indian cinema heritage foundation

Ramesh Bhat

  • Primary Cinema: Kannada
  • Parents: Rathnakar Rao

Known for his mild-mannered, soft, dulcet voice and dialogue delivery Ramesh Bhat, along with his contemporary Shankar Nag ruled the roost in the Kannada film industry through the 60s and 70s. Their combination in films like Accident (1984) and Minchina Ota (1980) became a rage among film audiences of the time, with their onscreen chemistry ensuring the continued success of their films. 

Born in Kundapura, Ramesh received his primary education in Manki. As a school student, he was known for his portrayals of prominent personalities like Pandit Nehru at school functions. When he moved to Bangalore with his family, Ramesh plunged into the world of theatre, associating with groups like Spandana, Nataranga and Benaka, which brought him closer to Shankar Nag. This association resulted in several films, plays and television series. Ramesh Bhat was also the assistant director for the television series Malgudi Days, and directed Parameshi Prema Prasanga (1985), which was nominated for the National Award in 1983. 

Ramesh acted in over 300 films in his 35-year career, with roles in Nodi Swamy Navirodu Hige (1983), Parameshi Prema Prasanga, Beladingala Bale (1995) and the Ganesha series remembered by his fans. He regaled television audiences as the eccentric colonel in Crazy Colonel, a popular teleserial in the 1990s.

The duo of Ramesh and Shankar Nag gave a new dimension to Kannada cinema. After Shankar’s sudden death, Bhat had to reinvent himself to survive in the competitive dynamics of the film industry.


Image courtesy: IMDB