K Shantharam was a Kannada director and actor. He succumbed to his illness on 29th May 2016 at the age of 68 at Columbia Asia Hospital in Bangalore. He worked in more than fifty films and was most well known for directing the award-winning film, 'Marali Goodige'. His screenplay and dialogue writing were his trademark. Shantharam was from the Chikkaballapura district in Karnataka. His wife's name is Shaila and his brother's name is K. R. Muralikrishna, who is a Kannada film producer. He used to perform at the theatre before he joined the Kannada cinema industry. Shantharam’s first movie was 'Kanneshwara Rama', a Kannada political drama directed by, M. S. Sathyu in 1977.
Ananth Nag, Shabana Azami and
Amol Palekar were the main stars. The film garnered good reviews, and was featured at both national and international film festivals.
In 1978, Shantharam worked in K. Balachander’s, 'Thappida Thala' which was simultaneously made in Kannada and Tamil. 'Thappida Thala' was renamed 'Thappu Thalangal' in Tamil and can be considered Shantharam’s first Tamil movie. Shantharam won the state award for Best Supporting Actor category for 'Thappida Thala'. The film starred superstar Rajinikanth with whom Shantharam would act again in 'Murattukaalai' in 1980, which grossed the highest box office for Rajinikanth at the time. In 1979, Y. R. Swamy’s Kannada film Savathiya Neralu brought Shantharam fame. In the same year, he acted and was the associate director under Ramesh-Shivaram for the movie '
Madhu Chandra'. Shantharam worked under some of the most prolific directors of the Kannada cinema industry like T.S. Ranga, M. S. Sathyu, K. Balachander and many others.
He also wrote dialogues for two of director S. V. Rajendra Singh Babu’s top ranked films, 'Hoovu Hannu' in 1993 and 'Mahakshatriya' in 1994. Shantharam’s Marali Goodige won the Karanataka State Film Awards 1984-85 under the Third Best Film Category. Marali Goodige was the very first film he had directed. The film released in 1984, was based on Smt. Aryambha Pattabi’s story also called Marali Goodige. This Kannada film starred Roopa, Poornima,
Kalyan Kumar and Jai Jagadeesh in leading roles. He also directed 'Hrudayasamrajya' in 1989, 'Bala Nauke' in 1987 and 'Karnana Sampathu' in 2005; and also wrote the screenplay and the story of these three movies. He also wrote the dialogues for 'Hrudayasamrajya'. Ambreesh received accolades for his role in 'Karnana Sampathu'.