T N Balakrishna, fondly called as Balanna, is a Kannada film actor. This talented actor had worked in over 560 films and survived in the industry despite his hearing ailment. He used to tell the dialogues naturally after imbibing the lip movements of his colleagues.
Born on 2nd November 1913, Balanna was renowned for his stint with comedy as well as villainous roles. He had shared screen space with legendary actor
in over 100 films. Balanna has tested waters in different types of roles. Balanna was just 4 years when he was abandoned by his mother in order to give treatment for her sick husband. This she did by selling Balanna to a couple. Balanna, who could not tolerate the bad treatment from his adopted father and mother, fled from the house.
In the year 1929, Balanna started trying his luck in acting; he worked in the 1929 play Shri Rama Pattabhishekha. Eventually, he did paintings for a drama group. Later, he became a full-fledged painter. After having a stint with ticket collection, he found his way to theatre acting. Then he got associated with Gubbi Veeranna’s drama group. Veeranna was a renowned director during those days. B R Panthalu, a filmmaker got attracted by Balanna and gave him a role in his film. In the flick Kalachakra, his acting prowess got noticed and, in fact, many audiences “disliked” him. This is a true recognition to an artist. Balanna was the most sought-after Kannada actor in the 60s and 70s.
Balanna founded the Abiman Studio in Bangalore with a noble cause of self-dependence for the producers. This studio was not a success and his earnings were at risk. During the worst days of Kannada film industry, Balanna, along with Rajkumar and G V Iyer produced the movie Ranadheera Kanteerava. In recognition of Balanna’s contribution to Sandalwood, he was adjudged with the honorary
award. He also has various other awards to his credit.