Radhika Kumaraswamy, known mononymously as Radhika, is an Indian film actress and producer who is chiefly known for her work in the Kannada film industry. She made her acting debut at the age of 15 with the movie Neela Megha Shyama (2002). Since then, she has appeared in over 30 films, and has won a Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress for her performance in Thayi Illada Thabbali (2003). Radhika has also ventured into producing movies, with the romantic comedy Lucky
(2012) and Sweety Nanna Jodi (2013), in which she co-starred.
Radhika Kumaraswamy was born on 1 November 1986 in Karnataka, to Devraj Shetty. She has a younger brother. Radhika was still in high school when she made her acting debut in 2002.
Radhika was allegedly married to Ratan Kumar in 2000, when she was just 14. The marriage, which was riddled with problems, ended in 2002 when Ratan Kumar died of a heart attack.
The actress, who has never shied away from controversy, created a furore in 2010 when she revealed that she had been married to politician H. D. Kumaraswamy since 2006. The couple have a daughter named Shamika Kumaraswamy.
As an Actor
Though she made her acting debut with Neela Megha Shyama (2002), the romantic drama Ninagagi was the actress’ first release. The movie was met with positive response at the box office and went on to become one of the highest-grossing films of that year. She was then seen in Thavarige Baa Tangi opposite Shivrajkumar, which also became a box office success. In the following year, Radhika appeared in five Kannada films: Yograj Bhat's maiden feature film Mani, Hemanth Hegde
's directorial debut Ooh La La
, the romantic drama Hudugigaagi, Mane Magalu and Thayi Illada Thabbali. Despite the commercial failure of these movies, Radhika won the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actress for her role in Thayi Illada Thabbali.
In the same year, Radhika made her Kollywood debut with S. P. Jananathan
's National Award-winning directorial Iyarkai (2003). She received favourable reviews for her performance in the movie, and subsequently appeared in the Tamil films Varnajaalam (2004), Meesai Madhavan (2004) and Sollattuma (2005). In 2005, the actress appeared in the Upendra
starrer Auto Shankar
, which was a commercial success.
In 2006, Radhika appeared in five more Kannada films: Mandya, Hettavara Kanasu, Hatavadi, Good Luck
, and Odahuttidavalu. She garnered great critical acclaim for her spectacular performance in Hatavadi. Her next release was the long-awaited 2008 devotional film Navashakti Vaibhava
. Following the moderate success of this film, Radhika took a five-year hiatus from acting. She made a comeback in 2013 with the romantic drama Sweety Nanna Jodi, which she also produced. In the following year, she appeared in the Telugu devotional film Avatharam
, which was directed by Kodi Ramakrishna
. In 2015, Radhika starred in the Kannada action film, Rudra Tandava opposite Chiranjeevi Sarja
, which was met with mixed critical reception.
As a Producer
Besides acting, Radhika has also ventured into production and distribution. In 2007, she bought the distribution rights of Anatharu
, a drama film directed by Sadhu Kokila
and starring Upendra, Darshan
and herself. In 2008, the actress acquired the rights to her film, Narasimha
, which was later revived as Ishwar
, but the movie failed to secure a theatrical release.. She later went on to establish a production company named Shamika Enterprises Production. Radhika has produced two successful films under this banner - Lucky (2012) and Sweety Nanna Jodi (2013).