I was stunned by the news that Puneeth Rajkumar (1975-2021), colloquially known as Appu passed away today. He comes from a cinematic affluent family of Rajkumar’s. His father a legend & matinee idol “RAJKUMAR” and his brother a superstar, altogether carved a niche of RAJKUMAR’s in the Southern film industry.
He started acting as a child artist and also received the National Film Award for it. As the main lead, Puneeth Rajkumar started with the movie “Appu” in 2002. After working in many movies; he debuted as a television presenter on the game show Kannadada Kotyadhipati,(a Kannada version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire) in 2012. He is the recipient of multiple awards that include; Filmfare Best Actor award, the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor, SIIMA Best Actor awards, etc.
In 2017, his movie Raajakumara broke all records in the box office and became the highest-grossing Kannada-language film of all time till then. His dare-devil stunts in movies are still a record in South Indian cinema.
During one of my visits to New York, I happened to meet him at one of the shopping centers. I was blown away by his simplicity and humbleness. He also obliged us with a photo click.
His untimely demise leaves a void in Kannada Film Industry. May his soul rest in peace and may God grant his families & fans the strength to endure this great pain.