanna.Puneeth Rajkumar has played narrator role in the Anup Bhandari directed ''Rajaratha''. In 2019 his film ''Natasaarvabhowma'' was released and also had commercial success. later the record was taken up by the movie ''K.G.F: Chapter 1''. He also had the starring role in A Harsha's ''Anjani Putra'' alongside Rashmika Mandanna.Puneeth Rajkumar has played narrator role in the Anup Bhandari directed ''Rajaratha''. In 2019 his film ''Natasaarvabhowma'' was released and also had commercial success. His last film in a leading role, ''James'', was posthumously released on what would have been Puneeth's 47th birthday, 17 March 2022. It broke the record for the biggest opening day collection, and was the fastest Kannada movie to gross 100 crores.

2002–2007: Debut as lead and breakthrough

In April 2002, Puneeth made his film debut as a leading man in the film ''Appu'' with actress, Rakshita also making her film debut. The musical by Gurukiran, directed by Puri Jagannadh and produced by Parvathamma Rajkumar, in which he played a college boy, was a box office success and critics praised his dancing skills. Puneeth sang "Taliban Alla Alla", with lyrics by Upendra and music by Gurukiran. The film's success spawned remakes in Telugu (Idiot (2002)) 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''. Actress Parvathy Parvathy (actress) made her debut into Kannada films with this film. Puneeth played the radio jockey Akash. For the film, he received his first Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor.

2008–2015: Other films

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. 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.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 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.

2016–2022

In March 2016, Puneeth worked for M. Saravanan's ''Chakravyuha'' and Duniya Soori's ''Doddmane Hudga''. In 2017, he appeared in Santhosh Ananddram 's ''Raajakumara'', which broke all-records in box-office and became the highest-grossing Kannada-language film of all time beating previous record of ''Mungaru Male'', later the record was taken up by the movie ''K.G.F: Chapter 1''. He also had the starring role in A Harsha's ''Anjani Putra'' alongside Rashmika Mandanna.Puneeth Rajkumar has played narrator role in the Anup Bhandari directed ''Rajaratha''. In 2019 his film ''Natasaarvabhowma'' was released and also had commercial success. later the record was taken up by the movie ''K.G.F: Chapter 1''. He also had the starring role in A Harsha's ''Anjani Putra'' alongside Rashmika Mandanna.Puneeth Rajkumar has played narrator role in the Anup Bhandari directed ''Rajaratha''. In 2019 his film ''Natasaarvabhowma'' was released and also had commercial success. His last film in a leading role, ''James'', was posthumously released on what would have been Puneeth's 47th birthday, 17 March 2022. It broke the record for the biggest opening day collection, and was the fastest Kannada movie to gross 100 crores.

