K. S. Ashwath

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K. S. Ashwath
K. S. Ashwath in Naagarahaavu.JPG
Ashwath in Naagarahaavu (1972)
Karaganahalli Subbaraya Ashwathanarayana

(1925-05-25)25 May 1925
Karaganahalli, Holenarasipura, Hassan, Kingdom of Mysore, British India
Died 18 January 2010(2010-01-18) (aged 84)
Mysore, Karnataka, India
Other names Chammayya Meshtru
Spouse(s) Sharadamma
Children 4, (Shankar Ashwath)

Karaganahalli Subbaraya Ashwathanarayana (25 May 1925 – 18 January 2010) was an Indian veteran actor who appeared in Kannada films. He appeared in over 370 films during his five-decade-long career.[1] His only Memorial in whole of Karnataka,India is in Kengeri satellite town, Bengaluru.memorial name-"K.S Ashwath Memorial Children Park".

Early life

Ashwath was born on 25 May 1925 in Karaganahalli village, Holenarasipura taluk[1] in the Kingdom of Mysore of British India (in present-day Hassan district in Karnataka state) as Karaganahalli Subbaraya Ashwathanarayana.[2] He completed his primary education from Dalvoy School, Mysore. He then attained the Bachelor of Commerce degree from Maharaja's College, Mysore with seventh rank in the University. His formal education came to an end in 1942 as he joined the Indian freedom struggle. Two years later, he got a job as a Food Inspector. He later became a stenographer in the Deputy Commissioner's office and spent ten years in Government service.


Ashwath's acting began, when he started participating in radio plays produced by Mysore All India Radio. His theatre career thus took off and played major roles in plays of A. N. Murthy Rao, Parvathavani and others. Film director K. Subramanyam, who saw him in one of these plays, selected him for a role in Streerathna in 1956, which was Ashwath's debut as a film actor.

In 1960, he played the role of a Swami in Kittur Chennamma with B. Saroja Devi in the lead role. In the same year, he played Narada in the hit Bhakta Prahlada. His role in Gali Gopura gave him an edge and helped shape his career as an artiste of immense calibre. Ashwath then got a role in the English film Seven Wonders of the World and even became the first Kannada actor to appear in a colour film.

Several of his film became big hits. His character role in Naagarahaavu as Chamayya meshtru (i.e.,Chamayya Teacher) is still remembered and emulated. Another performance in film Gange Gauri as Narada (the mythological son of Lord Vishnu) is remarkable in the style, rendering in his inimitable style. He accepted the roles of a father to many co-artistes of around his age as long as the character he was playing was strong. In all, he appeared in 370 films, of which 98 came in supportive roles in films with Rajkumar as the lead actor.[1]


  • Honorary Doctorate: Ashwath was conferred an honorary doctorate from the Tumkur University in the year 2008 for his great contribution to the Kannada cinema for five long decades. He was supposedly the first actor to receive a doctorate from the Tumkur University. While receiving the award, Ashwath said he would dedicate this award to all his directors who brought out the actor in him.[3][4]
  • He is the recipient of 3 national awards.[2]



Ashwath had been suffering from Vertebrobasilar insufficiency.[2] On 11 January 2010 he was admitted to the B. M. Hospital, Mysore following his return from Kashi where he had developed urinary tract infection. His health deteriorated and he subsequently died at 2:15 a.m. on 18 January following a cardiac arrest. He was cremated at Harishchandra Ghat, at the foothills of Chamundi in Mysore.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Actor Ashwath no more". ourkarnataka.com. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "The quiet gentleman". The Hindu. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
  3. ^ http://www.bharatstudent.com/. "K S Ashwath given doctorate - Sandalwood News & Gossips". Bharatstudent.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Ashwath passes away". Deccan Herald. 18 January 2010.

External links

  • K. S. Ashwath on IMDb
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