Upendra Rao is a renowned Kannada filmmaker, screenwriter, actor, and politician. He is known as one of the best directors in the Kannada film industry.
Upendra Rao aka Upendra was born on Thursday, 18 September 1969 (age 53 years; as of 2022) in Bangalore. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in Commerce from APS College of Commerce, Bangalore. When he was studying in college, he actively participated in theatre plays. In 2015, Upendra received an honorary doctorate from the Angkor University of Combodia in recognition of his outstanding service to the field of cinema.
a childhood picture of Upendra Rao, when he was in NCC
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Weight (approx.): 75 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Body Measurements (approx.): Chest: 42 inches, Waist: 28 inches, Biceps: 15 inches
Upendra Rao belongs to Tulu speaking Koteshwara Magane Madhwa Brahmin community.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Manjunath Rao, was a cook and his mother’s name is Anusuya. Upendra has an older brother named Sudhindra Rao. Sudhindra was in Border Security Force. After serving for ten years, he left the military to help Upendra in production and film-related works.
Upendra Rao with his parents and wife
Wife & Children
On 14 December 2003, Upendra Rao got married to Priyanka Trivedi, who is an actress. Priyanka won the title of Miss Kolkata in 1996. In 2007, they had a son named Aayush Upendra. In 2008, they had a daughter and named her Aishwarya Upendra.
Upendra with his wife, Priyanka Upendra
Upendra with his children, Aayush and Aishwarya
South Indian actor and director Kashinath Hathwara is a distant relative of Upendra’s.
Upendra Rao and Kashinatha Hathwara
During Upendra’s final year in college, he started his career as a writer and an assistant director with the late actor and film director Kashinatha Hathwara.
The 1992 Kannada film ‘Tharle Nan Maga’ was Upendra’s directorial debut.
Upendra Rao (extreme right) on the sets of the film Tharle Nan Maga (1992)
Upendra directed a horror suspense thriller film ‘Shhh!’ in 1993 and in 1998, he was the director of the Kannada films ‘Swasthik’ and ‘A.’ In 1999, Upendra directed a self-titled film, Upendra.
In 1989, Upendra made his acting debut with the comedy film ‘Anantana Avantara.’ He made a cameo appearance as Lord Kamadeva in the film’s song ‘Come On Come On Kaamanna.’
Upendra Rao in a still from the song ‘Come On Come On Kaamanna’ in 1989
Upendra played the role of a misogynist named Naanu in the film ‘Upendra’ in 1999.
Theatrical poster of the Kannada film ‘Upendra’
He made cameo appearances in his own films including A (1998), Shhh! (1993) and, Operation Antha (1995). Apart from this, Upendra acted in films including Preethse (2000), Kutumba (2002), Raktha Kanneeru (2003), and I Love You (2019). In 2006, Upendra worked in the Kannada film ‘Aishwarya,’ which was Deepika Padukone‘s debut film.
Upendra Rao and Deepika Padukone in the film ‘Aishwarya’ (2006)
On 6 March 2018, Upendra drifted from the political party, Karnataka Pragnyavanta Janata Paksha, that he helped establish, due to a misunderstanding between him and D. Mahesh Gowda. He then formed another party named Uttama Prajakeeya Party (UPP).
Uttama Prajakeeya Party Logo
Awards & Achievements
Udaya Film Awards
1999: Best male actor for film ‘A’
2003: Best male actor for film Nagarahavu
2011: Best Screenplay for the film Super
2013: Best Male Actor for the film Kalpana
47th Filmfare Awards South
2000: Best Director and Best film for the film Upendra
Hello Gandhinagara Awards 2004
2004: Best dialogue and Best actor for the film Raktha Kanneeru
Suvarna Film Awards
2008: Special Award For Performance for the film Anatharu
2011: Favorite Director Award for the film Super
2011: Favorite Film for the film Super
1st SIIMA Awards
2012: Special appreciation award for the film Shrimathi
Karnataka State Film Awards
2012: Best Director and Best film for the film Super
2nd SIIMA Awards
2013: Critics award for best actor for the film Katariveera Surasundarangi
5th SIIMA Awards
2016: Best Director for the film Uppi 2
- When Upendra was studying in school, he actively participated in debates, cultural activities, and writing dramas.
- When Upendra was young, his family was poor. They couldn’t afford money for an eye problem that Upendra had as a baby.
- Due to the poor conditions at home, Upendra and his brother used to do jobs such as making paper covers with newspapers and supplying them to roadside fruit sellers, and packing parcels in order to earn money.
- When Upendra was studying in school, he participated in a children’s play ‘Compounder Gunda’ in which he shouted as a part of acting. When his performance was appreciated by the audience, he decided to become an actor.
- Upendra’s film ‘om’ (1995) went on to become a blockbuster which was later remade into several languages. In 1999, its Hindi version titled Arjun Pandit was released, with Sunny Deol in the cast.
- Upendra is the brand ambassador of United Breweries and has endorsed many popular brands including Lunars Footwear, Mavalli Tiffin Room (MTR), Emani Navaratna Brand, and Royal Challengers Bangalore.