One of the most celebrated stars in the Kannada film industry, Sudeep Sanjeev, better known mononymously as Sudeep, is an actor, director, TV presenter and playback singer. The actor who made his debut on the silver screen with Thayavva in 1997 has been part of several hit film like Sparsha (2000), Huchcha (2001), Kiccha (2003), My Autograph (2006), Veera Madakari
(2009), Kempe Gowda
(2011) and Eega
(2012) over the years. Apart from Kannada, he has also appeared in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi films. A three-time winner of Filmfare Award for Best Actor, Sudeep is also a talented cricketer, and has represented Karnataka in the state-level Under-17 and Under-19 teams.
Born in Shimoga district, Karnataka, Sudeep is the son of Sanjeev Manjappa and Saroja. The actor earned his Bachelor`s degree in Industrial and Production engineering from Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering in Bangalore. Being a shy person from childhood, the actor went to Roshan Taneja School of Acting, Mumbai to overcome his shyness and hone his acting skills.
Sudeep married Priya Radhakrishnan, a former employee of an airline company in 2001. The couple has a daughter named Saanvi who was born in 2004. In 2015, the couple ended their 14-year marital relationship when the two filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences.
Sudeep made his maiden appearance on the silver screen with Thayavva (1997), a Kannada-language film directed by V. Umakanth co-starring Charan Raj, and Umashree. Over the next couple of years, the actor appeared in films like Prathyartha (1999) and Sparsha (2000) before eventually rising to fame with a stellar performance in Huchcha (2001), an action-drama film directed by Om Prakash Rao. The film, which was the remake of the Tamil film Sethu won Sudeep his maiden Filmfare Awards South for Best Actor.
The following year, the actor delivered yet another award-winning performance in Nandhi, an action drama film directed by D. Rajendra Babu. Whilst the film did average business, Sudeep walked away with his second Filmfare Awards South for Best Actor. His next big hit came in 2003 as he collaborated with D. Rajendra Babu for the second time is his career the drama film Swathi Muthu, which was the remake of the Telugu superhit film Swati Mutyam starring Kamal Haasan and Raadhika. For his brilliant performance as an autistic youngster, Sudeep won wide appreciation from the critics as well as many awards including Filmfare Award Best Actor - South.
In 2004, the actor had two release, viz. Ranga (S.S.L.C) and Nalla both of which performed averagely at the box office. The following year, the actor did a cameo in Gunna before starring in Sye, a Kannada-language remake of the hit Tamil film, Dhill starring Vikram, Laila and Ashish Vidyarthi. With no significant releases to his name in 2005, the actor started his campaign with a blockbuster titled My Autograph, which was also his maiden directorial and production venture. The film, which is the remake of the Telugu super-hit film Naa Autograph starring Ravi Teja and Bhumika Chawla ran in theaters for more than 150 days and it was a hit among the masses especially for its inspirational songs. Over the next few years, the actor did a cameo in several films like Jackpot (2006), and Maathaad Maathadu Maalige (2007).
After having established himself as one of the most accomplished actors in Kannada film industry, Sudeep made his debut in Bollywood with Phoonk
, a horror film directed by the stalwart director Ram Gopal Varma. The film based on black magic and superstitions was declared a blockbuster and followings its huge success it was dubbed in Tamil as Bommayi. In 2009, the actor turned a screenwriter for Veera Madakari. The film received mostly favorable reviews from the critics and Sudeep who played a dual role in won appreciation from both audience and the critics. The actor reprised his role as Rajiv in Phoonk 2 (2010), the sequel to 2008 film with the same name.
In 2012, the actor starred in the bilingual fantasy film which was released in Telugu as Eega and in Tamil as Naan Ee. The film directed by S.S. Rajamouli won critical acclaim and went on to win two National Film Awards for Best Feature Film in Telugu and Best Special Effects. Followings its huge hit, the film was dubbed in Hindi as Makkhi. After the much success of Eega, director Shashank cast Sudeep alongside Jagapati Babu and Bhavana Menon in his action psychological thriller film Bachchan (2013). The film opened to wide critical appreciation, especially for its technical aspects and camera work. OneIndia Entertainment quoted, "Bachchan is high octane action entertainer with all the commercial elements to impress the mass. Sudeep`s performance is the main highlight in the film."
The actor`s next major hit came in 2015 as he played a cameo as Aslam Khan starred alongside Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty, and Tamannaah in the historical fiction film Baahubali: The Beginning
, which went on to become one of the biggest blockbusters of the year. Apart from the commercial success, the film also won several laurels including the National Film Awards for Best Special Effects. The same year, he appeared in the Kannada-language family drama film Ranna, which was directed by Nanda Kishore. The film, which was the remake of the Telugu movie Attarintiki Daredi was declared a box office hit.
Sudeep had quite a busy year in 2016, where he appeared in movies like Apoorva, Kotigobba 2
and Mukunda Murari. Of these, Kotigobba 2 turned out to be one of the biggest blockbusters of the year. In 2017, he had just one release: the action film Hebbuli which was directed by S. Krishna and opened to mixed critical reception. The following year, the actor appeared in the comedy-drama Ambi Ning Vayassaytho (2018), which was a remake of the Tamil film Pa Paandi (2017) and saw Sudeep portraying the younger version of the lead character played by Ambareesh. He then teamed up with Shiva Rajkumar
for the action thriller The Villain
(2018), which was the most anticipated Kannada movie of the year since it featured two of the biggest stars in Sandalwood. Despite the hype, The Villain received mixed reviews upon its release; though it did fare well at the box office. Kotigobba 3
(2019), Pailwan (2019), Tollywood historical period war film Syeraa Narasimha Reddy
(2019) and Dabangg 3
(2019), the third installment of the series, are some of Sudeep`s other notable projects in recent times.