Who is No 1 Hero in Sandalwood 2023?
The Kannada film industry, popularly known as Sandalwood, boasts a talented pool of actors who have garnered immense fame and success. Among them, certain actors stand out not only for their exceptional performances but also for commanding substantial remuneration for their work. These actors have established themselves as the highest-paid individuals in the industry, reflecting their popularity and market demand.
Rs 35 – 85 crores
Rs 15 – 20 crores
Rs 12 – 16 crores
Rs 6 crores
Rs 5 – 6 crores
Rs 4 – 5 crores
Rs. 4 crores
Rs 2 – 4 crores
Rs 2.8 crores
Rs 2.6 crores
Top 10 Highest Paid Kannada Actors
Beyond their financial achievements, these actors have garnered widespread recognition and numerous accolades for their outstanding contributions to Kannada cinema. They have received prestigious awards and nominations, both at the state and national level, further affirming their talent and impact.
Their popularity extends beyond the silver screen, with a significant following on social media platforms. They engage with their fans, share updates about their projects, and actively participate in various philanthropic initiatives, cementing their position as not only successful actors but also influential personalities.
In this article, we have listed and explained the top 10 highest paid Kannada actors as of 2023. We recommend you to go through the article completely for a thorough knowledge of the subject.
1. Yash (Rs 35 – 85 crores)
Naveen Kumar Gowda, popularly known as Rocking Star Yash, has emerged as the highest-paid actor in the Kannada film industry, with his fees ranging from Rs 30 crore to Rs 85 crore per film, depending on the project. His breakthrough came with his role in the 2018 film “K.G.F. Chapter 1,” which catapulted him to widespread recognition and fame. Yash’s compensation for each film is determined by the scale and nature of the project, solidifying his position as a top-earning actor in the industry.
One notable aspect of Yash’s popularity is his significant following on Instagram, making him the most followed Kannada actor on the platform. This further highlights his immense fan base and influence in the digital realm. In addition to his financial success, Yash’s status as the wealthiest and most accomplished actor in the Kannada film industry further solidifies his prominence.
Let’s take a look at some of Yash’s notable films and their verdicts:
K.G.F. Chapter 2 (2022): “K.G.F. Chapter 2” achieved the status of an “All Time Blockbuster.” The film’s release was highly anticipated, and Yash’s performance garnered widespread acclaim, contributing to its immense success.
K.G.F. Chapter 1 (2018): The first installment of the “K.G.F.” series, “K.G.F. Chapter 1,” was declared a “Blockbuster.” Yash’s portrayal of the character Rocky Bhai received immense praise, propelling the film to great heights at the box office.
Santhu Straight Forward (2016): “Santhu Straight Forward” attained a “Hit” verdict. Yash’s performance in the film resonated with audiences, further cementing his popularity.
Masterpiece (2015): This film achieved a “Super-Hit” verdict. Yash’s portrayal in “Masterpiece” showcased his versatility as an actor and contributed to its success.
Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari (2014): “Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari” was classified as a “Blockbuster.” Yash’s captivating performance in this romantic drama captivated audiences, establishing the film as a major commercial success.
Yash’s exceptional talent, coupled with his widespread popularity and commercial success, has propelled him to the pinnacle of the Kannada film industry. With his remarkable earnings, massive fan base, and recent successes like “K.G.F. Chapter 2,” Yash continues to dominate the industry and leave an indelible mark on Kannada cinema.
2. Darshan Thoogudeep (Rs 15 – 20 crores)
Darshan, one of the most esteemed actors in the Kannada film industry, commands a substantial fee ranging between 15 and 20 crore rupees per film. Renowned for his acting prowess, he is not only among the highest-paid actors but also actively involved in film production and distribution.
In 2006, Darshan established Thoogudeepa Productions, showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to the industry. The production company’s debut film, “Jothe Jotheyali,” featured a special appearance by Darshan himself.
