Bengaluru: Today is the 90th birth anniversary of Dr Rajkumar, who is considered the greatest actor in the Kannada film industry. Also known as Annavru, Appaji, Natasarvabhouma among other titles, this actor is considered exemplary for his work and contribution to films.

Here are five lesser-known facts about Dr Rajkumar:

1) Name

The name Rajkumar which is synonymous in the heart of every fan was not the name given to him by his parents. Rajkumar's birth name was Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju. He was born on April 24, 1929 at Gajanur in Karnataka.

2) Education

Though he could pull off the character of a scholar with utmost ease, Rajkumar was not interested in academics. He dropped out of school after 3rd standard (grade). Inspired by his father, he became a theatre artist and performed in various villages. He initially, took acting lessons in the famous Gubbi Veeranna theatre company.

3) Kidnap

For many who were too young about 20 years ago, it would be very hard to remember, but the older fans will still recall when Rajkumar was kidnapped by a notorious bandit Veerappan on July 30, 2000. He was held captive by the forest brigand for 109 days before he was released.

4) Actor-turns-singer

If we include devotional songs, the actor has sung over 1000 songs in his career. Interestingly, Dr Rajkumar has also sung an English song in the 1978 Dorairaj-Bhagawan film Operation Diamond Racket.

5) Record releases

A total of 16 movies starring Rajkumar in a lead role were released in a single year (1968).