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Malavalli Huchche Gowda Amarnath (29 May 1952 – 24 November 2018), known mononymously by his screen name Ambareesh, was an Indian film actor, media personality and politician from the Karnataka state. Following his debut in Puttanna Kanagal's National Award winning film Naagarahaavu (1972), his acting career commenced with a brief phase of portraying antagonistic and supporting characters in Kannada films. After establishing himself as a lead rebellion actor in a number of commercially successful films, he became synonymous with the term "rebel star". He also earned the nickname Mandayada Gandu (English: Man of Mandya) and continued to hold a matinee idol status in the popular culture of Karnataka.

He was an MLA with the Indian National Congress party, winning the assembly election of the Mandya constituency, by a margin of 42,937 votes. He served as Minister of Housing, Karnataka Government in the Cabinet of Cheif Minister Siddaramaiah from May 2013 to June 2016.

Besides winning many State Government awards and Filmfare Awards for his acting career, Ambareesh was honoured with the honorary doctorate from the Dharwad university in 2013 at their 63rd annual convocation ceremony.

Ambareesh died on 24 November 2018 in Bangalore after suffering a heart attack.

Early life
Ambareesh was born on 29 May 1952 in Doddarasinakere village of Mandya district in the erstwhile Mysore State (now Karnataka). He was named as Malavalli Huchche Gowda Amarnath, and was the sixth of seven children to Huche Gowda and Padmamma. His granduncle was the violinist, Chowdiah. Ambareesh completed his schooling in Mandya before moving to Saraswathipuram in Mysore for higher studies. He was a regular street watcher and an antisocial element with a bunch of friends at Mysore near the Maharani's college.

Acting career
While the eminent Kannada film director Puttanna Kanagal was in search of a new face to play a brief antagonist role for his upcoming film, one of Ambareesh's close friend, Sangram Singh, suggested his name for the screen test much against his wishes. At his screen test, he was asked to walk in a certain fashion, utter a dialogue and toss a cigarette in his mouth. Impressed, Kanagal cast him in his 1972 film Naagarahaavu. The film also saw the debut of Vishnuvardhan, another actor who would go on to become one of Kannada cinema's most popular actors.

Ambareesh has since appeared in about 208 films, including other films of Kanagal such as Paduvaaralli Pandavaru, Shubhamangala, Masanada Hoovu and Ranganayaki. As in 2010, Ambareesh had acted in most films as lead in Kannada films, surpassing Rajkumar's record of 206 films as lead actor and Vishnuvardhan's record of 230 films (including Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam films) as a lead actor. The record has not been broken yet. He has also supported many actors at the beginning of their career.

Ambareesh played the angry young man of the 1980s, and several films were tailor-made accordingly. The earliest of them was the political satire Antha (1981), directed by Rajendra Singh Babu and remade into Hindi and Tamil. This controversial film was the first in India to depict politicians and government officials as corrupt and villainous. Chakravyuha and New Delhi were made on the same lines, the first remade into Hindi as Inquilaab, starring Amitabh Bachchan and the second a remake of the Malayalam hit of the same name. His other notable films include Ranganayaki, Tony, Rani Maharani, Olavina Udugore, Hrudaya Haadithu, Hongkongnalli Agent Amar, Mannina Doni and Odahuttidavaru. His performance in Masanada Hoovu, Elu Suttina Kote and the Malayalam film Gaanam were critically acclaimed. He also showed the great performance in Mamateya Madilu, Hrudaya Haadithu, Elu Sutinaa Kote and Mouna Raga. He also acted with legend Rajkumar. He is well known as Mandyada Gandu, Kaliyuga Karna (for his generosity), and Rebel Star. He has been awarded the State award best actor for antha and best supporting role for masanada hoovu, NTR Award by Andhra Pradesh Government,filmfare best actor award for Olavina Udugore and Film Fare Award (lifetime achievement award). He was the first Kannada actor to inaugurate the world-famous Mysore Dasara festival organized by the government of Karnataka. He also won the Karnataka Government's Dr. Vishnuvardhan Award in the year 2011.

Political career
Ambareesh joined the Indian National Congress (INC) ahead of the assembly election in 1994. He campaigned for the party in the election after having been "too late to be given a ticket". However, he was met with lukewarm reception from the public having been "greeted with slippers and rotten vegetables at a couple of public meetings." He quit the party two years later after being denied a ticket to contest the 1996 general election. Ambareesh subsequently joined the Janata Dal and contested the 1998 general election from Mandya. He won the seat upon polling 431,439 votes against 250,916 for the INC candidate.

He later rejoined the INC to represent the same Mandya Lok Sabha constituency for two more terms. He was minister of state for Information and Broadcasting in the 14th Lok Sabha, but resigned over his dissatisfaction with the Cauvery Dispute Tribunal award, though the resignation was not formally accepted. He was defeated in the May 2009 General Elections.He helped in elections for H.D.Kumaraswamy (in kanakapura parliament election in 90s),S.M. Krishna(99) and K.R pete Krishna.

