Puneeth Rajkumar leaves millions of friends and fans sobbing

One of the greatest stars of Kannada films succumbs to heart attack

Puneeth ‘Appu’ Rajkumar: Endeared by millions of people around the world (Facebook)

Venkat Raman
Auckland, October 30, 2021

The news that Puneeth Rajkumar, one of the greatest personalities in the Kannada film industry, brought a sudden feeling of dimness among the people from Karnataka.

The initial news, which arrived at about 8.30 pm NZT yesterday (October 29, 2021), merely said that the famous actor was admitted to the hospital. However, reality struck less than two hours later that he had suffered a massive heart attack and that the doctors attending on him did their best but could not revive him. It was not an age to die, though. He was just 46 years old.

This Reporter was a personal friend of Puneeth’s father, Kannada Superstar the late Dr Rajkumar and has seen Puneeth as a child.

Puneeth with his father, the late Dr Rajkumar (Family Photo)

Family in a state of shock

Chief minister Basavaraj Bommai told reporters that Puneeth Rajkumar was taken to the doctor, complaining of intense fatigue after visiting the gym.

He was then rushed to hospital, where he later died.

His body will be placed at the Kanteerava Stadium for fans to pay their respects.

Rajkumar’s elder brother Raghavendra Rajkumar said his family were “in a state of shock” and urged everyone to remain peaceful.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tribute to Rajkumar on Twitter.

“A cruel twist of fate has snatched away from us a prolific and talented actor, Puneeth Rajkumar. This was no age to go,” Mr Modi said.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy arriving at the hospital on October 30, 2021 (Photo by Pallav Paliwal)

About Puneeth Rajkumar

Puneeth Rajkumar lived every moment of his life like his father Rajkumar, another great actor of the Kannada film industry did. Simple, humble, conscious of his job, family-oriented and most important of all, scandal-free.

Born on March 17, 1975 in Chennai to Rajkumar and Parvathamma, Puneeth was affectionately called, ‘Appu’ and showed his proclivities and a young age for acting and singing and later also took to the roles of film production and television presenter.

He started gaining prominence in the Kannada film industry by the dint of his own merit and has 29 films to his credit.

His performances in ‘Vasanth Geetha (1980), Bhagyavantha (1981), Chalisuva Modagala (1982), Eradu Nakshatragalu (1983) and ‘Bettada Hoova,’ released in 1985 earned for him the National Film Award for Best Child Artist.

Thousands of people gathered at the Vikram Hospital in Bangalore on October 30, 2021 soon after Puneeth Kumar was admitted (Photo by Pallav Paliwal)

In later years, he earned the title of ‘Power Star’ and was featured as the lead action in commercially successful films such as ‘Appu’ (2002), ‘Abhi’ (2003), Veera Kannadiga (2004), ‘Mourya’ (2004), ‘Aakash’ (2005) and ‘Raajakumara’ (2017).

He also anchored the highly popular Television Game Show, Kannadada Kotyadhipati, a Kannada version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, at which debuted in 2012.

Offices, shops and commercial establishments downed their shutters in Karnataka yesterday as a mark of respect for the departed actor.

New Zealand Kannada Koota Message

New Zealand Kannada Koota President Vishu Lokapal expressed the regret and grief of the people of Karnataka and Kannada-speaking people at the passing away of Puneeth Rajkumar.

In a message sent to Indian Newslink, he described the actor as a ‘great soul,’ and that he ‘has gone too soon.’

“All of us are broken-hearted and deeply saddened by the sudden death of the most-loved actor and a great human that the film industry has ever seen. Puneeth Rajkumar was one a kind not only as an artiste but also as a human being,” he said.

Mr Lokapal said that the New Zealand Kannada Koota had organised a virtual programme for its members today, which he said has been cancelled in homage to the departed actor.

“We the member of the New Zealand Kannada Koota and the Karnataka and Kannada family extend our deepest condolences to the family of Puneeth Rajkumar, his well-wishers all over the world. We pray the Almighty to provide strength to bear this loss to humanity,” he said.

“Rest in Peace Appu, you will always be in our hearts,” Mr Lokapal added.

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