Honnappa Bhagavathar is a multi-faceted personality of South Indian film industry. Born on 14
January 1915, he was theatre artist, producer, singer, actor and musician. His role of singer is
very much appreciated. He was working in both Kannada and Tamil films. Bharat Bhagavathar,
his son, has also tested waters in acting in Kannada films.
Honnappa Bhagavathar has worked in several Tamil films. He was living in Bangalore. He acted in
the 1946 flick Sri Murugan, which was supposed to be done by Thyagaraja Bhagavathar. He
shared screenspace with MGR in this film. Honnappa and Jeevarathnam gave their support as
singers in this movie. Lalithakala Films is the production venture of Honnappa Bhagavathar. This
venture produced movies in Tamil and Kannada. Honnappa entered into Kannada film industry
with the 1944 flick Subhadra.
M K Thyagaraja Bhagavathar was replaced by Honnappa in the flick Valmiki. Later Honnappa
emerged as a star in both Kannada and Tamil films.
Honnappa imbibed musical skills from his mother who used to sing devotional songs and
bhajans, when he was young. He came to Bangalore looking out for a profession and there he
became the student of Arunachal Ppa, an harmonium player, and relative Murthy. Honnappa
was credited with the title Bhagavathar after the success of a play in Salem. This was at the
juncture when Thyagaraja Bhagavathar was exhibiting his venture Ambikapathi.
Renowned South Indian actress B Saroja Devi was introduced into the film industry by Honnappa.
Nadabrahma Sangeetha Vidyalaya is a music institution founded by Honnappa in 1960. He was
associated with Kannada Film Advisory Board and Karnataka Sangeeta Nritya Academy.
Honnappa has received various awards including the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award
from Indian President (1990) and Best Actor award from Madras Sina Pyans Associations (1956).
Honnappa breathed his last on 2nd October 1992 at the age of 77.