B. R. Panthulu

Budaguru Ramakrishnaiah Panthulu (26 July 1910 — 8 October 1974)[1] was an Indian film director, producer and actor. He is best known for directing films in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. His most popular films are Sri Krishnadevaraya, School Master, Kittur Channamma, Karnan and Veerapandiya Kattabomman. B. R. Panthulu, is a successful actor and converted Ma. Po. Si.'s biographic works Veerapandiya Kattabomman (a movie about a local chieftain who fought with the British in the 18th century in Tamil Nadu) and Kappalottiya Thamizhan (a movie about a lawyer who rebelled against the British rule that forbade Tamils operating shipping companies) to celluloid.

B. R. Panthulu
Panthulu, pictured in 1948
Boodgur Ramakrishnaiah Panthulu

(1910-07-26)26 July 1910
Died8 October 1974(1974-10-08) (aged 64)
OccupationActor, director, producer
Spouse(s)B. R Kamalamma (B. R. Andalammal)
ChildrenB. R. Vijayalakshmi, B. R. Ravishankar

Early lifeEdit

Panthulu was born on 26 July 1910 in the village of Budaguru of Kolar district in the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore (in present-day Kolar district of Karnataka).[2] He began his career as a teacher. Influenced by professional theatre during the time, he joined the troupe Chandrakala Nataka Mandali. He acted in plays Samsara Nouka, Sadarame and Guleba Kavali. He also worked for some time with Gubbi Veeranna's troupe and acted in Sri Krishna Garudi among others. Panthulu then formed his own Kannada professional theatre troupe, the Kalaseva Nataka Mandali, staging plays of his own choice.[2]


He made his debut as an actor in the 1936 Kannada film Samsara Nauka, an adaptation of the play he acted in. It was produced by Devi Films, based in Chennai. Directed by H. L. N. Simha, the film starred Panthulu, M. V. Rajamma, Dikki Madhava Rao, S. K. Padmadevi and M. S. Madhava Rao. The hero marries against his grandfather's wishes and is cast out. His troubles do not end there – he finds no favour with his in-laws, loses his job, and finds himself accused of murdering the bride his grandfather had chosen for him. The film was adapted from a play by the Chadrakala Natak Mandali, and remained true to the original's reformist ideal.

In 1950, he made the Tamil film Macharekhai, partnering with filmmaker P. Pullaiah under a stage company that later came to be known as Sukumar Productions with musician T. R. Mahalingam as his partner. With writer P. Neelakantan, he started the company Padmini Pictures, and produced the Tamil film Kalyanam Panniyum Brahmachari in 1954. Under the banner, he would go on to produce the Kannada films School Master (1958), Kittur Chennamma (1961) and Sri Krishnadevaraya (1970), that went on to become landmark films. His portrayal of Timmarusu, the Prime minister of the Vijayanagara King Krishnadevaraya, won him the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor.

As director, Panthulu his debut as a director with the Kannada film Rathnagiri Rahasya, a major commercial success during the time.[2] He has produced and directed 57 films in all South Indian languages under the banner of Padmini Pictures.[3]


