Honnappa Bhagavathar

Honnappa Bhagavathar

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Category: Cinema

Honnappa Bhagavathar Profile

  • Name:
  • Honnappa Bhagavathar
  • Born:
  • January 15, 1916
  • Died:
  • October 10, 1992

Honnappa Bhagavathar Biography

Honnappa Bhagavathar was a Kannada - Tamil theater artist, film actor, producer, musician and a popular singer. He was most popular as a playback singer. His son Bharath Bhagavathar was also a popular actor of Kannada cinema and television. In 1956, the Madras Sina Pyans Associations awarded him 'Best Actor'. In 1976, he was conferred the title "Gana Kalabhushana" and in 1978, Scholars of Mysore state conferred the title 'Gaanakalaa Gandharva'. 'Rajyothsava Award' in 1986 and  Center for Music Drama Academy award in 1991 are the other honours received by him for his contributions to the field of music. He is the founder of production company named Lalithakaala Films, which produced movies in Kannada and Tamil languages.


He was born in 1916 at Chowdasandra, Nelamangala. He lost his father at a younger age. He used to hear his mother singing bhajans and devotional songs since younger age and cultivated the passion of music himself. Later in search of a job, he reached Bangalore where he became a disciple of his relative Murthy and harmonium player Arunachalappa. Honappa staged a play in Salem and after its success he was honored with the title "Bhagavathar". From there on, he was called by the name Honnappa Bhagavathar.


His association with film industry started with Tamil movies. Bhagavathar replaced M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar in the 1964 movie Sri Murugan, acting alongside MGR. He sang for this movie, for the first time, music scored by S. M. Subbaiah Naidu. He founded Lalithakaala Films, with Mahakavi Kaalidasa in 1955 being the first Kannada release. He made his Kannada acting debut in the movie Subadra. He played the role of Valmiki in the mythological movie, Valmiki which placed him as an established actor of the industry.  

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Updated: January 17, 2014

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