Popularity and Other works

The sea of people, thronging that gave last respects to Puneeth Rajkumar, is testimony to his iconic status in the state. Over the last two decades, Puneeth Rajkumar grew from being an actor to an icon, much like his father, Dr Rajkumar. Puneeth had leveraged the influence he had to endorse many causes, refusing to take any remuneration for them.'''Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC)'''Puneeth Rajkumar had also agreed to be the brand ambassador for the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) in 2019. After his demise, many recalled how he had, true to his style, readily agreed to be the face of the state-run organisation and refused to take any money for the same. He had reportedly wanted to encourage people to use more public transportation. During his association with the organisation, he had actively endorsed several campaigns of the BMTC, including the Bus Priority Lane, Less Traffic Day and a campaign against harassment of women.The sea of people, thronging that gave last respects to Puneeth Rajkumar, is testimony to his iconic status in the state. Over the last two decades, Puneeth Rajkumar grew from being an actor to an icon, much like his father, Dr Rajkumar. Puneeth had leveraged the influence he had to endorse many causes, refusing to take any remuneration for them.'''Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC)'''Puneeth Rajkumar had also agreed to be the brand ambassador for the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) in 2019. After his demise, many recalled how he had, true to his style, readily agreed to be the face of the state-run organisation and refused to take any money for the same. He had reportedly wanted to encourage people to use more public transportation. During his association with the organisation, he had actively endorsed several campaigns of the BMTC, including the Bus Priority Lane, Less Traffic Day and a campaign against harassment of women.The sea of people, thronging that gave last respects to Puneeth Rajkumar, is testimony to his iconic status in the state. Over the last two decades, Puneeth Rajkumar grew from being an actor to an icon, much like his father, Dr Rajkumar. Puneeth had leveraged the influence he had to endorse many causes, refusing to take any remuneration for them.'''Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC)'''Puneeth Rajkumar had also agreed to be the brand ambassador for the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) in 2019. After his demise, many recalled how he had, true to his style, readily agreed to be the face of the state-run organisation and refused to take any money for the same. He had reportedly wanted to encourage people to use more public transportation. During his association with the organisation, he had actively endorsed several campaigns of the BMTC, including the Bus Priority Lane, Less Traffic Day and a campaign against harassment of women.'''Brand ambassador for the state-run Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF)'''Following in the footsteps of his late father Dr Rajkumar, Puneeth Rajkumar too donned the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) brand ambassador's cap without accepting any remuneration. In the 10 years that Puneeth endorsed KMF products, there was no actual agreement between him and the Federation. AS Premnath, former KMF MD, told ''The New Indian Express'' that Dr Rajkumar was the brand ambassador in the 1990s. “That was his first and last endorsement for any product, and it was advertised in newspapers and on Doordarshan. The legendary actor did not take money,” he added. After Dr Rajkumar died in 2006, KMF did not have an ambassador for a few years. “In 2011, I met Puneeth and asked him if he could endorse KMF. He readily accepted,” Premnath recalled. It was also an idea of then KMF chairman Somashekar Reddy.Asked about remuneration, Puneeth had said, “When my father endorsed your products without taking a paisa, how can I demand money?” The actor endorsed Nandini Goodlife tetra packs in the first year. “When we told him the advertisement will be shot at a government school in a remote village near Devarayanadurga, he obliged. We shot the advertisement for three days.He would reach the spot at 8.00 am and leave only at 6.00 pm. I remember him as a very down-to-earth person. He would sit with the children and have lunch,” he recalled. “With just his endorsement, KMF products started seeing good sales. That was the power of Puneeth,” he said.'''Brand ambassador for the state-run Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF)'''Following in the footsteps of his late father Dr Rajkumar, Puneeth Rajkumar too donned the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) brand ambassador's cap without accepting any remuneration. In the 10 years that Puneeth endorsed KMF products, there was no actual agreement between him and the Federation. AS Premnath, former KMF MD, told ''The New Indian Express'' that Dr Rajkumar was the brand ambassador in the 1990s. “That was his first and last endorsement for any product, and it was advertised in newspapers and on Doordarshan. The legendary actor did not take money,” he added. After Dr Rajkumar died in 2006, KMF did not have an ambassador for a few years. “In 2011, I met Puneeth and asked him if he could endorse KMF. He readily accepted,” Premnath recalled. It was also an idea of then KMF chairman Somashekar Reddy.Asked about remuneration, Puneeth had said, “When my father endorsed your products without taking a paisa, how can I demand money?” The actor endorsed Nandini Goodlife tetra packs in the first year. “When we told him the advertisement will be shot at a government school in a remote village near Devarayanadurga, he obliged. We shot the advertisement for three days.He would reach the spot at 8.00 am and leave only at 6.00 pm. I remember him as a very down-to-earth person. He would sit with the children and have lunch,” he recalled. “With just his endorsement, KMF products started seeing good sales. That was the power of Puneeth,” he said.'''Brand ambassador for the state-run Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF)'''Following in the footsteps of his late father Dr Rajkumar, Puneeth Rajkumar too donned the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) brand ambassador's cap without accepting any remuneration. In the 10 years that Puneeth endorsed KMF products, there was no actual agreement between him and the Federation. AS Premnath, former KMF MD, told ''The New Indian Express'' that Dr Rajkumar was the brand ambassador in the 1990s. “That was his first and last endorsement for any product, and it was advertised in newspapers and on Doordarshan. The legendary actor did not take money,” he added. After Dr Rajkumar died in 2006, KMF did not have an ambassador for a few years. “In 2011, I met Puneeth and asked him if he could endorse KMF. He readily accepted,” Premnath recalled. It was also an idea of then KMF chairman Somashekar Reddy.Asked about remuneration, Puneeth had said, “When my father endorsed your products without taking a paisa, how can I demand money?” The actor endorsed Nandini