Critics have lauded Darshan’s performances in several films throughout his career. “Anatharu” (2007) and “Kranti Veera Sangolli Rayanna” (2012) particularly garnered acclaim. His portrayal of the 19th-century warrior, Sangolli Rayanna, in the latter film earned him the prestigious Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor.
Let’s explore some of Darshan’s notable films and their respective verdicts:
Robert (2021): Released in 2021, “Robert” achieved a “Super Hit” verdict. Darshan’s portrayal in the film was well-received, contributing to its success at the box office.
Odeya (2019): “Odeya” garnered a “Hit” verdict. Darshan’s performance in the film resonated well with audiences, further solidifying his popularity.
Kurukshetra (2019): This film achieved a “Hit” verdict. Darshan’s involvement in the project and his portrayal of a significant character added to its success.
Yajamana (2019): “Yajamana” was categorized as a “Blockbuster.” Darshan’s charismatic presence and powerful performance were instrumental in the film’s resounding success.
Tarak (2017): “Tarak” attained a “Super Hit” verdict. Darshan’s exceptional acting skills and screen presence were highly appreciated by audiences.
Darshan’s versatility as an actor, coupled with his entrepreneurial ventures, has established him as a prominent figure in the Kannada film industry. With his impressive earnings, successful filmography, and recognition from prestigious awards, he continues to captivate audiences and make significant contributions to the world of cinema.
3. Sudeep (Rs 12 – 16 crores)
Sudeep, a renowned actor, screenwriter, playback singer, director, and producer, has made a significant impact on the Kannada film industry. His talent extends beyond Kannada cinema, as he has also appeared in Telugu, Tamil, and Hindi films. Sudeep commands an impressive fee ranging between 12 and 16 crore rupees per film, reflecting his stature as one of the highest-paid actors in Kannada cinema.
In addition to his acting prowess, Sudeep has also garnered a substantial following on Instagram, further attesting to his popularity and influence. He has been recognized as one of the first Kannada actors to feature on Forbes’ list of India’s top 100 celebrities since 2013, a testament to his wide reach and impact in the entertainment industry.
Throughout his career, Sudeep has been honored with numerous accolades, including four Filmfare Awards South, acknowledging his exceptional talent and contributions to the film industry.
Let’s explore some of Sudeep’s notable films and their respective verdicts:
Kabzaa (2023): The verdict for this film is yet to be determined as it is set to release in 2023. Fans and audiences eagerly await Sudeep’s performance in this upcoming project.
Vikrant Rona (2022): “Vikrant Rona” achieved a “Hit” verdict. Sudeep’s portrayal in the film received positive responses, contributing to its success.
Kotigobba 3 (2021): This film was classified as “Semi-Hit.” Sudeep’s involvement showcased his star power, attracting audiences to the theaters.
Dabangg 3 (Hindi, 2019): Sudeep appeared in this Hindi film, which attained a “Semi-Hit” verdict. His performance alongside Bollywood stars added to the film’s success.
Sye Raa Narsimah Reddy (Telugu, 2019): In this Telugu film, Sudeep’s role contributed to its “Hit” verdict. His presence among a talented ensemble cast added to the film’s appeal.
Pailwan (2019): “Pailwan” achieved a “Hit” verdict. Sudeep’s dedication to his role and his remarkable performance resonated well with audiences.
Sudeep’s multifaceted talents and consistent success have solidified his position as a prominent figure in the industry. With his substantial remuneration per film, widespread popularity, and prestigious accolades, he continues to captivate audiences and leave a lasting impact on the world of cinema.
4. Shiva Rajkumar (Rs 6 crores)
Shiva Rajkumar, born Nagaraju Shiva Puttaswamy on 12 July 1962, is a highly esteemed Indian actor, film producer, and television host who has made significant contributions to Kannada cinema. With a career spanning over t
hree decades, he has garnered a sizable fan base among Kannada audiences. Shiva Rajkumar commands a fee of Rs 6 crore per film, highlighting his stature in the industry. He has appeared in more than 125 Kannada films, showcasing his versatility as an actor.