Year Title Credited as Language Role Notes
Director Producer Actor
1936 Samsara Nauka  N  N  Y Kannada Sundar
1941 Bhaktimala  N  N  Y Telugu Mohan
1943 Radha Ramana  N  N  Y Kannada
1944 Tahsildar  N  N  Y Telugu
1946 Lavangi  N  N  Y Tamil
1947 Nam Iruvar  N  N  Y Tamil Jayakumar
1948 Bhaktha Jana  N  N  Y Tamil Panthoji, a devotee of Panduranga
1950 Macha Rekai  N  N  Y Tamil
1953 Ammalakkalu  N  N  Y Telugu
1954 Kalyanam Panniyum Brahmachari  N  Y  Y Tamil
1954 Jaladurga  N  N  Y Kannada
1954 Karkottai  N  N  Y Tamil
1955 Modala Thedi  N  Y  Y Kannada
1955 Mudhal Thethi  N  Y  Y Tamil
1955 Vadina  N  Y  Y Telugu
1955 Shivasharane Nambekka  N  Y  Y Kannada
1955 Modalatedi  N  Y  Y Shivram
1955 Doctor Savithri  N  N  Y Tamil
1956 Sivasakthi  N  Y  Y Tamil
1957 Thangamalai Ragasiyam  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1957 Rathnagiri Rahasya  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1958 Sabaash Meena  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1958 School Master  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1958 Suhag  Y  Y  Y Hindi
1959 School Master  Y  Y  Y Hindi
1959 Abba! A Hudgi  N  N  Y Kannada
1959 Veerapandya Kattabomman  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1959 Veerapandya Kattabrahmana  Y  Y  Y Telugu
1959 Sabaash Pilla  Y  Y  Y Telugu
1959 Amar Shaheed  Y  Y  Y Hindi
1960 Makkala Rajya  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1960 Kuzhandhaigal Kanda Kudiyarasu  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1960 Pillalu Techina Challani Rajyam  Y  Y  Y Telugu
1960 Sangaili Thevan  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1961 Kittur Chennamma  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1961 Kappalottiya Thamizhan  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1961 Kaanal Neer  N  N  Y Tamil Apparao
1962 Gaali Gopura  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1962 Bale Pandiya  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1962 Dil Tera Diwana  Y  Y  Y Hindi
1962 Gaali Medalu  Y  Y  Y Telugu
1963 Pempudu Koothuru  Y  Y  Y Telugu
1963 Saaku Magalu  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1964 Chinnada Gombe  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1964 Muradan Muthu  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1964 Karnan  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1965 Aayirathil Oruvan  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1966 Enga Pappa  Y  Y  Y Tamil 25th Film
1966 Nadodi  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1966 Nammaveetu Lakshmi  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1966 Parakkum Paavai  N  N  Y Tamil
1966 Dudde Doddappa  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1966 Emme Thammanna  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1967 Gange Gowri  Y Kannada
1967 Beedi Basavanna  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1968 Chinnari Puttanna  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1968 Amma  Y  Y  Y Kannada Hullalli Ramaraya
1968 Ragasiya Police 115  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1969 Gandondu Hennaru  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1970 Sri Krishnadevaraya  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1970 Thedi Vandha Mappillai  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1971 Aliya Geleya  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1971 Malathi Madhava  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1972 Ondu Hennina Kathe  Y  Y  Y Kannada
1973 Ganga Gowri  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1973 School Master  Y  Y  Y Tamil
1974 Kadavul Mama  Y  Y  Y Tamil


International Film Awards for his film "Veerapandia Kattapomman"

Award Ceremony Category Nominee(s) Outcome Ref.
Afro-Asian Film Festival Afro-Asian Film Festival - 1960 Best Film B. R. Panthulu Won
Best Actor Sivaji Ganesan Won
Best Music Director G. Ramanathan Won
National Film Awards
Karnataka State Film Awards

Book on B.R.PantuluEdit

A. N. Prahlada Rao has written a Book '"Danivillada Dhani" on B.R.Panthulu in Kannada, consisting of the details of his childhood, theatre, films produced in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam. The book was published by Karnataka Chalanachitra Academy. The book was released in November 2016 by Dr. Bharati Vishnuvardhan. Journalist and short story writer Jogi spoke on Book. S.V. Rajendra Singh Baabu presided.


  1. ^ KCA celebrating BR Panthulu's 100th birth anniversary Archived 9 July 2012 at Archive.today at Oneindia.in
  2. ^ a b c Khajane, Muralidhara (23 July 2010). "A born showman". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 11 October 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Hundred years of legendary director BR Panthulu". merinews.com. Archived from the original on 9 April 2017. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  4. ^ "6th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 20 October 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2011.
  5. ^ "7th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 March 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2011.
  6. ^ a b "9th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 2 December 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2011.