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Upendra (Kannada: ಉಪೇಂದ್ರ, popularly known as Uppi) is a cine actor, director and script writer. Born in a middle class family at Koteshwara near Kundapura, he belongs to Kannada speaking Kota Brahmin community. Upendra started his career off with film director Kashinath as a writer and an assistant director. His first directorial venture was Tharle Nan Maga. He is the first Indian actor to have ever acted as a robot movie when he made the movie Hollywood directed by Dinesh Babu.
In the late 90s he broke into the scene with the extremely violent Om, which portrayed actual Bangalore gangsters, and this movie is still yet to be released in CDs and DVDs. In contrast to the many Indian movies about heroes with god-like characters, Upendra showed that a hero can have both negative and positive aspects. He followed this up with A, in which he appeared as Surya. Upendra, his next film, starred Raveena Tandon, a popular Bollywood actress. After a decade of acting in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil films, he returned to the role of director with the multi-lingual blockbuster movie Super, which gained acclamation from critics.
He is one of the best writers, professional directors, unusual thinkers, and also proved that he is a good actor. Tharle Nan Maga, his maiden venture as a director, was declared a major success. This film was Jaggesh's first movie as a lead actor. This cult hit is popular even today for its slapstick comedy and out-of the box narration.
He is often considered as the Christopher Nolan on Kanada film Industry. His second movie Shh!!! with Kumar Govindu in the lead was another box office success. This surprise suspense thriller also starred Kashinath and introduced Kumar Govindu as mainstream hero. Interestingly it has a small cameo by Uppi as a wannabe actor in police costume.
His next directorial venture Om was a super hit movie starring Shivrajkumar and Prema. This story explored and exposed Bangalore's underworld. The movie was controversial because of presence of numerous famous real-life rowdy sheeters (underworld gang members). It had a sound track with hit numbers like "Hey Dinakara", and "College Kumaru". And this movie is still playing in theaters in Karnataka
In the movie A, he played the lead role for the first time and it was a massive hit. The screenplay was so cleverly written that audiences watched the movie several times trying to understand the story.
Both A and Upendra were watched and received well by even non-Kannada speaking crowd and the movie Upendra was released in Japan. He gave break in Kannada film industry to music director Guru Kiran and photographer Venu. Bollywood star Deepika Padukone started her film career with Upendra in the Kannada Movie "Aishwarya" Directed by Indrajeet Lankesh.
Upendra came back as a director after 10 years in 2010 with the movie Super. The movie was released in 42 theatres in Bengaluru and 150 theatres all over Karnataka and there are plans to dub it to Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. It tells the story of a NRI big shot who plays lot of political drama to help India become a superpower in 2030.
Upendra resides in Banashankari III Stage in Bengaluru. Banashankari is a locality where many popular Sandalwood (Kannada Film Industry) Stars reside.
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