Balakrishna (Kannada actor)

T. N. Balakrishna
Born (1913-11-02)2 November 1913
Arasikere, Hassan
Kingdom of Mysore, British India
Died 19 July 1995(1995-07-19) (aged 81)[1]
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Nationality Indian
Other names Balanna
Occupation Actor
Spouse(s) Sathyavathi
Children 5

Balakrishna (2 November 1913 19 July 1995) was an Indian actor in the Kannada film industry. He was said to have a hearing problem and some say that he was totally deaf. However, he would catch the lip movements of the artists and would narrate the dialogues spontaneously. He was popular for his comic and villain roles in films like Muriyada Mane (1964), Bangaarada Manushya (1972), Gandhada Gudi (1973) and Kaamana Billu (1983) and appeared in over a hundred films that starred Rajkumar in the lead role.[2]

Balakrishna is known to have played the most number of roles in Kannada cinema, having appeared in over 560 films, and in variety of roles; as a hero, villain, comedian, good Samaritan, loving father and a lunatic.[2]

Early life

Balakrishna was born into a poor family on 2 November 1913 in Arsikere, Kingdom of Mysore. When he was four years old, his mother sold him to a couple for just 8 in order to provide treatment for her ailing husband. He ran away from his adopted parents after having been treated badly.


Balakrishna started his acting career by acting in a play, Shri Rama Pattabhishekha in 1929. Following this, he worked as painter of the stage backdrops for a drama company before becoming a professional sign painter. Later, he became a ticket collector in a drama company for a meagre salary. He returned to acting in theatre with Lakshmasana Drama Company and then with Gowrishankar Nataka Mandali. Following this, he joined the drama company of Gubbi Veeranna, a notable theatre director during the time.[3] Film director B. R. Panthulu happened to visit the drama company, saw his acting on stage and offered him a film role. This was how his career as an actor began in films. He appeared in a negative role in the film Kalachakra, a performance that was appreciated. He appeared in over a hundred Kannada films playing comic roles mostly, that starred Rajkumar in lead roles.

In order to make the Kannada film industry self-reliant and save money for the producers, he started the studio, investing all his money and property. He built the Abhiman studio in Kengeri, Bangalore in a 20-acre plot in 1963, but faced difficulties initially.

When no Kannada films were being made, he got together with other actors like Rajkumar and G. V. Iyer and produced the film Ranadheera Kanteerava. He even raised money from the public at 100 per person to build the studio. The studio was a failure, and Balanna died in penury. Television serials are still being shot at the studio today which is being looked after by Balakrishna's son, B. Ganesh.[4]

Notable filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1943 Radha Ramana
1952 Dallali
1954 Devasundari
1954 Kanyadana
1954 Muttiddella Chinna
1955 Ashaadabhooti
1955 Bhakta Mallikarjuna
1956 Daiva Sankalpa
1956 Muttaide Bhagya
1956 Pancharatna
1956 Sadarame
1959 Jagajyothi Basveshwara
1960 Ranadheera Kanteerava
1961 Kittur Chennamma
1962 Bhoodaana
1964 Annapoorna
1969 Mayor Muthanna
1971 Kasturi Nivasa Bhojarajaiah
1971 Namma Samsara
1972 Bangarada Manushya Rachutapa
1973 Gandhada Gudi Venkatappa Naika
1973 Doorada Betta
1974 Bhakta Kumbara
1974 Sampathige Saval
1974 Bangaarada Panjara
1975 Daari Tappida Maga
1976 Premada Kanike
1976 Badavara Bandhu
1976 Naa Ninna Mareyalare
1977 Sanaadi Appanna
1978 Sneha Sedu
1978 Shankar Guru
1979 Naa Ninna Bidalaare
1980 Ondu Hennu Aaru Kannu
1982 Mullina Gulabi
1983 Kaamana Billu
1987 Ondu Muttina Kathe
1987 Thaliya Aane
1987 Shruthi Seridaaga
1990 Ashwamedha
1992 Belliyappa Bangarappa
1997 Kavirathna Kaalidasa
1997Moogana Sedu
1997Bettada Hoovu


  1. His last days of "AU REVOIR"
  2. 1 2 "100 and evergreen". The Hindu. 15 November 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2014.
  3. Ashish Rajadhyaksha; Paul Willemen (10 July 2014). Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-1-135-94325-7.
  4. "No Abhiman about Balanna". Bangalore Mirror. Archived from the original on 14 January 2012.

External links

This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/2/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.