Vishnuvardhan, the Decent Star, is no more. RIP.

churumuri records with deep regret the passing away of the Mysore-born Kannada superstar H.N. Sampath Kumar, known to the world as Vishnuvardhan, following a heart attack in his home-town on Wednesday morning.

He was 59 years old, and is survived by his wife Bharati and their adopted daughters, Keerthi and Chandana.

Like Rahul Dravid who has always had to play under the shadow of Sachin Tendulkar, Vishnuvardhan’s career coincided with that of the gigantic Dr Raj Kumar, although the two starred together only once.

But, to Vishnuvardhan’s credit, he carved his own niche and won popular and critical appeal with a range of stellar performances in Vamshavrusksha, Nagara Haavu, Muthina Haara, Bandhana, Suprabhatha, Nagara Hole, Nishkarsha and Aaptamitra.

Unlike most Kannada stars, lef-hander Vishnuvardhan bravely tested his star value  in other languages, including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi, acting alongside Sivaji Ganesan, Rajnikanth and Mammootty. And like his good friend Gundappa Vishwanath, he brought grace, style and an essential decency to the acting (and living) crease.

In an industry filled with all kinds of self-appointed stars, to Vishnuvardhan goes the worthy and weighty title, “Decent Star”.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Passion for Cinema: Dr Vishnuvardhan passes away

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38 Responses to “Vishnuvardhan, the Decent Star, is no more. RIP.”

  1. Manju Says:

    A great loss to Kannada and Karnataka! Realy a very good actor with rare talent and Vishnu is having no controversy.

  2. kannadaboyz Says:

    I cant believe it. Sad to know. may his soul RIP

  3. Dileepa Prabhakar Says:

    Decent Star is a very apt title indeed. The last decent star in Kannada cinema.

    Met him once in Premier Studios, Mysore when my aunt took me and a couple of cousins there to watch a movie shoot in progress. Finished his shot, came and talked to us for nearly 10 minutes, and went back to shooting the movie. That was a more than 15 years ago and for some reason, I still remember it.

  4. Krishnan Says:

    Great loss to Kannada film fraternity. He cut a dashing handsome figure. My condolences to the family.

  5. Jack Says:

    My condolences to the family and all his fans. He was truly a great actor.

  6. Anna Says:

    Ee anjada edeyali nanje illa bagguva aalalla…….
    Naa ittare shaapa kottare vara……. Neethiya meerolla.

    Nagarahaavu could never have been what it is without Vishnuvardhan and Kannada Cinema would be incomplete without Naagarahaavu.

    This song is like autobiography of one of the most good looking cinema artiste of the world.

    Along with the list mentioned I would add Malaya Maarutha, Hombisilu and Maathaad Maathaadu Mallige.

    Being a self declared director’s child – It’s a disaster that he worked with Puttanna only once and none others had capability to tap his natural gait and kanchina kanta tailormade for a Leader. Can’t believe a veteran can be misused for cheap script like Ballari Naga recently.

    He would have singlehandedly changed political scene of Karnataka if he only did try. He had perfect sense of administration in his blood which seem depicted in some of the recent songs which always tried uniting different parts of Kingdom.

    The only one to match wavelength of Puttana among males.
    Our directors haven’t evolved yet to direct good looking ones. They somehow try to alienate them.
    A kind of hunger of this humble unsatisfied soul will always haunt me.

  7. Gurumurthy Says:

    A great loss to Kannada and Karnataka! Realy a very good actor with rare talent and Vishnu is having no controversy.


    He was decent & great legend who won the heart of crores of people of asia, specially in karnataka. My graceful condolence to The GREAT Dr.Vishnuvardhan

  8. Anna Says:

    This Dhanur maasa taking away the legends is deadly. The Mysore Kingdom youth and docs need to devise more discipline and caretaking for veterans who belong to all of us to face the tragic winter.

  9. keshava Says:

    The angry young man of nagarahaavu, The patriotic soldier of Muttina haara, The caring brother of yajamana, like this he acted in variety of roles… a very sad year end…… huge loss to kannada film industry due to demise of vishnuvardhan and also magical singer C ASHWATH…..

    Agalida diggajarige sahasra namanagalu…….

  10. Vj Says:

    My heartfelt condolences to the family of the greatest actor of my lifetime. He has been a hero of my dreams and will always be. Iam really shattered and i dont know how to express my feelings towards the death of my star icon. May his soul rest in peace.

  11. huttadallihutta Says:

    When I heard this news on TV, tears welled up in my eyes. For a person who grew up with his movies, this is an unbearable loss. Right from my childhood, I have been an out and out Vishnu Fan. Infact till Premaloka happened during my teenage years, my most watched movie happened to be Singaporenalli Raja Kulla.

    One of the last actors who could speak Kannada flawlessly, faultlessly. It is indeed a sad day for the kannada cultural world. C Ashwath and now Vishnu anna….

    May their souls rest in peace.

  12. sathya Says:

    Haavina dwesha hanneraDu varusha was composed by the great lyricist Vijayanarasimha. And what a sing it is! Puttanna Kanagal spotted such talents and groomed them. It is all a part of history!
    RIP Vishnuvardhan – a name given by PuTTanna Kanagal to Sampathkumar.

  13. Sinchana.B.V. Says:

    My heartfelt condolences to the family of the greatest actor.He has been a hero of my dreams in my childhood.As i heard the news, couldn stop my tears. I still cant believe that he is no more.Really its a greatest loss for the Kannada industry.Love you Vishnu, you are always alive in our hearts.May his soul rest in piece.
    Also my condolences to the family of the great singer C.Ashwath.

