Normally, when you speak about Indian cinema, The Hindi film industry also known as Bollywood takes prime importance. The Tamil film industry and the Telugu film industry come second and third respectively. In terms of popularity, the Kannada film industry also known as the Sandalwood industry does not normally set the Cauvery on fire. However, this film industry has produced some good actors like Rajkumar, etc. who are legends in their own right. Maybe, their claim to fame is Rajnikant, the undisputed superstar of the Southern screen. Though a Maharashtrian by birth, Rajnikanth cut his teeth in Bangalore as a bus conductor before moving on to scorch the screens in the Tamil film industry.
Nevertheless, you have some highly talented Kannada actors on the scene today. They might not demand and receive the price that their counterparts in Chennai and Hyderabad do. However, they have their moments under the sun. Let us look at the top 10 Kannada actors in the world right now.
10. Diganth: Net Worth ₹ 5 Crore Estimated
At No. 10 we have a handsome looking actor, Diganth. Starting his career as a model as many actors do, Diganth had the innate ability to attract people with his beautiful dimpled smile. Having made his debut in Miss California in 2006, Diganth has been a part of many successful films such as Pancharangi, Lifeu Istene, Prapancha, and others. He tried his hand in Bollywood as well with the movie Wedding Pulav. However, he could not make an impact in Bollywood as he has made in the Sandalwood industry.
09. Rakshith Shetty: Net Worth ₹ 5 Crore Estimated
Usually, you do not find the film actors having a sound educational background. This is because India still places a lot of emphasis on education. However, you have some people who have excelled in education as well as done well on the acting scene. At No. 9, we have one such erudite actor, Rakshith Shetty. You have the Kannada actors as multi-talented people. Rakshith is an actor, screenwriter, lyricist, as well as a director. A successful engineer, he quit a well-paying job to make a living in the film industry. Some of his notable movies are Ulidavaru Kandante, Rikky, Godhi Banna Saadharana Maikattu.
08. Vijay: Net Worth ₹ 11 Crore Estimated
You have to be versatile to succeed as a film actor today. At No. 8, we have one such versatile actor, Vijay. Making his debut on the screen as a young junior artist, it is a tough task to graduate to the mainstream. However, Vijay has managed to make the transition from being a junior artist to a lead actor. Known for his astonishing stunts and fight scenes, Vijay has been a successful actor all the way. Some of his good movies include Chanda, Johny Mera Naam Preethi Mera Kaam, RX Suri, and others.
07. Ganesh: Net Worth ₹ 12 Crore Estimated
There have been many instances of people making it big on the big screen after doing commendable roles on the small screen. Shahrukh Khan made the transition in Bollywood. Ganesh has done the same in Sandalwood. This makes him perfect for the No. 7 spot in this list. Starting his journey from a television show Comedy, Ganesh made his debut in the film industry with the film Chellata. His next movie, Mungaru Male created history in Kannada cinema. Known as the Golden Star in the Industry, Ganesh has won several awards including the Filmfare awards twice.
06. Shiva Rajkumar: Net Worth ₹ 15 Crore Estimated
Rajkumar is a legend in the Kannada film industry. Hence, it is natural for his sons to become actors as well. Maybe, that is their destiny. They are the people born with the silver spoon in their mouth. However, they have giant size shoes to fill in as well. It can be a double edged sword. Under such circumstances, one must give the credit to Putta Swamy also known as Shiva Rajkumar for holding his head high and delivering individual hits such as Anand, Ratha Sapthami, Janumada Jodi, and others. Having acted in more than a 100 films, Shiva Rajkumar is the No. 6 actor on this list.
05. Upendra: Net Worth ₹ 35 Crore Estimated
At No. 5 we have another versatile performer, Upendra. He is a multi-talented personality capable of excelling in various fields such as acting, directing, producing, as well as writing lyrics. Many people become directors after making a mark as an actor. However, Upendra belongs to the rare breeds who become star actors after succeeding as directors. He started out as a director with the film Tharle Nan Maga. Later on he made his acting debut in Upendra. He has a penchant for performing diverse roles. He has acted in Tamil as well as Telugu films.
04. Yash: Net Worth ₹ 40 Crore Estimated
The No. 4 spot goes to Naven Kumar Gowda also known as Yash in Sandalwood. The richest actor in Sandalwood today, Yash has cut his teeth the hard way having done theater plays and serials earlier before graduating to the big screen. He won a Filmfare award for his second film, Moggina Manassu. He has been a successful lead actor with roles in films like Rajadhani, Lucky, Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari, etc. As of today, he is one of the top stars in the Sandalwood industry.
03. Darshan: Net Worth ₹ 40 Crore Estimated
The film industry is such that the sons usually follow in the footsteps of their fathers. The No. 3 actor on this list, Darshan is the son of veteran actor Thoogudeepa Shrinivas. In spite of being the son of a star, he started his journey by acting in television serials and doing trivial roles in films. He did his first lead role in the commercial hit, Majestic. He has performed in several other hit films as well such as Kariya, Kalasipalya, and others. Owning a theater production house, Thoogudeepa Productions, Darshan is the highest paid actor in the Sandalwood film industry.
02. Puneeth Rajkumar: Net Worth ₹ Over 50 Crore
One of the most powerful stars in the Sandalwood industry, Puneeth Rajkumar is our No. 2 in this list. The youngest son of the legend, Rajkumar, Puneeth is a good playback singer as well. He is a versatile personality having anchored several television shows. He is a child prodigy with a National award winning performance in the film, Bettada Hoovu. He made his successful debut as a lead actor in the film, Appu. Several successful films followed one after the other thereby increasing his popularity. He has also hosted the popular Kannada TV show, Kannadada Kotyadhipathi (the regional rendition of the worldwide famous program, Who wants to be a Millionaire?).
01. Sudeep: Net Worth ₹ 100 Crore Estimated
At No. 1, we have the megastar of the Kannada film industry, Sudeep. One of the most versatile personalities in the Kannada film industry, Sudeep is an an actor, director, producer, and screenwriter as well. He can perform both the lead roles as well as the villain with equal degree of ease. Some of his famous films include Kiccha, Swathi Muthu, Mussanje Maathu, and others. He has done a couple of Hindi and Tamil films as well such as Black, Raktha Charitra, Eega, and Baahubali. He has hosted some TV shows such as Bigg Boss, etc. For his versatility, Sudeep is our No. 1.
Though the Sandalwood film industry is not as famous as the Bollywood or the Tamil film industry, the Kannada stars do manage to hold their own. They have their individual popularity among the Kannada speaking people. Some people like Rajkumar have gone on to become legends as well.