A commemorative postage stamp on Karnataka Ratna Dr. Raj Kumar, an Indian Kannada actor and singer :
Issued by India
Issued on Nov 1, 2009
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue a commemorative postage stamp on Dr. Raj Kumar.
Stamp Design, FDC & Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : Stamp, Mint Condition
Colour : Multi Colour
Denomination : 500 Paise
Stamps Printed : 0.4 Million
Printing Process : Wet–offset
Printer : Security Printing Press, Hyderabad
Name : Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju
Born on Apr 24, 1929 at Gajanur, Madras Presidency, British India
Died on Apr 12, 2006 at Bangalore, Karnataka, India
- Dr. Raj Kumar was the most versatile stage and cinema artist of Kannada film world. He held center stage during his lifetime through his portrayal of a variety of roles. His sway over his audience was unmatched. He also endeared himself to them by the simple life he led.
- Born in a remote village Gajanur now in Tamil Nadu, on 24 April 1929 to Shri Singanallur Puttaswamaiah and Smt. Lakshmamma, he was named Muthuraj. His father was a veteran stage artist who was very popular for enacting demonic roles.
- Giving up his education at the primary level, young Muthuraj joined the drama troupe of his father from whom he inherited his acting skills. After spending almost 25 years on the stage, he got a break in 1954 to act in the film “Bedara Kannappa” in which he adopted the screen name ‘Raj Kumar’. The film was well received by the public. Since then he never looked back. His popularity soared sky high. Dr. Raj Kumar enacted a wide variety of roles ranging from mythological characters, historical personalities and folklore heroes to social characters. He was also a singer who sang his own songs in the films. His rendition of devotional songs became very popular and were heard in every household in the state. His acting and singing skills were charged with energy and warmth and perhaps this accounted for his popularity.
- Dr. Raj Kumar was also a great human being who cared for human values. When the state was affected by severe drought during 1964, he along with other artists toured the state and comforted the people and also helped them with the funds raised for them.
- In a career spanning five decades, he acted in 206 films and became a cultural icon of the state.
- It is significant that the University of Madras bestowed upon him the honorary degree of “Doctor of Literature”. The Kannada University, Hampi honoured him with “Nadija” (Teacher of the land), the highest degree given by the University, recognizing his contribution in the field of fine arts. The Karnataka Government honoured him with “Karnataka Ratna” the highest honour given by the State Government.
- The Government of India conferred the Padma Bhushan and he also received the “Dada Saheb Phalke Award” for his significant contribution to Indian Cinema.
- Dr. Raj Kumar was an exceptional actor, and a versatile singer. He passed away on 12 April 2006 but he still lives in the roles he played which will be cherished by generations to come.
- Text : Based on material provided by the proponent.
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