Thursday, April 13, 2006

For Whom Does One Riot?

Dr. Rajkumar, (lead star to your left), an enormously beloved actor in Indian cinema died yesterday of a heart attack. The death somehow prompted rioting in Bangalore. I cried when I was a kid when my favorite actress (Natalie Wood) died. I wore black while a young and dramatic undergraduate when River Phoenix OD'ed. But the only time I know of that an actors death caused rioting in America was Judy Garland's back in 1969, the grief famously fueling the Stonewall Riots in New York City.

I'm getting this information through a string of e-mails so if any international readers could fill in the blanks or correct any misinformation here in the comments please do. I'm hearing that Dr. Rajkumar had a half century long career, was a role model to millions with a taste for social message films. He was nicknamed "Annavru" or (big brother) by fans and was often thought of as the "King of Acting." I guess think Meryl Streep & Jack Nicholson only with mass ongoing adulation, more awards, a recording career, and another 10 years tacked on to their careers. Apparently Rajmukar was also kidnapped in 2000 and held in captivity for 100 days while demands were made on the government to release prisoners held under a defunct terrorist law. I apologize If I'm getting details wrong. You can read more here.

tags: Rajkumar, Kannada, Judy Garland, stonewall riots, movies, celebrities


Sid said...

The details are accurate Nat. People in South India are madly in love with their movies to the level that they have built temples for certain much-worshipped film-stars. This particular event is not all that surprising.

Glenn Dunks said...

In the immortal words of Keanu: Whoa.

par3182 said...

this begs the question: the death of which star would cause you to riot?