Bengaluru, The Indian postal department on Friday honoured legendary Kannada film actor Vishnuvardhan with a special cover on his 70th birthday in this tech hub.
"In recognition of Vishnuvardhan's yeoman contribution to the Indian film industry, especially Kannada, which is also known as Sandalwood, we have released a special cover to commemorate his 70th birthday, an official said.
Though Visnuvardhan's widow and South Indian actress Bharathi could not participate in the function at the general post office in the city centre, as she was away at Mysuru, Kannada film industry director Sri Prem released the colourful special postal cover.
Vishnu Sena Smithi President Veerakaputra Sreenivas and South Karnataka region postmaster general D.S.V.R. Murthy were present on the occasion.
Sreenivas sponsored the special cover as a tribute to the veteran actor.
"A commemorative postage stamp on Vishnuvardhan was released in 2013 when the Indian cinema centenary was celebrated,a the official recalled.
The special cover will be available for sale at philatelic bureaus of the main post offices in Bengaluru, Mangaluru, Mysuru and Belagavi in the southern state and at e-post office.
Vishnuvardhan (September 18, 1950-December 30, 2009) acted in about 200 films in Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam spanning 3 decades.
Though born as Sampath Kumar at Mysuru, he was more known as Vishnuvardhan since his debut in a supporting role in "Vamsha Vriksha" Kannada film in 1972.
Vishnuvardhan's lead role in "Naagarahaavu" of Puttanna Kanagal's film made him known as the young man of Kannada cinema though he played a variety of roles in different genres.
As part of the original Kannada sandalwood trio with thespian Rajkumar and M.H. Ambaresh from 1970s to 1990s, Vishnuvardhan a popular star in the Sandalwood celluloid industry. He was also a singer and sang in some of his Kannada movies.
A 14.5-km road from Banashankari temple in Bengaluru South to Kengeri on the city's southwest outskirts has been named after Vishnuvardhan. It is the longest road in Asian to be named after a cine celebrity.
Vishnuvardhan was also known as a martial artist.
In recognition of his outstanding career, the Karnataka government has recently sanctioned Rs 11 crore for setting up a Vishnuvardhan Memorial at Mysuru, which is the cultural capital of the state.
Mysuru is about 150km southwest of Bengaluru in the southern state.
Bharathi plans to set up the South Indian branch of the Film and Television Institute in the name of Vishnuvardhan as a tribute to him at the memorial, which will have a 6-feet statute of the actor, a photo gallery, a fountain and an auditorium./Eom/430 words.