    A very tragic end of the year 2009…..

  14. Innocent Says:

    Though death is certain for everyone, yet, he could have lived for few more years. Now there are senior actors left to lead the industry. The socalled rivalry between him and Rajkumar was media created and fuelled by certain vested interests in the film industry. Both of them had different paths and achieved success, popularity in their own way. May his soul rest in peace and may he take rebirth in Kannadanadu.

  15. raj Says:

    feels like lost an elderly person of family
    a wonderful actor & person
    let his soul rest in peace

  16. Chinakurali Says:

    Idhu thumba aghtakari vishaya gayada mele bare eledanthe nenne aswath indu vishnu. Kannada nijavaglu shreshta sevakarannu kaledukondide.

    Agalida eradoo chentanagalige pranamagalu .

  17. Nagaraj Says:

    vishnuvardan hrudayaghatha kannadigarige tumbalarada aghatha

    garjne nillisida simha \


  18. Gaby Says:

    This is really sad- all those lovely moments- one of the truly handsome actors in Kannada movies- the irresistable march of time I suppose.

  19. Anna Says:

    Laali and Mahakshatriya to name a few where no one else would dare step into.

  20. Manasa.m Says:

    Great person… We really miss the great personality…Huge loss for kannada and Karnataka

  21. prady Says:

    today is the ,very sad moment for kannada film industry as it losts it’s one of the great star

  22. hkg Says:

    my childhood was spent arguing with friends who was better: Dr Raj or Vishnuvardhan.

    Even though I supported Dr Raj, I silently wished he could “fight” like Vishnu.

    Truly a great loss to Kannada and Kannada Cinema

  23. ab Says:

    Dr.vishnuvardhan is the legend of kannada film industry. this is a big loss for kannada. may his soul rest in peace. this is sad day for us. love his acting and songs. tutu anna thinoke bogase neru kudioke sung by his one of the favorite song

  24. Firoz Khan Says:

    Anna Vishnu I really MISS U. I am your greatest fan on this earth. I am speechless. I just pray for your soul. MISS U LION. Jagave heege Olave heege alla Chakra Jeevana Chakra……… :( :(

  25. Narayana Says:

    Rest in Peace.

  26. mysore peshva Says:

    may his soul rest in peace in vaikunta.

    when i was younger i used to think vishnuvardhan and rajesh khanna might be identical twins!

  27. babuds Says:

    Kannada film industry lost great talent, which could not exploit Vishnu’s acting prowess fully. Hope the younger breed of actors learn from his powerful portrayal of roles in films such as naagara haavu and muttina haara, to name a few.

  28. Kannadathi Says:

    This is an unbearable loss for the Kannada nation. Vishnuvardhan was a truly great actor who carried himself with dignity and class. His work in movies like Naagara Haavu, Bhootayyana maga ayyu, bandana, muttina haara, etc made a great impression on anyone who watched those movies. A decent human being overall and one of the last doyens of the Kannada film industry. He will be sorely missed. May his soul rest in peace.

  29. Arrow Says:

    IT was shocking and unbelivable to know and come to terms that
    Dr.Vishnuvardhan was no more.

    An excellent actor and an excellent human being, it is a great loss for the entire state and the film industry. May be the only actor, who could act in all types of roles. He was very handsome, had an excellent dialogue delivery and could speak flawless Kannada!

    I am an out and out Vishnu fan, grew up watching his films right from the 70s, got into many a fight with friends/class mates on Vishnu or Raj!!

    Used to pester my father to buy me the steel ring and was wearing it for some time!!

    My sincere condolences to the family and pray to God to give them strength to overcome this loss and grief.

    May His Soul Rest In Peace

  30. kavitha Says:

    A truly great actor and a decent human being…may his soul rest in peace. I remember seeing Nagarahavu 5 times in theatres and innumerable times after the DVD was available. Only wish he could work more with his guru Puttanna to give us classics like Nagarhavu. Probably the only kannada actor who excelled in action movies and was cut out for action roles. I still remember superhits action movies of Vishnuvardhan, like Kalla Kulla, Sahodarara Saval, Kittu Puttu, Singaporenalli RaajaKulla, Kiladi Jodi etc.

    As Gaby said, truly handsome actor of Kannada film industry thus far.

  31. Amar Says:

    I don’t understand why all articles term the girls as “adopted daughters”. Aren’t they legally/socially Vishnu-Bharti’s daughters? Would the same articles have termed them “biological” otherwise?

  32. Yella OK Says:

    Shocking!! Very sad indeed. Grew up watching many of vishnu’s films. It is a pity that after muthina haara, he did not get scripts that were befitting a performer and star of that stature.

  33. Dheeraj Says:

    we lost our great sahasa simha dr vishnuji

  34. Nanda kumar Says:

    a great actor sahasa simha we lost him but we cant forget for ever

  35. M DEV Says:


    A great simha he very good fine actor but we lost you i say your film of the aptharakshaka near 54 time with out u every one’s heart is paining but any time u will in every’s heart

  36. skanda Says:

    I am humble request to god pls send vishnu vardhan to give him rebirth.

  37. sai Says:

    Kannada film industry lost great talent, which could not exploit Vishnu’s acting prowess fully. Hope the younger breed of actors learn from his powerful portrayal of roles in films such as naagara haavu and muttina haara, to name a few.

  38. shivakumara k.Saalundi Says:

    i lost my my ispiration and confident becouse i am a big crazy fan of vishnu when i lost my vishnu i dont like to spend my life, evry day i am thinking about my vishnu, its a huge lose for kannada industry

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