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Legendary filmmaker S.K. Bhagavan of Dorai-Bhagavan passes away

The 89-year-old filmmaker is said to been suffering from age-related issues and was admitted to a private hospital

Legendary filmmaker S.K. Bhagavan of Dorai-Bhagavan passes away
Filmmaker S.K Bhagavan

Last Updated: 03.07 PM, Feb 21, 2023


The Kannada Film Fraternity woke up to the sad news of legendary filmmaker S.K. Bhagavan's passing on February 20th. S.K. Bhagavan, who was suffering from age-related ailments, is said to have breathed his last on Monday, February 20th. He was previously admitted to a private hospital but unfortunately succumbed to the ailments. He was 90 years old. 

Born in 1933 in Mysuru in a Tamil-speaking Iyengar family, Srinivas Krishna Iyengar Bhagavan began his grand filmmaking journey in the year 1956 when he began assisting Kanagal Prabhakar Shastri on the film Bhagyodaya. Having functioned as an assistant for almost a decade, S.K. Bhagavan's first major break as a film director would arrive in 1966 with the film Sandhya Raga, although the direction credits would eventually be handed over to A.C. Narasimha Murthy. He would then be acknowledged as the co-director of the 1967 film Rajadurgada Rahasya (along with A.C. Narasimha Murthy).

His rise to prominence, however, would occur the following year when he collaborated with his soon-to-be long-term directorial partner B. Dorai Raj on the spy thriller Jedara Bale. With the very enterprising Dr. Rajkumar headlining the film, Dorai-Bhagavan were able to introduce a slick, James Bond-like sensibility to the Kannada cinema audience and fortunately, the film, too, fared incredibly well at the box office. The success of Jedara Bale led to three sequels in the 'CID 999' franchise with Goa Dalli CID 999, Operation Jackpot Nalli C.I.D 999 and Operation Diamond Racket.

But the spy genre wouldn't be Dorai-Bhagavan's only forte as they would soon dabble in family and romance dramas. Their 1971 film Kasturi Nivasa remains a cult classic to this day and so do many of their other ventures like Eradu Kanasu, Chandanada Gombe, Hosa Belaku, and Benkiya Bale

While Dr. Rajkumar remained their main leading man throughout the 1970s, young actors Anant Nag and Lakshmi began to feature as their leads in the '80s. Anant Nag and Lakshmi's on-screen pairing was a big success and the films featuring them, Benkiya Bale, Bidugadeya Bedi, Sedina Hakki, etc., too, were major box office hits.

After the death of his partner B. Dorai Raj, S.K. Bhagavan took a long sabbatical before making his return in 2019 to direct his final film, Aduva Gombe, starring Anant Nag and Sanchari Vijay.

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