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Feb 10, 2016

Kannada film actor M.P. Shankar is dead

Published Date: 19 Jul, 2008 (7:07 PM)

Mysore, July 17 (IANS) Well known Kannada film actor and producer M.P. Shankar died Thursday evening. He was 70.

Shankar died at his residence here Thursday evening, leaving behind scores of his fans in deep shock and anguish. He is survived by his wife and a daughter.

A few years ago he had lost his son in a shoot-out accident in his house. For the past one year, he was suffering from cancer and had undergone treatment in Bangalore and Mysore.

M.P. Shankar, who hailed from Mysore, immortalised the characters of Veerabahu in the mythological film "Sathya Harischandra" made in mid-sixties and Bhoothayya in "Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu" made in 1974.

After making a debut in Kannada film "Rathnamanjari" directed by Hunasooru Krishnamurthy, Shankar never looked back and was busy for over a decade in Kannada films.

He was chosen for the best of roles because of his physique and voice. He acted in over one hundred films portraying a variety of characters though he did make a mark in villain's role in many Kannada films. He also showed his comic timing in films like "Narada Vijaya" and "Giddu Daada".

But it is Shankar's contribution to the Kannada film industry as a producer which stands out. He made many films on animals and forests and had a strong message in most of his films that the environment and wild life has to be protected. He wrote the stories of many of his films on wild life which were shot in forests.

Shankar started off as a producer through the film "Kaadina Rahasya" directed by Geethapriaya for which he wrote the story. The most memorable of his forest based stories was "Gandhada Gudi" which featured Kannada movie icon Raj Kumar playing the role of a honest forest officer.

Vishnuvardhana, the current super star in the Kannada film industry, had played the role of villain in that film.

Then he made wildlife and forest based films like "Kaadin Raja" and "Mrugalaya". Most of his other films were action-based thrillers including "Onde Guri", "Vijaya Khadga", "Kempu Soorya" and "Srimaan".

Jayamala, president of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, said that Shankar's death has removed one of the most committed producers from the scene.

"He was a strict disciplinarian and was a true professional on the sets. He wanted to make films which had some novel themes. His films would remain in the memory of Kannada film fans for a long time," said Jayamala.

Vishnuvardhan remembered his last meeting with the veteran actor-producer only a few days ago in a Mysore hospital. "He supported me when I had faced a big crisis in my career. He was straight forward and honest. I did work in two of his films, but was a co-artist with him in many films. He was a great human being," he said.


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Reena, India Jul 20, 2008
Gandhada Gudi is also witnessed the tragic incident.A forest officer who visited the shooting site left his real gun in his dining table there and by mistake reached the hands of Visnuvardhan there for fraction of second.Immidetly the officer said stop it is real gun.Thats all happened there.

But some stupid people(vested interests as vishnu says) created the story that Vishnu delebaratly tried to kill Dr Raj and mod attacked him.Some people even spread roumours that Vishnu"s wife Bharathi had crush for Rajkumar so she changed and kept real revolver for vishnu.

Unfortunetly later vishnu"s funeral pocession too was attacked by stones of some vested interests.
Dr Raj and MP Shankar who knew the reality never blamed Vishnu and continued together.
But they never acted together in Movies
Hardly any new generation person knows these episodes
prashanth, India Jul 20, 2008
The year was 1973. M.P.Shankar, a fine actor and a Mysorean, had decided to make a film with a storyline that revolved around a range forest officer posted in the wondrous jungles of Kakanakote, just 80 kilometres from Mysore.

The actor who played the range forest officer was none other than Raj Kumar and the film was Gandhada Gudi. A film that went onto become an all-time big hit with its gripping narration, thrilling locations and excellent background score.

It was also the film that could have nearly, yes nearly, injured Raj Kumar grievously on location.

Here’s how it happened, according to eye-witnesses.

Shooting for Gandhada Gudi had gone on for months in the Kakanakote jungles. Only the climax had to be canned. The last scene involved a dramatic and emotional exchange of words between the hero, Raj Kumar and the villain.

The villain of the piece was none other than Vishnuvardhan, a wisp of a boy who was just then gaining a toehold in Kannada cinema.

The climax was slated to be shot atop a hillock inside the jungles known as Masaale Betta, with the hero’s mother, played by Advaani Lakshmidevi, standing on a petrol-filled drum with a noose slung around her neck.

