Veteran Comedian K M Rathnakar Dies At 79
September 22, 2010 (FM): Veteran Kannada movie actor and director K M Rathnakar has passed away on Tuesday following a prolonged illness due to kidney and breathing problems. He took his last breath in a private hospital at the age of 79. Rathnakar is survived by three sons.
He has been part of more than 300 films and in most of them, he performed as a comedian. He had acted with many stalwarts of Sandalwood and the names of such stars include Ambarish, Dwarakish, late Vishnuvardhan, late Dr Rajkumar, late and late Shankar Nag.
Rathnakar had a rich theater background and started his career in fims with Vichitra Prapancha and his last movie was Aaptha Rakshaka, which was released in February 2010.
The actor was born on April 11, 1931, and had to leave his native place at the age of 12 years following a 'bitter incident' in his family.
Initially, he went to Baindur and then moved to Mysore. Rathnakar had to work odd jobs to survive at first. However, his music education during his childhood landed him a job of singing in a nearby temple everyday. This led to a meeting with Sorat Ashwath and Dikki Madhava Rao, who were regular visitors in that temple.
They were impressed with his voice and offered him to join their theatre troupe. Then he got introduced to H L N Simha through them. Simha was staging shows at Davanagere at that time. He gave Rathnakar the role of a comedian in 'Prema Leela' noting his shrill voice, short and frail frame.
The Karnataka government conferred him the Rajyotsava award.