During the course of his public life, he has held the following positions:

Member, 12th Lok Sabha: 1998–1999
Member, 13th Lok Sabha: 1999–2004
Member, 14th Lok Sabha: 2004–2009
Minister of State, in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, from 24 October 2006 to 2008.
Resigned as the Minister of state in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, protesting against the injustice done to Karnataka by Kaveri dispute tribunal in 2008.
Deputy president of KPCC in the year 2012
Ex-Minister in Karnataka Government in the ministry of Housing (Vasathi)
Resigned MP position during Cauvery River issue without fighting member of parliament.

Personal life
Ambareesh developed a friendship with actress Sumalatha after they first met at the sets of the Kannada film Aahuti in 1984. They grew closer during 1987 when they worked together again with New Delhi. After he proposed marriage to her two years later, they married on 8 December 1991. Their only son, Abhishek Gowda, is an aspiring actor.

Ambareesh was noted for his friendship, mostly with his contemporaries of the 1980s and across film industries of South India. They included Rajinikanth, Mohanlal, Suhasini Maniratnam, Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh Daggubati, R. Sarathkumar, Raadhika, Jayaram, Naresh, Arjun Sarja, Ramesh Aravind among others. Calling themselves the "Class of '80s", Ambareesh hosted their third reunion in 2017. He also maintained a close relationship with Vishnuvardhan ever since they made their debut together in films with Naagarahaavu in 1972, till the latter's death in 2009.

Death and reactions
Ambareesh developed breathing problems in 2014 and was hospitalized frequently. In March that year, he was taken to Singapore's Mount Elizabeth Hospital for treatment. On 24 November 2018, he was taken to a private hospital in Bangalore after he suffered from a cardiac arrest at his residence. Efforts to revive him failed and was pronounced dead at 10:15 p.m. (IST). Following his death, Ambareesh's remains were taken to Sree Kanteerava Stadium where political leaders, members of the film industry and fans were allowed to pay homage the following day. It attracted a total of around 100,000 people. The remains were airlifted to Sir M. Visvesvaraya Stadium in Mandya at 5 p.m. (IST) that day. After having briefly kept for public viewing there, they were flown back to Bangalore on 26 November and carried in a cortege on a procession from Sree Kanteerava Stadium to Kanteerava Studios, for a distance of 13.5 kilometres (8.4 mi), where his funeral was held. Ambareesh was cremated with full state honours and also received a 21-gun salute. The final rites were performed by his son, Abhishek, at 5:55 p.m. (IST) that evening. Ambareesh was cremated next to the memorial of his contemporary and friend, Rajkumar.

Ambareesh's death was met with an outpouring of grief from politicians, members of the South Indian film industry and fans from Karnataka. The Government of Karnataka declared a three-day mourning period as a mark of respect. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his death and said, "[Ambareesh was] a strong voice for Karnataka's welfare, at the state and central level". Chief Minister of Karnataka H. D. Kumaraswamy termed that his death ended "an era of love and affection in Kannada film industry" while adding that "[Ambareesh] was a rebel who was loved by all. He has carved a unique place in both politics and films". Other politicians who expressed grief included former Chief Ministers of Karnataka, Siddaramaiah and B. S. Yeddyurappa, State cabinet ministers, R. V. Deshpande and U. T. Khader, and former colleagues at the INC, G. Parameshwara, Dinesh Gundu Rao and Ramya among others.

Actor Rajinikanth remarked, "My friendship with Ambareesh is of over 40 years and deeply saddened by his death. Everyone will have a few close friends. But Ambareesh, I think, had over a 100 close friends. He lived like a king till the day he died and all he earned were people." Mammootty recalled Ambareesh as one of his "one of [his] first real friends" while condoling his death. Mohanlal termed his death "heartbreaking". Kamal Haasan offered "heartfelt condolences" and called Ambareesh his "friend for 42 years". Other film personalities who expressed grief included Amitabh Bachchan, R. Sarathkumar, Khushbu Sundar, Rajendra Singh Babu, Shiva Rajkumar, Sudeep, Darshan and Yogaraj Bhat among others.

Main article: Ambareesh filmography
Selected Movies

Nagara Hole
Avala Hejje
Leader Vishwanath
Prema Matsara
Gandu Bherunda
Mooru Janma
Masanada Hoovu
Hongkongnalli Agent Amar
Onti Salaga
Nammoora Hammera
Rowdy & MLA
Mannina Doni
Munjaneya Manju
Karulina Kudi
Operation Antha
Veera Parampare
Katariveera Surasundarangi
Doddmane Hudga
Ambi Ning Vayassaytho

Awards and recognitions
Karnataka State Special Award for Best Actor for Antha in 1982.
Karnataka State Award for "Best Supporting Actor"(1985–86) in the film Masanada Hoovu, directed by Puttanna Kanagal
Filmfare Award for Best Actor in the film "Olavina Udugore" directed by Rajendra Babu.
Received NTR National Award for the year 2005.
Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award – South 2009.
Andhra Government honoured Nandhi Award 2009.
Puttanna Kanagal award in 90s but rejected{later went to actor T.N.Bala krishna}
TV9 Sandalwood Star Awards – 2012, Lifetime Achievement Award
Karnataka Government Dr. Vishnuvardhan Award in the year 2011
Honorary Doctorate from the Karnataka University, Dharwad in the year 2013
SIIMA Lifetime Achievement Award 2012

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