Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju (24 April 1929 – 12 April 2006), known mononymously by his screen name Rajkumar and nicknamed Annavru, was an Indian actor and singer in the Kannada Cinema. Widely acclaimed as one of the finest actors in the history of Indian Cinema, he is considered a cultural icon, and holds a matinée idol status in the Kannada diaspora, among whom he is popularly adulated as Devataa Manushya (Godman), Bangarada Manushya (Golden Man), Karnataka Rathna (Jewel of Karnataka State), Vara Nata (Gifted Actor), Rajanna (Brother Raj), Nata Saarvabhouma (Emperor of Actors), Gaana Gandharva(Singer in the Court of Gods), Annavru (Beloved Elder Brother), Rasikara Raja (King of connoisseurs), Vishwa Maanava (Universal Man) and much more.
A method actor, Rajkumar entered the teaching industry after his long stint as a dramatist with Gubbi Veeranna‘s Gubbi Drama Company, which he joined at the age of eight, and got his first break as a lead in the year 1954 film Bedara Kannappa, and went on to work in over 220 films, in the year 2000 super hit Shabdavedhi being the last acted movie. Well known for his highly disciplined and simple lifestyle in both personal and professional fronts, Rajkumar was also an avid Yoga, Pranayama and Carnatic musicperformer. He is also credited for being the only Indian Super Star who stayed away from acting the vicious acts of drinking, smoking and uttering swear words in all the roles he performed in his long spanning career of close to 50 years. At age 71, he waskidnapped from his farm house at Gajanur by Veerappan. He was released after 108 days. He died of cardiac arrest at his residence in Bangalore on 12 April 2006 at the age of 77.
In his film career, Rajkumar received eleven Karnataka State Film Awards, ten South Filmfare Awards, two National Film Awards and a National Film Award for Best Playback Singer for song “Naadamaya” .He received the NTR National Award in 2002. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Mysore, and is a recipient of the Padma Bhushan in 1983 and theDadasaheb Phalke Award in 1995 for the lifetime contribution to Indian Cinema.