Throughout his illustrious career, Shiva Rajkumar has received numerous honors and accolades, further solidifying his reputation as a talented performer. He has been awarded four Karnataka State Film Awards, four Filmfare Awards South, and six South Indian International Movie Awards.
Let’s take a closer look at some of Shiva Rajkumar’s notable films and their respective verdicts:
Ayushman Bhava (2019): This film achieved a “Hit” verdict. Shiva Rajkumar’s portrayal in the movie was well-received by audiences, contributing to its success at the box office.
Drona (2020): “Drona” was classified as a “Semi Hit.” Shiva Rajkumar’s performance in the film was noted, showcasing his acting prowess.
Bhajarangi 2 (2021): This film received a “Flop” verdict. Despite the outcome, Shiva Rajkumar’s presence in the movie added to its appeal among his dedicated fan base.
Bairagee (2022): “Bairagee” was also categorized as a “Flop.” While the film may not have achieved commercial success, Shiva Rajkumar’s involvement showcased his commitment to diverse storytelling.
Vedha (2022): “Vedha” achieved a “Hit” verdict. Shiva Rajkumar’s performance in the film resonated well with audiences, further highlighting his versatility as an actor.
Shiva Rajkumar’s contributions to Kannada cinema have left an indelible mark on the industry. With his remarkable talent, numerous accolades, and a loyal fan following, he continues to captivate audiences with his performances.
5. Upendra (Rs 5 – 6 crores)
Upendra, also known as Real Star Upendra, is a renowned figure in the Kannada film industry. He has achieved success as an actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. Upendra is widely recognized and respected for his contributions to Sandalwood. He is among the highest-paid actors and directors in the industry, commanding a substantial fee ranging between 5 and 6 crore rupees per film.
Let’s explore some of Upendra’s notable films and their respective verdicts:
Kabzaa (2023): Released in 2023, “Kabzaa” achieved a “Semi-Hit” verdict. The film showcased Upendra’s versatility and charisma, further solidifying his popularity among audiences.
Mukunda Murari (2016): “Mukunda Murari” garnered a “Super Hit” verdict. Upendra’s performance in the film was highly appreciated, and his collaboration with other talented actors contributed to its success.
Upendra Matte Baa (2017): This film received an “Average” verdict. Despite the outcome, Upendra’s presence and his creative inputs as a director and actor were notable aspects of the movie.
I Love You (2019): “I Love You” achieved a “Hit” verdict. Upendra’s role in the film resonated with the audience, and his on-screen chemistry added to its success.
Home Minister (2022): The verdict for this film is categorized as “Average.” Upendra’s involvement as an actor and the film’s overall storyline contributed to its performance at the box office.
Upendra’s diverse skill set and contributions to the Kannada film industry have earned him a dedicated fan base and significant acclaim. With his exceptional talent and ability to take on challenging roles, he continues to be a prominent and influential figure in Sandalwood.
6. Rakshit Shetty (Rs 4 – 5 crores)
Rakshit Shetty, a highly successful actor and producer in the Kannada film industry, has established himself as a prominent figure. With his remarkable talent, he commands a substantial fee ranging between 4 and 5 crore rupees per film. Rakshit Shetty is widely recognized for his notable performances in films like “Kirik Party” and “Ricky,” among others.
Let’s take a look at some of Rakshit Shetty’s notable films and their respective verdicts:
Ricky (2015): This film received a “Below Average” verdict. Although it may not have achieved remarkable success, Rakshit Shetty’s performance was noted, showcasing his acting abilities.
Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu (2016): Rakshit Shetty’s role in this film contributed to its blockbuster success. The movie received critical acclaim and resonated well with audiences, solidifying his position as a versatile actor.
Kirik Party (2016): “Kirik Party” is considered an “All Time Blockbuster” and proved to be a turning point in Rakshit Shetty’s career. The film received immense popularity and appreciation from both critics and viewers, propelling him to new heights of stardom.
Avane SrimanNarayana (2019): This film achieved a “Hit” verdict, further showcasing Rakshit Shetty’s ability to entertain and engage audiences. His portrayal in the movie garnered positive responses and contributed to its success.
