From Rebel 'Jaleela' to 'Kanwar Lal' to Trouble-Shooter of Kannada Industry, Ambareesh's Vivid Life Comes to an End

From Rebel 'Jaleela' to 'Kanwar Lal' to Trouble-Shooter of Kannada Industry, Ambareesh's Vivid Life Comes to an End

Actor-turned-politician MH Ambareesh passed away at a private hospital on Saturday night following a cardiac arrest.

Veteran Kannada actor Ambareesh, who was believed to be the 'trouble-shooter' and the only person who could stop internal star-war in Sandalwood passed away on Saturday in Bengaluru's Vikram hospital, after suffering from a cardiac arrest.

Ambareesh, will always be remembered as a superstar by thousands of his fans. But his journey in the film industry was not a cakewalk. Veteran actor's maiden name was Amaranath Hucchegowda, but while entering into the industry he was named as Ambareesh by the well-known director of Kannada movies, Late Puttanna Kanagal.

He was born on May 29, 1952 to Hucchegowda and Padmamma. Ambareesh’s grandfather was a popular violin artiste Chowdaiah. He completed his primary schooling in Mandya and got his degree in Mysore.

Cinema journey:

1970s is known as the golden era of Kannada film industry and it was the time when the whole of India was keeping an eye on Kannada movies. Puttanna Kanagal, one of the best directors Karnataka ever witnessed was leading the show for Kannada audience with the novel-based cinema.

In 1971, Amaranath Hucchegowda, who started his career as ‘Jaleela’, in Nagara Havu movie emerged as Ambareesh. The film was directed by Puttanna Kanagal and Ambareesh was given a small character with Vishnuvardhan in the lead role. Ambareesh as Jaleela and Vishnuvardhan as Ramachari had stolen the show then.

But, Ambareesh was unhappy with director Puttanna Kanagal for giving him a small role and he also expressed his displeasure with the latter. Pacifying Ambareesh, Puttana Kanagal had said, "You will be a star, once the movie hit the theatres." And Puttanna's words did come true, people applauded Ambareesh’s role. “Yake Bull Bull Matadakilva,” means Why girl, why don’t you talk? Was his dialogue that went viral even without the presence of social media in those days. Later the actor thanked his director Kanagal.

After being a successful villain, Ambareesh had to struggle in the industry for his survival and had to face a drought for almost nine-year in his career. After a long gap, Ambareesh got a lead role in a movie named Amaranath. But it didn’t help him to get fame. However, it was his close friend Rajendra Singh Babu's directorial Antha that rose him to fame in 1980. Antha was a blockbuster of 1980s and gave a big push to Ambareesh’s career.

With Antha, Ambareesh’s dialogue, “Kutte Kanwar Nahin, Kanwar Lal Bolo,” became a huge hit among youngsters and a trendsetter in Kannada industry.

After this movie, the actor never looked back. Later, in his career, he acted in several Kanagal movies – Paduvaralli Pandavaru, Shubha Mangala and Ranganayaki. In his life span, he acted in over 200 films. Despite having many offers from Tamil and Telugu film industry, the actor chose only to work with Kannada film industry. He had played major roles in Tamil films namely Priya, Thaimeethu, Sathiyam, Ethu Nejama, Arjun, Neethi Nermai Dharmam and in Malayalam he acted in a movie named Gaanam and a guest appearance in Mohini Yattam.

The actor also had some Telugu films in his kitty which include, Vonde Mataram, Sri Manjunatha, Vijaya Kadgam and Amara Simhams. His major blockbuster movies are Ranganayaki, Toni, Masanada Hoovu, Chakravyuha, Hrudaya Haditu, Olavina Udugore, Hong Kongnalli Agent Amar, Elu Suttina Kote, Rani Maharani, Mannina and Maga. His last movie was Ambi Ninge Vayassayto. It was released recently but did not make noise on the box office.

Ambareesh was offered a role with Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan in 1980, but circumstances did not permit him to share the screen with him.

In 1991, he was married to a multilingual actress Sumalatha. The couple has a son named Abhishek. Abhiskeh is also getting launched in Kannada film industry with Amar. Unfortunately, his father is not there to watch his son on the silver screen.

  • First Published: November 25, 2018, 23:30 IST