In the scene, the protagonist Vishnuvardhan threateningly points a double barrel gun at Raj Kumar screaming that he will shoot him and his mother dead.

The devious and wily Venkatappa Naika, played by the legendary Balakrishna, had orchestrated the whole sequence, completely disguising the fact that Raj Kumar and Vishuvardhan were actually brothers, born of the very same Advaani Lakshmidevi!


However, on the fateful day, Prabhakar, the serving range forest officer of Kakanakote, invited the filmi forest officer Raj Kumar, producer M.P. Shankar and director Vijay for lunch.

Vishnuvardhan, the rookie that he was, was not given the invitation.

Prabhakar was an extremely powerful officer who held sway over the entire Kakanakote region in those days and had been of tremendous support and help to the unit ever since it had started shooting in the area.

As the men were lunching on the sumptuous spread, something happened that would have had disastrous consequences on the very existence of the film and particularly Raj Kumar.

This, say eye-witnesses, is what happened.

The team’s driver came along and announced that they were ready for the shot up on Masaale Betta.

“Hey, take that gun there and go to the spot. We’ll be there in a few minutes,’ ordered M.P. Shankar, pointing in the direction of two guns that lay in a corner.

The driver picked up the gun and left for the location.

Lunch over, M.P Shankar and the others too left, thanking Prabhakar for his hospitality.

Meanwhile, up on Masaale Betta inside the jungles, the shot had been readied.

Vishnuvardhan stood in his jungle boots at the appointed place, gun in hand. Advaani Lakshmidevi clambered onto the petrol drum, the noose around her neck in place.

Raj Kumar hurriedly donned grease paint. He gave himself a once-over in the mirror that the make-up assistant held and it was time for action!


But, back at the place where lunch had been served, forest officer Prabhakar was getting terribly jittery. His double barrel gun was missing. He also remembered that it was loaded.

Suddenly, he realised that the gun had fallen into the hands of the film crew.

“Oh, my god, the driver has taken the wrong gun from here,” he shouted in panic as he began to rush frantically to the scene of the shooting.

And just as Vishnuvardhan was about to mouth his fiery dialogue, finger firmly on the trigger of the double barrel that he held, Prabhakar came onto the scene, his hands flailing like a mad man’s.

“Nillisi. Nillisi. Stop the shooting. Put that gun down. It’s a real one. And it’s loaded,” he shouted.

A hush fell over the entire hillock as the film unit began to slowly come to grips with the consequences if Vishnuvardhan had indeed pressed the trigger, pointing the gun in the direction of Raj Kumar.

M.P Shankar’s huge frame was trembling.

The director Vijay was quivering.

And Advaani Lakshmidevi stood like a statue.

Raj Kumar composed himself and started walking towards a cane chair under a tree. He flopped down on the chair and wiped his brow with a handkerchief….

However, to their credit, neither the thespian nor the tyke allowed this incident to affect their relationship.

They eventually went on to shoot the climax, this time with make-believe guns, and Gandhada Gudi went on to become the hit it did
Pritesh Shetty, Bahrain Jul 19, 2008
M.P.Shankar has acted in many memorable pictures, one of my favourites is 'Billigiriya Banadalli', in which he acted villain. Though some other villains of that time such as Toogudeepa Shreenivas, Vajramuni had upper hands compared to M.P.Shakar, The film 'Kaaddina Raja' (Ispired by Tarzen), Prabhakar starrer has been one of his hit films.
R. Sastry, India Jul 17, 2008
If you go by bus around Jayalakshmipuram(I think it is near Mahajans collge), dont be surprised if you hear conductort calling: Yareee, Bhootayana circle...The circle near MP shankars house is well known to locals as Bhootayyana circle.
SHENOY, India Jul 17, 2008
M P Shankar has acted as pahilwaan in the kannada movie 'Nagara Haavu'. He goes to the grocery store and asks the seth to appoint Vishnuvardhan [Ramachari] as his helper in the shop. The seth replies 'Ayyo sami, mandeeli Vyapaaraane illa' and declines the request. At a later date MP Shankar gets the chance to give back the dialogue to the seth where he says the same thing. It was a funny situation. The same scene has been re created in Zahreela Insaan where Dara Singh asks the seth to appoint Rishi Kapoor.

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