777 Charlie (2022): Rakshit Shetty’s film “777 Charlie” became a blockbuster hit. The movie received tremendous acclaim and struck a chord with the audience, further solidifying his reputation as a successful actor and producer.
Rakshit Shetty’s journey in the Kannada film industry has been characterized by notable performances and successful ventures. With his consistent track record and significant box office achievements, he continues to be a sought-after talent in the industry.
7. Rishab Shetty (Rs. 4 crores)
Rishab Shetty, born as Prashant Shetty, is a renowned Indian actor and filmmaker predominantly active in Kannada cinema. With an impressive gross earnings of Rs. 4 crores, he has made a significant mark in the industry. Rishab Shetty gained fame for his critically acclaimed and commercially successful film, “Kantara,” where he served as both the director and lead actor.
Notably, Rishab Shetty’s talents have been recognized through various honors, including the National Film Award for Best Children’s Film at the 66th National Film Awards for his film “Sarkari Hi. Pra. Shaale.” Let’s take a closer look at some of Rishab Shetty’s notable films and their respective verdicts:
Sarkari Hi. Pra. Shaale (2018): This film proved to be a blockbuster, earning widespread acclaim. Rishab Shetty’s exceptional work as the director garnered praise from critics and audiences alike. The film’s success contributed to his growing reputation in the industry.
Hero (2021): Details regarding the verdict for this film are not available at this time. However, Rishab Shetty’s involvement in the project indicates his ongoing commitment to his craft and his desire to explore diverse roles and genres.
Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana (2021): The verdict for this film is currently unknown. Rishab Shetty’s participation in this project showcases his versatility as an actor and his willingness to take on unconventional and challenging roles.
Harikathe Alla Girikathe (2022): The verdict for this film is currently unknown. As Rishab Shetty continues to expand his repertoire, this project further demonstrates his dedication to exploring new narratives and characters.
Kantara (2022): Rishab Shetty’s film “Kantara” achieved blockbuster success, further solidifying his reputation as a multifaceted talent in the industry. His dual role as the director and lead actor showcased his creative vision and ability to captivate audiences.
Rishab Shetty’s accomplishments in the Kannada film industry, both as an actor and filmmaker, have earned him widespread recognition. His contribution to cinema, including the National Film Award, highlights his commitment to storytelling and his ability to create impactful and memorable films. With a string of successful projects and a growing fan base, Rishab Shetty continues to make significant strides in the world of Kannada cinema.
8. Nikhil Gowda (Rs 2 – 4 crores)
Nikhil Gowda, an Indian actor and politician, has made his mark in both Kannada and Telugu cinema. He has garnered recognition for his performances in films like Jaguar, Kurukshetra, and Rider. Nikhil Gowda commands a significant fee for his roles, ranging from Rs 2 crore to Rs 4 crore per film.
Let’s take a look at some of Nikhil Gowda’s notable films and their respective verdicts:
Jaguar (2016): Although this film did not fare well at the box office and received a “Flop” verdict, Nikhil Gowda’s performance garnered attention. Despite the film’s outcome, it served as a platform for him to showcase his acting abilities.
Seetharama Kalyana (2019): Nikhil Gowda’s role in this film was well-received by audiences, resulting in a “Hit” verdict. His performance struck a chord with viewers, contributing to the film’s success.
Kurukshetra (2019): This film proved to be a blockbuster hit, showcasing Nikhil Gowda’s prominence in the industry. With its grand scale and ensemble cast, Kurukshetra received a tremendous response from audiences, further establishing his presence as an actor.
Rider (2021): While this film received an “Average” verdict, Nikhil Gowda’s portrayal in the lead role was noted. Despite the outcome, his performance demonstrated his versatility as an actor.
Nikhil Gowda’s foray into both cinema and politics reflects his diverse interests and aspirations. With his significant earnings per film and a range of performances under his belt, he has cemented his presence in the entertainment industry.