Goodlife tetra packs in the first year. “When we told him the advertisement will be shot at a government school in a remote village near Devarayanadurga, he obliged. We shot the advertisement for three days.He would reach the spot at 8.00 am and leave only at 6.00 pm. I remember him as a very down-to-earth person. He would sit with the children and have lunch,” he recalled. “With just his endorsement, KMF products started seeing good sales. That was the power of Puneeth,” he said.'''Brand ambassador for the state-run Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF)'''Following in the footsteps of his late father Dr Rajkumar, Puneeth Rajkumar too donned the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) brand ambassador's cap without accepting any remuneration. In the 10 years that Puneeth endorsed KMF products, there was no actual agreement between him and the Federation. AS Premnath, former KMF MD, told ''The New Indian Express'' that Dr Rajkumar was the brand ambassador in the 1990s. “That was his first and last endorsement for any product, and it was advertised in newspapers and on Doordarshan. The legendary actor did not take money,” he added. After Dr Rajkumar died in 2006, KMF did not have an ambassador for a few years. “In 2011, I met Puneeth and asked him if he could endorse KMF. He readily accepted,” Premnath recalled. It was also an idea of then KMF chairman Somashekar Reddy.Asked about remuneration, Puneeth had said, “When my father endorsed your products without taking a paisa, how can I demand money?” The actor endorsed Nandini Goodlife tetra packs in the first year. “When we told him the advertisement will be shot at a government school in a remote village near Devarayanadurga, he obliged. We shot the advertisement for three days.He would reach the spot at 8.00 am and leave only at 6.00 pm. I remember him as a very down-to-earth person. He would sit with the children and have lunch,” he recalled. “With just his endorsement, KMF products started seeing good sales. That was the power of Puneeth,” he said.'''Right to Education (RTE)'''Education was a cause that was close to Puneeth Rajkumar and over decades, he worked in many ways to help those in need with the same. According to reports, he used to consistently sponsor the fees of thousands of students every year, and used to also financially assist many Kannada-medium schools in the state. In 2013, when the state government was finding several seats vacant in the  Right to Education (RTE) quota, they roped in Puneeth and Radhika Pandit as brand ambassadors to spread awareness about the legislation through a series of newspaper and TV advertisements. As the brand ambassador for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, he often appealed to parents to send their children to school and worked towards reducing drop-out rates in schools. He also had agreed to be the brand ambassador for the Skill Development Board. Speaking to the  Times of India, Higher Education Minister CN Ashwatha Narayana said that Puneeth readily agreed to the proposal.'''Right to Education (RTE)'''Education was a cause that was close to Puneeth Rajkumar and over decades, he worked in many ways to help those in need with the same. According to reports, he used to consistently sponsor the fees of thousands of students every year, and used to also financially assist many Kannada-medium schools in the state. In 2013, when the state government was finding several seats vacant in the  Right to Education (RTE) quota, they roped in Puneeth and Radhika Pandit as brand ambassadors to spread awareness about the legislation through a series of newspaper and TV advertisements. As the brand ambassador for the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, he often appealed to parents to send their children to school and worked towards reducing drop-out rates in schools. He also had agreed to be the brand ambassador for the Skill Development Board. Speaking to the  Times of India, Higher Education Minister CN Ashwatha Narayana said that Puneeth readily agreed to the proposal.K. Saurabh, who secured 260th rank in the UPSC Exams of 2023 had revealed that Puneeth's 2010 movie ''Prithvi'' to be his inspiration to be a civil servant.'''COVID-19 Pandemic'''In times of crisis, Puneeth was often seen not just financially contributing to funds to help those in distress, but also urging his fans to do the same. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck India in 2020, Puneeth actively involved himself in creating awareness about safety. In a video by the Karnataka government, he was seen urging people to support the government in controlling the disease. In addition to this, Puneeth also donated Rs 50 lakh to Chief Minister's Relief Fund in March 2020, amid the first wave of COVID-19 infections.'''COVID-19 Pandemic'''In times of crisis, Puneeth was often seen not just financially contributing to funds to help those in distress, but also urging his fans to do the same. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck India in 2020, Puneeth actively involved himself in creating awareness about safety. In a video by the Karnataka government, he was seen urging people to support the government in controlling the disease. In addition to this, Puneeth also donated Rs 50 lakh to Chief Minister's Relief Fund in March 2020, amid the first wave of COVID-19 infections.Puneeth was involved in philanthropy with his mother at the Shakti Dhama ashram in Mysore, and owned the Bengaluru Royals, Premier Futsal team.Puneeth, just like his father, is one of very few actors who have excelled in professional singing too. He sang alone in ''Appu'', and sang a duet on "Jothe Jotheyali" from ''Vamshi''. He sang a fast number in ''Jackie'' and sang in his brother Shiva's films '''Lava Kusha'' and ''Mylari''.Puneeth Rajkumar has sung a song "Kanna Sanne Indhalene" for ''Akira'' movie which was composed by B. Ajaneesh Loknath. He has revealed that his compensation for singing for other than his home-productions goes to charity and several orphanages and old age homes.In 2012, Puneeth hosted the first season of ''Kannadada Kotyadhipati'', modelled on the Hindi show ''Kaun Banega Crorepati'', which in turn, was modelled on the British show ''Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?''. Its first season was successful and a second season followed. The success of second season was cited as a prime reason for Suvarna channel replacing Udaya TV from the top slot for the first time in 19 years. He again hosted the fourth season replacing Ramesh Aravind. He also went to be the host of Colors Kannada's reality show, ''Family Power''. He was producing a serial ''Netravathi'' in Udaya TV.Puneeth was a brand ambassador for Karnataka Milk Federation's Nandini Milk products, LED Bulb Project, 7 Up (PepsiCo), F-Square, Dixcy Scott, Malabar Gold and Diamonds, Gold Winner, Ziox Mobile, Pothys, Flipkart and Manappuram, and was a brand ambassador of the Indian Premier League cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore.Puneeth was the founder and owner of the music label PRK Audio; the label's channel on YouTube has 15.1 lakh subscribers as of 1 November 2022.

