In a bid to pay homage to late Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday announced that the late actor will be honoured with the Karnataka Ratna Award posthumously. A tweet from the official Twitter handle of CM Bommai read, "State Government has decided to honour late Sri Puneet Rajkumar with Karnataka Ratna award posthumously." The Kannada superstar Puneeth Rajkumar, the son of matinee idol Rajkumar, passed away owing to a cardiac arrest in Bengaluru on October 29. He was cremated a day later will state honours.
Puneeth Rajkumar was laid to rest next to his father Rajkumar's grave. His mother Parvathamma is also laid to rest in the same premises. The decision was taken as per the wishes of his family.
The mortal remains of Puneeth Rajkumar were also kept for public view at Kanteerava Stadium. Thousands of people across the state poured in to pay their last respects to their favourite star. Including Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, all bigwigs paid their last respects to Puneeth Rajkumar. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) National Executive Board meeting, being held in Dharwad, also offered condolences to the untimely death of the young actor.
Puneeth was born on March 17, 1975 and was fondly known as 'Appu'. He was also a singer, television presenter and producer. He had completed his cine journey as an artiste for 45 years as he entered the film industry as a toddler. He has acted in 13 films as a child artiste. As a child artiste he won the National award for 'Bettada Hoovu' in 1985. He won best child artiste award for his acting in 'Chalisuva Modagalu' and 'Eradu Kanasu'.
He made his debut as a full-fledged hero with 'Appu' in 2002. Since then, he had acted in 29 movies. His latest release was 'Yuvaratnaa' which hit theatres in April earlier this year. His last movie was 'James'. His documentary made by filmmaker Amoghavarsha of 'Wild Karnataka' fame shot underwater was all set to release on November 1.
He won two state awards for best actor and won five FilmFare awards. He started his production house Puneeth Rajkumar Films in 2019 and produced movies of Danish Sait and others. He was a successful television presenter for Kannada version of 'Kaun Banega Crorepati'.
Puneeth, fondly called 'Appu' was christened as 'Power star' by fans. Puneeth made it a point to spend one whole month with his family. He sang, shook a leg for them on their special occasions. The film industry which bounced back to life after Covid lockdown has suddenly come under a pall of gloom with the demise of one of its superstars.
Puneeth has donated his eyes. He is survived by wife Ashwini and daughters Vanditha and Dhruthi.
-- with agency inputs