Bengaluru: Kannada film producer and distributor Parvathamma Rajkumar, a force to reckon with in the film industry apart from being the wife of Kannada legendary actor late Dr. Rajkumar, passed away here on Wednesday after a prolonged illness. She was 77 and was suffering from breast cancer for some time now, and was recently admitted to M.S. Ramaiah Hospital in the city. She was put on assisted ventilation for more than 15 days as a team of expert doctors were constantly monitoring her health conditions.
She died at around 4.40 am due to cardiac arrest, the doctors said. She is survived by her three sons, two daughters, grandchildren and her family members. Her sons - Shivarajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar, and Puneeth Rajkumar, two daughters - Lakshmi and Poornima along with family members. Doctors were hopeful of her recovery as her blood pressure and other vital organs were initially functioned normally when she was admitted. However, her conditions deteriorated on Tuesday night with blood pressure lowering to an alarming level and later breath her last in the early morning.
Parvathamma Rajkumar, the wife of legendary actor Dr. Rajkumar, who passed away in 2006, had been struggling with her health conditions after she was diagnosed with cancer. Ever since then she had completely stayed away from all kinds of film making process with her sons taking care of their prestigious film banner.
Born on 6th of December in 1939, she married Mutthuraj in 1953, who later went on to attain the demigod status as Dr. Rajkumar by acting in more than 200 Kannada films. She was only 13 when she got married. In the real sense, she was both 'real and reel' force behind Dr. Rajkumar's enormous success apart from managing such a huge family with more than a dozen members under one roof in Madras before permanently moving to Bengaluru.
When some producers started taking undue advantage of Dr. Rajkumar and indirectly blamed Dr. Rajkumar for their loss, it was Parvathamma who took the bravest step launching their own banner Poornima Enterprises (later became Sri Vajreshwari Combines) and producing their first film 'Trimurthy' starring Dr. Rajkumar in triple role in 1975, and thereafter it changed the path of the entire industry as she went on to produce more than 80 more which is a record for a woman producer to achieve such a rare feat in the Indian film industry. She proved it to the 'blamers 'that the films of her husband were earning in crore and not just in lakhs in those days.
Though she mostly produced films featuring her husband and her three sons - Shivarajkumar, Raghavendra Rajkumar and Puneeth Rajkumar in the lead, she has introduced umpteen number of young actors and actresses apart from writers, technicians, and directors to sandalwood.
Several veteran Kannada film directors, actors would recall her fine qualities as a producer with good taste in the film making. Despite having any formal education, she was a voracious reader and has made a maximum number of classic films based on the works of famous Kannada writers. She has served in various capacities in the film industry and was a source of inspiration and guiding light to everyone from the Kannada film industry.
Her selection of talented actresses while introducing them to films made under her home banner showcased her capabilities of an active producer. Of the many famous actresses, she introduced to the film industry - Sudha Rani, Malashree, Anu Prabhakar, Rakshitha, Ramya, and others as heroines through her production house - Vajreshwari Combines or Poornima Combines.
From a housewife to becoming the most powerful woman of Sandalwood for decades, the transformation of Parvathamma in the 1970s is a great example of strong will and true leadership qualities of a true woman who never let success and fame get on to her head and even successfully controlled her family members too from going overboard....