Upendra Rao is an Indian actor, who was born on 18th September 1967 as the second son of the Rao family. Not only an actor, Upendra is an established director, producer, screenwriter, playback singer and a lyricist in Kannada cinema. He was born in Koteshwara, Kundapur, Mysore State to a very poor family. His parents are Manjunatha Rao and Anusuya. He is also known as Uppi. He has an elder brother named Sudheendra Rao.
He completed his higher studies at APS College of Commerce in Bangalore and obtained his B. Com degree. During his college days, he performed in college stage plays. He is married to Priyanka Trivedi and she was Miss Kolkata in 1996. They have worked together in Telugu film Raa and H2O. Upendra and Priyanka have two children. Currently, he resides in Bangalore. Upendra commenced his career in the film industry as a writer and an assistant director. He directed his first movie “Tharle Nan Maga” in 1992. The movie became a hit and it established his name as a director in Kannada film industry. In 1993, Upendra directed a horror movie named “Shhh” featured Kashinath and Kumar Govind. “Shhh” was one of the best horror movies in Kannada cinema and Upendra could demonstrate his capabilities as a director. “Om” was the next film directed by Upendra. “Om” was a gangster film, which was based on the life of the gangsters in Bangalore.
The film carried the message of peace and Upendra used several real gangsters along with actor Shivrajkumar for this movie. Om was a blockbuster and Upendra became a star director in India. The film introduced actress Prema to the Kannada film industry. Later, the movie was remade in several languages in India, including Tamil and Hindi. Upendra started his acting career with movie “A”, which was directed by him. It was a romance movie, which was based on the character of a film director who falls in love with the lead actress of his film. The movie addressed the dark truths of the film industry and rumors were thick that the film was based on incidents of Upendra’s life. “A” became a box office record and it became a high commercial success in Kannada cinema.
It was dubbed into Telugu and had a run over 100 days in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. His next film was “Upendra” co-starred Raveena Tandon. One of the upcoming movies of Upendra is “Uppi-2” co-starred Kristina Akheeva and it was launched on 18th of September 2013. The recording of songs for Uppi-2 was held at Gurukiran Studio in Bangalore. Over two decades of his career as an actor and a director, he has won many awards and has nominated in many leading film award ceremonies. He has received the best director award six times in Filmfare Awards South, Udaya Film Awards and Suvarna Film Awards. Also, he received the best actor award fourteen times. He has worked in 17 films as a playback singer since year 1999. In the year 2011, he was nominated for the Film fare award for best male playback singer, for “Sikka Patte”.
Harish Raj is a well known Kannada TV actor who later made his foray into Kannada Film Industry. The actor aged 38 was born on July 26th 1978. The versatile actor made his first debut on television in 1996 in the Kannada serial named Hosa Chiguru Hale Beru.
Harish then went on to act in a number of Kannada serials (12 of them) popular among them being Maneondhu Moorubagilu, Kavyanjali. He has also acted in 6 Hindi TV serials the most noted being Malgudi days.
In 1998 he was offered the lead role in Doni Saagali which met with moderate success. He then went on to act in 25 movies of the Kannada film industry. His roles were critically acclaimed in Kaanuru Heggadathi the film adaption of Kuvempu’s novel, Thaayi Saheba, Dweepa and Koormavatara.
The actor who is a native of Mysore has done his post graduation from KSOU Mysore in MA English. This actor has also featured in a few commercials like Kanva Shirts, Big Bazaar, Brue Coffee to a name a few.
Since he was offered only character roles in Kannada movies Harish opted to produce the movie Kalakar in 2008 for which he was the main lead. He then went on to act in a number of movies the most recent being Jai Lalitha. The next outing of Harish will be in 2015 with movies Nigooda and Sithara.
Harish also dabbled in direction with his movie Gun in 2011. The actor courted controversy when his movie was pulled off the theaters after 3 days to make way for another Kannada release of popular star Sudeep. The actor tried to commit suicide in protest in the Santosh theatre premises and was later persuaded to give up his attempts
Harish married Shruthi Lokesh who works as a project manager in 2014.He met Shruthi through a matrimonial site.Shruthi not being part of the film industry is an advantage feels Harish as they both can share experiences of their professional lives at the end of the day.