Kalyan Kumar (28 July 1928 – 1 August 1999), born as Chokkanna, was an Indian film actor, and an occasional film director and producer, who worked primarily in Kannada and Tamil cinema. Making his acting debut in the mythological drama Natashekara (1954), Kumar went on to star in over 200 films in a span of over five decades. He was among the much sought after actors in the 1950s through 1970s for lead roles.
Kalyan Kumar has the credit of being the first ever Kannada actor to star in a color film in Amarashilpi Jakanachari (1963). Alongside Kumar, the 1960s and 1970s in Kannada cinema was dominated by two other actors, Rajkumar and Udayakumar. At a time when actors had a tough time establishing themselves, Kumar, being successful only in Kannada cinema, also made a mark in Tamil cinema. Kalyan Kumar along with Udaykumar, Rajkumar were called as "Kumara Thrayaru" (The Kumar Trio) of the Kannada cinema.
Kalyan Kumar was born on 07 June 1928 in Bangalore, in the erstwhile Kingdom of Mysore of British India. His parents wanted him to be a doctor. But passion for acting brought him to Kannada film land. Born as Chokkanna into a middle-class family, Kalyan Kumar became known for his lavishness and sophistication.
Known for sophisticated portrayal of roles he played the hero against J. Jayalalitha in Maavana Magalu in 1965 and Badukuva Daari in 1966. The triumvirate had acted in Bhoodaana which was a hit in 1962. He had also acted in first full-length colour film in Kannada. Amarashilpi Jakanachari, in which he played the role of Jakanachari, a historical figure in sculpture.
Kumar's debut film as an actor, Natashekhara, released in 1954. He would go on to appear in successful films such as Sadarame, Subbashastri, Rayara Sose, Badukuva Daari, Mavana Mgalu, Arishina Kunkuma, Bedi Bandavalu, Belli Moda, Kathaa Sangama, and Kaleju Ranga. In G. V. Iyer's 1962 film, Bhoodaana, Kumar appeared alongside Rajkumar and Udayakumar, the only film that featured the trio together.
He acted with many prominent heroines of his time. A few to name are: B Saroja Devi, Sahukar Janaki, Kalpana, Jayanti, Bharati, Arati, and others.
He acted in several Kannada-Telugu bi-lingual films made in the 1960s by B Vittalacharya, Nagendra Rao and B R Panthulu. He was a regular actor in the early G V Iyer films like Bhoodana, Tayi karalu, Lawyer magalu and Bangari.
He acted in many Tamil films. His Tamil film Nenjil Oru Alayam was later made in Hindi as Dil Ek Mandir with Rajendra Kumar. As he was gaining popularity in Tamil filmdom, he started acting in more of Tamil movies. But, the regional politics reigned over his acting talents.
He married a Kannada film heroine, Revati. He also produced and directed stage plays like Ramu Nanna Thamma and Chikamma, many of which were written by his wife. His son Bharath is a television actor who acted mainly in Tamil serials.Please refine and expand this Filmography.