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A Tribute to M. P. Shankar, a Legendary Film - Maker

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Noted cine actor, producer and director M. P. Shankar (73), who shot into fame with his "Veerabahu" role in Sathya Harishchandra, passed away here on 17th July, Thursday after a prolonged illness. The end came at 2.30 pm at his residence Manjunatha Nilaya in Vijayanagar in Mysore city. Shankar leaves behind his wife Manjula, son Tilak and daughter Shobha.

He was discharged from the hospital only two days ago. Shankar acted as a villain and supporting actor in 108 Kannada films. He produced films under the banner of “Bharani Chitra” productions. Shankar, entered Kannada filmdom with “Ratnamanjari”, directed by Hunsur Krishnamurthy.

M. P. Shankar was the third son of Puttalingappa and Gangamma and was born on August 20, 1935. Puttalingappa ran a handloom textile industry near the now existing Shankar Mutt and later suffered losses, following which the family got into financial crisis.

Shankar had his primary and secondary education in Dalvoy School and higher secondary education in Banumaiah's High School.

A daily wager:
M.P. Shankar could not even appear for SSLC exams because of financial problems. He worked as a daily wager in the then Mysore Electricity Board on a daily wage of 14 annas per day. Shankar started his career as a Foundry man in the Railway workshop at Mysore in 1955 on a monthly wage of Rs. 80. This iron grinding work had an impact on his body. Shankar, who practised wrestling, participated in the Dasara wrestling competition in 1956 and received title from the then Chief Minister B. D. Jatti.

He dreamt of winning the “Sri Mysore” wrestling title. But the wrestling competition was suspended for three years from 1957, following the violence which broke out during the competition that year, and as such his dream of winning the “Sri Mysore” title remained unfulfilled. His acting talent came to light when he played the role of Kadu Kuruba in the diamond jubilee celebration of Banumaiah's Institutions and received a prize from Sri Jayachamaraja Wadiyar.

He formed a drama troupe under the banner Bharani Kalavidaru and enacted plays such as Gadayuddha, Yechchama Nayaka, Yelahanka Bhoopala and Raja Gopichand throughout the State.

Entry to Cinema:
M. P. Shankar made his entry into films in 1962 as a villain in the film Ratnamanjari, directed by Hunsur Krishnamurthy and made a name for himself in the cine industry. He earned the distinction of acting in 108 films. Shankar acted as a villain in films such as Veera Sankalpa, Kadina Rahasya, Naari Munidare Maari, Gandhada Gudi, Rama Lakshmana and Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu and with his flawless dialogues, clear voice and acting talent, made an indelible mark in the minds of the audience. Some of the roles he had played are only typical of Shankar. Shankar started his own production unit in 1968 under the banner “Bharani Chitra”. He began creating awareness about environment and wildlife through his films, beginning with the film Kaadina Rahasya.

Filmland's homage:
Leading personalities of Kannada film land visited the Vijayanagar residence of M. P. Shankar and paid their last respects. They include Puneet Rajkumar, Ambarish, K. S. Ashwath, Jayamala, Pratimadevi, Jaijagdish, Vijayalaxmi Singh, S. R. Govindu, Chetan Ramrao and Ikram Siddiqui. Director of Kannada and Culture Manu Baligar, Asst. Director S. Nanjappa, Mayor Ayub Khan, former Minister H. S. Mahadeva Prasad, Housing Board Chairman G. T. Deve Gowda, Corporator Sandesh Swamy and others paid their homage.

VIPs condole “Bhoothaiah”
Chief Minister Yeddyurappa and other VIPs of the State condoled the death of actor - Producer and Director M. P. Shankar. Shankar excellently acted in films like Satya Harishchandra, Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu and Gandhada Gudi, a record by producing for the first time "Tarzon" like film. He has contributed immensely for the development of Kannada films, Yeddyurappa said. Legislative Council Chairman N. Thippanna, Law Minister S. Suresh Kumar, BJP State President D. V. Sadananda Gowda, Kannada Development Authority Chairman Mukyamanthri Chandru, ex - Minister P. G. R. Sindhya, producer S. A. Chinne Gowda and Karnataka Rakshana Vedike President T. A. Narayana Gowda have condoled the death.

Sandesh Nagaraj condoles:
Film producer and former MUDA Chairman Sandesh Nagaraj has also condoled the death of actor - producer Shankar. Paying rich tributes to the actor, Sandesh said that Shankar used the film medium to educate the masses on wildlife preservation and environmental protection.

Seers condole:
Sri Shivarathri Deshikendra Swamiji of Suttur Mutt has expressed his condolences over the passing away of actor - producer M. P. Shankar. He said in a message that Shankar's contributions enriched the Kannada film industry. Sri Trinetra Mahantha Shivayogi Swamiji of Baby Mutt visited the residence of Shankar last evening and paid his last respects to the departed soul.

Shankar's funeral with State honours:
The last rites of noted film maker M. P. Shankar, were held with full State honours in city today, i. e. on 18th July, Friday. The State honours were accorded at the residence of the actor in the afternoon. Deputy Commissioner P. Manivannan, who represented the Government, and DCP D'Souza were present. The funeral was held at the Veerashaiva burial grounds in Vidyaranyapuram. The mortal remains of Shankar was taken to the burial grounds in an open vehicle. About 60 cars carrying his fans, dignitaries and relatives, participated in the last journey of the actor. It was organised by Dr. Rajkumar Seva Trust President M. Sadananda.

The last journey passed through Kalidasa Road, V. V. Puram Post Office, V. V. Puram Police Station Circle, K. R. S. Road, Akashavani Circle, Dasappa Circle, Dhanvantri Road, Sayyaji Rao Road, Banumaiah Chowk, Dalvoy School Road, where the actor's old house is located, Agrahara to reach the burial grounds in Vidyaranyapuram. The procession began soon after Rudrabhisheka.

Mayor Ayub Khan, former Union Minister V. Sreenivasa Prasad, cine producer S. R. Govindu, former Minister M. Shivanna, KSOU Vice - Chancellor Dr. B. A. Vivek Rai, film producer S. A. Chinne Gowda, actor Murali, director Sai Prakash, former Mayor Vasu and many other dignitaries visited the actor's residence and paid their last respects.

Courtesy: Star of Mysore

Click here to go to the main page of Star Of Mysore.
Click here to go to the main page of Sri. K.B.Ganapathy.

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Please send your opinions, feedbacks, articles to shshenoy at


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