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Ambareesh: A 'Rebel Hero'-turned-politician

Written by: Staff

Bangalore, Oct 24 (UNI) For 'Rebel Star' M H Ambareesh who as a police officer or journalist fought against many a corrupt politician on the silver screen, life has come a full circle with his swearing in as an Union Minister in the UPA Government.

Born on November 30, 1951, Ambareesh made a smashing debut in the Kannada tinsel town as a villian in 'Nagarahaavu'. However, he hogged the limelight for his portrayal as a victimised police inspector in 'Antha', in which the 'angry young man' guns down the entire State Cabinet in the end.

Like many film stars turning politicians, Ambareesh too decided to take the plunge and was drafted into politics in 1996 by the then Chief Minister H D Deve Gowda in the erstwhile Janata Dal.

However, his political venture did not meet with the same success as his film debut, with the actor losing his first election from Ramanagar Assembly constituency, now represented by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy. His wait for electoral victory was not long though, as he became the Janata Dal MP from Mandya, the stronghold of the farming community of Vokkaligas to which he belonged, in 1998.

But his tenure as first time MP was short lived with the fall of the first NDA Ministry, which led to the dissolution of the House.

At this juncture, he made a tactical move of jumping on to the Congress bandwagon. With a Congress ticket, he retained his seat in 1999 and came to be known as 'Mandyada Gandu' (Mandya's hero).

Recording a hattrick, he won from the same constituency again in 2004.

Hailing from a family of musicians, Ambareesh is the grandson of legendary violinist T Chowdaiah, the court musician of Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar of the erstwhile Mysore royal family.

However, the fun loving youngster, born and brought up in Mysore, did not find much interest in classical music and developed a liking for acting.

Noted Director Puttanna Kanagal gave Ambareesh the break in 'Nagarahaavu' from which he never looked back. He went on to act in more than 250 films and had a huge fan following.

His major box office hits included Antha, Antha II, New Delhi Times, Yelu Suttinna Kote, Ranganayaki, Tony, Rani Maharani and Mannina Doni. Many of his roles were tailored to give him the image of an angry young man who was the victim of a corrupt system. His roles always portrayed rebellion against the system. He starred in character roles, before taking a hiatus from acting a few years ago.

He married Kannada actress Sumalatha and has a son. Known for his generosity and philanthropic works, Ambareesh emerged highly popular mainly in Mysore, Mandya and Bangalore Rural districts and many fan clubs sprouted, mainly in Southern Karnataka.

The actor also played a major role in securing the release of Kannada thespian Rajkumar, abducted by forest brigand Veerappan.


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