Karnataka

‘Uncle’ takes a final bow: veteran actor Loknath no more

A still from the film ‘Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu’ where actor Loknath is seen savouring pickle.

A still from the film ‘Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu’ where actor Loknath is seen savouring pickle.  

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Veteran actor and theatre person Loknath is no more

Veteran actor C.H. Loknath might have acted in over 600 films, but ardent cine-goers will remember him for his role as ‘Maacha’, the cobbler, who pleads to have a taste of Uppinakayi (pickle) in Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu. His skilful portrayal of the role became such a rage that on one occasion a fan gifted him a ‘jaadi’ (porcelain jar) of pickle. This acting finesse was reflected in subsequent roles — as the principal of a college in Nagarahavu, as ‘Thaatha’ (old man) in Minchina Ota, and as ‘Sadashivaiah’ in Kaada Beladingalu, directed by B.S. Lingadevaru.

Theatre buffs will not forget him in ‘Galileo’, directed by Prasanna for Samudaya. Through performances in Taayi , Ghosts, and Oedipus, Loknath carved a niche for himself in the annals of Kannada theatre.

Loknath studied engineering, and his entry into films was by sheer accident. He used to visit a gym of writer and playwright K.V. Iyer, but more than fitness, he learnt the nuances of acting there. He entered films through Samskara, directed by Pattabhirama Reddy in 1970. The journey continued with Gejje Pooje (Directed by Puttanna Kanagal), Bangarada Manushya, Doorada Betta, Sharapanjara, Bangarada Panjara, Kaaleju Ranga, Singapurinalli Rajakulla. Mane Mane Kathe, Pushpaka Vimana and ended with Bheema Teeradalli. He was soon sharing screen space with all the stalwarts of Kannada cinema and theatre, including Dr. Rajkumar, Shankar Nag, Anant Nag, Vishnuvardhan, M.H. Ambareesh, and Kamal Haasan.

T. Venkateshamurthy, of Samudaya, Bengaluru, remembers him as “a committed artist, who attended all the rehearsals on time and made himself available for all the shows of his plays in spite of his busy film engagements”.

Loknath was an integral part of both Kannada cinema and theatre for nearly three decades. After earning recognition as a character actor, he donned the role of father in many films and put up sterling performances in Hosa Neeru, Bili Hendti, Bhagya Jyothi, and Katha Sangama. He was better known as “uncle” in both the theatre and cine world.

However, apart from winning the Karnataka State Film Award for his performance in Minchina Ota as supporting actor, he did not get any other award in Kannada cinema.

Born into an orthodox family which considered acting a taboo on August 14, 1926, Loknath overcame all obstacles to become an actor of high calibre. He remained hale and hearty till the very end.

Jaimala, Minister for Women and Child Development, paid him a fitting tribute, “The news of veteran actor Loknath’s death has caused me immense pain. His contribution to Kannada cinema and theatre is immeasurable.”

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 8:38:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/uncle-takes-a-final-bow/article25875233.ece

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