Kannada film star and Rajkumar’s son Puneeth Rajkumar, 46, suffers heart attack, dies

Published : October 29, 2021 22:49 IST

Friends, family and fans pay their last respects to the mortal remains of Puneeth Rajkumar at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru on October 29. Photo: SHAILENDRA BHOJAK/PTI

Puneeth Rajkumar, one of Kannada cinema’s leading actors, passed away in Bengaluru on October 29 of a heart attack. He was 46.

Puneeth Rajkumar, one of Kannada cinema’s leading actors, passed away in Bengaluru on October 29 of a heart attack. He was 46. The highly popular Kannada film star had delivered several superhit films, with many of his movies turning out to be blockbusters at the box office. Puneeth was also a playback singer, television presenter and producer. He is survived by his wife Ashwini Revanth and two daughters.

Puneeth, the youngest son of veteran Kannada superstar Rajkumar, was fondly called ‘Appu’ and ‘Power Star’ by his countless fans. He had had a string of box office successes, with some of his best-known movies being Appu, Raajakumara, Doddmane Hudga, Hudugaru, Natasaarvabhowma, Rana Vikrama, Power, Jackie, and Anna Bond. He won the Filmfare award for his film Arasu and his very next release, Milana, got him the Karnataka State Film Award.

In a film career that started with an appearance in V. Somashekar’s Premada Kanike (1976) as a six-month-old infant, followed by a role as a one-year-old in Sanaadi Appanna (1977), Puneeth won the National Film Award for Best Child Artist in N. Lakshminarayan’s film Bettada Hoovu. His first leading role was in the romantic drama/comedy Appu (2002).

The actor complained of severe pain in his chest after a routine workout in his gym and was taken to his family doctor, who diagnosed him as having suffered an acute heart attack. He was immediately taken to a super specialty hospital around noon. According to the doctors who treated him, Puneeth was non-responsive and his heart had stopped — a condition known as cardiac asystole — when he was brought to the hospital. Despite the best efforts of the medical team consisting of an emergency specialist, an ICU specialist, and a cardiology team, he “remained non-responsive and his heart refused to pick up”. He was pronounced dead at 2:30 p.m.

The actor’s sudden demise has been condoled by numerous personalities, cutting across professions. Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a photograph of himself with the actor and tweeted: “A cruel twist of fate has snatched away from us a prolific and talented actor, Puneeth Rajkumar. This was no age to go. The coming generations will remember him fondly for his works and wonderful personality. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai tweeted; “Shocked and deeply saddened as Karnataka’s most loved superstar Puneeth Rajkumar is no longer with us. A huge personal loss and one that's difficult to come to terms with. Praying almighty gives Rajkumar family & fans the strength to bear this loss.” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted: “heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and fans of Power Star Puneeth Rajkumar.”

Condolences also poured in from the film fraternity. Tweeted Dhanush: “Puneet my friend…. This is so heartbreaking. Rest in peace my friend. Hope you are in a better place. My heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans.”

Police sources said that the mortal remains of the actor would be cremated with full state honours on October 30. His body will be kept at the Kanteerava stadium in Bengaluru so that his fans can pay their homage and have a last glimpse of the man who was also an avid body builder.

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