On Puneeth Rajkumar's birth anniversary, here's a throwback video of Rajinikanth sharing his admiration for Appu.
Last Updated: 04.24 AM, Mar 17, 2023
If movie icon Puneeth Rajkumar were alive, he would have turned 48. The superstar passed away in October 2021 after suffering a massive heart attack . His fans on Friday marked his birth anniversary by sharing their best memories of him. He had managed to gain a huge fan following through various onscreen performances over several years. And it won't be wrong to say Superstar Rajinikanth is one of his fans.
Puneeth started working in the movies as a six-month-old baby. He had a successful career as a child artist and also won several awards including a National Award. He achieved all these before he turned 14. After the 1989 movie Parashuram, Puneeth stopped acting in movies. He drifted away as he wanted to make a name for himself as a shrewd businessman. He, however, was closely working with his mother Parvathamma Rajkumar, managing their home production banner Sri Vajreshwari Combines.
However, it was late movie icon Dr Rajkumar's desire to see him pursue a career as an actor. After a lot of pressure from family and friends, Puneeth agreed to make a comeback on the silver screen. And the movie that was picked by his family to re-launch him as a lead actor was Appu.
The original working title for this Puri Jagannadh's romantic action was Idiot. However, he was asked to change it to Appu, which was Puneeth's nickname at home. In 2002, Appu was released and he instantly became a superstar. He could do anything — from risky stunt sequences to dance to acting. And the rest, as they say, was history.
When Appu completed 100 days in theatres, Rajinikanth was invited to be the chief guest. And in a lengthy speech, Rajinikanth predicted the pop-cultural force that Puneeth would become in the future. “I watched the film with Appu (Puneeth). And I realised, he was still a lion cub but he was already roaring. And it got me excited to look forward to the things he was going to accomplish in future. He stunned everyone with the opening fight and song. He was not getting applause because he was Dr Rajkumar’s son. But, that applause was for his talent,” Rajinikanth had said.
“What a performance he has delivered in his very first film (as an adult). We gained that kind of maturity only after doing about 70-80 movies,” he had added.
As Rajinikanth predicted, in the following two decades, Puneeth emerged as one of the top leading actors of Kannada cinema. But, he was more popular for everything he did off the screen. He was the face of important public interest announcements in Karnataka. He was a fitness icon and he was known for his countless charitable work.