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Updated: July 9, 2011 13:00 IST

Ask Shivaramanna about the film industry

Special Correspondent
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The veteran actor features in Belli Hejje today

He is described as the historian of Kannada cinema. Actor Srinath fondly refers to him as a one-man university. He has acted in more than 275 films in his four-decade career and is a multifaceted personality, having varied interests and abilities. Popularly called Ajatashatru because of his amiable nature, he is present at every occasion relating to cinema, either good or bad, on or off screen.

He is none other than veteran film actor, director, producer S. Shivaram. Even today he is legendary for discipline and perfectionism, and is a role model for the young generation of film professionals.

Theatre background

Like many veteran artistes in the industry, Shivaram is also a product of professional theatre, having acted in more than 1,000 plays.

Movie buffs will fondly recall his role of the Bhatta (cook), ‘Sharapanjara' Iyengari in Nagarahavu. His performance in Shubhamangala, Upasane and Gejjepuje, alldirected by Puttanna Kanagal, are unforgettable. He also acted in the lead role for Driver Hanumanthu and co-producer for the films of his brother, S. Ramanathan.

Driver Hanumanthu bombed, bringing Shivaram to be brink of ruin, scuttling his plan to produce S.L. Bhyrappa's Doora Saridaru.

Inspiration for role

He has many memories of Sharapanjara, which catapulted Puttanna Kanagal into stardom. For Bhatta's role, the cook in the Akashavani canteen was his inspiration. The film ventured into new territory as it was made without written dialogues.

He is founder secretary of Cine Artistes' Association and has been guiding force for many newcomers and a support to many more in times of distress.

In his younger day, he worked for the welfare of supporting artistes, collected funds for their welfare. He believes that the industry will not grow without own infrastructure.

It speaks of his generous spirit that he has introduced many artistes to the field.

The Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy has invited S. Shivaram to interact with the public for its Belli Hejje programme on Saturday at 4.30 p.m. at Badami House. For fans, it is an opportunity to speak to Shivaramanna, who has encyclopaedic knowledge of Kannada cinema. This 78-year-old is sure to inform and entertain the live audience also.

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