Playback singing

Main article: Puneeth Rajkumar discography
Puneeth, just like his father, is one of very few actors who have excelled in professional singing too. He sang alone in Appu, and sang a duet on "Jothe Jotheyali" from Vamshi. He sang a fast number in Jackie and sang in his brother Shiva's films 'Lava Kusha and Mylari.
Puneeth Rajkumar has sung a song "Kanna Sanne Indhalene" for Akira movie which was composed by B. Ajaneesh Loknath. He has revealed that his compensation for singing for other than his home-productions goes to charity.

2016–present

In March 2016, Puneeth worked for M. Saravanan's Chakravyuha and Duniya Soori's Doddmane Hudga. In 2017, he appeared in Santhosh Ananddram 's Raajakumara, which broke all-records in box-office and became the most highest-grossing Kannada-language film of all time beating previous record of Mungaru Male, later the record was taken up by the movie K.G.F: Chapter 1. He also had the starring role in A Harsha's Anjani Putra alongside with Rashmika Mandanna, which was remake of Tamil film Poojai.
Puneeth Rajkumar has played narrator role in the Anup Bhandari directed Rajaratha. In 2019 his film Natasaarvabhowma was released and also had commercial success.

Endorsements

Puneeth was a brand ambassador for Karnataka Milk Federation's Nandini Milk products, LED Bulb Project, 7 Up (PepsiCo), F-Square, Dixcy Scott, Malabar Gold and Diamonds, Gold Winner, Ziox Mobile, Pothys, Flipkart and Manappuram, and was a brand ambassador of the Indian Premier League cricket team Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Other works

Puneeth has been involved in philanthropy with his mother at the Shakti Dhama ashram in Mysore, and owns the Bengaluru Premier Futsal team.
Source: Wikipedia

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Puneeth Rajkumar Filmography

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