9. Ganesh (Rs 2.8 crores)
Ganesh, a renowned Indian actor and television host, has made significant contributions to the world of Kannada cinema. One of his most notable successes includes his role in “Mungaru Male,” which is considered one of the industry’s most remarkable achievements. Ganesh commands a fee of Rs 2.8 crores per film, showcasing his value and popularity in the industry.
Let’s explore some of Ganesh’s notable films and their respective verdicts:
Gimmick (2019): This film received an “Average” verdict. While it may not have achieved exceptional success, Ganesh’s performance in the movie was appreciated by audiences.
Geetha (2019): “Geetha” garnered a “Hit” verdict, showcasing Ganesh’s ability to captivate audiences with his on-screen presence. The film resonated well with viewers and contributed to his growing popularity.
Sakath (2021): Continuing his streak, Ganesh’s film “Sakath” was also classified as a “Hit.” His performance in the movie was well-received, further solidifying his status as a bankable actor.
Gaalipata 2 (2022): The sequel to the highly successful “Gaalipata,” “Gaalipata 2” achieved the status of a “Super Hit.” Ganesh’s involvement in the film generated significant excitement among fans, and his performance contributed to its success.
Triple Riding (2022): Ganesh’s most recent film, “Triple Riding,” also attained a “Hit” verdict. The movie garnered positive responses from audiences, showcasing his ability to entertain and engage viewers.
Ganesh’s talent, charm, and successful track record have firmly established him as a prominent figure in Kannada cinema. With his substantial remuneration per film and a string of well-received movies, he continues to be a beloved and sought-after actor in the industry.
10. Vijay Duniya (Rs 2.6 crores)
Vijay, who initially started his career as a junior artist in the Sandalwood industry, has now gained significant recognition and is popularly known as Vijay Duniya. His film ‘Duniya’ achieved remarkable success, propelling his rise to stardom. With his growing fame and accomplishments, Vijay Duniya currently commands an impressive fee of approximately Rs 2.6 crores per film.
Dana Kayonu (2016): This movie proved to be a resounding success, earning the tag of “Super Hit” for Vijay Duniya. The film received positive responses from both critics and audiences, further establishing his popularity.
Kanaka (2018): With a “Hit” verdict, this film added to Vijay Duniya’s string of successes. His performance was appreciated, and the movie garnered a favorable response from the audience.
Johnny Johnny Yes Papa (2018): Once again, Vijay Duniya’s film received a “Hit” verdict, showcasing his consistent track record. This light-hearted entertainer was well-received by viewers and contributed to his rising popularity.
Salaga (2021): Vijay Duniya’s most recent film, ‘Salaga,’ also attained a “Hit” status. The movie created a buzz and drew attention, showcasing his ability to deliver engaging performances.
Vijay Duniya’s journey from a junior artist to a sought-after actor in the Sandalwood industry is a testament to his talent and hard work. With a series of successful films under his belt, he has firmly established himself as a prominent figure in the industry, commanding substantial remuneration for his contributions to the cinema.
Successful Actors of Sandalwood
Sandalwood, the Kannada film industry, has been home to numerous talented and successful actors who have made significant contributions to Indian cinema. These actors have garnered immense fame and recognition for their remarkable performances, captivating the hearts of audiences with their talent, versatility, and charisma. Let’s explore some of the successful actors of Sandalwood who have left an indelible mark on the industry.
Dr. Rajkumar: Considered one of the greatest actors in Indian cinema, Dr. Rajkumar’s career spanned over five decades. Known for his powerful performances and melodious singing voice, he became an iconic figure in Sandalwood. His films like “Bangarada Manushya” and “Kasturi Nivasa” achieved legendary status and contributed to the industry’s growth.
Vishnuvardhan: With a career spanning over four decades, Vishnuvardhan was a versatile actor who portrayed diverse roles with ease. He captivated audiences with his charm and impeccable acting skills. Films like “Nagarahavu” and “Muthina Haara” are among his notable contributions to Sandalwood.
Ambareesh: Fondly known as “Rebel Star,” Ambareesh was a charismatic actor who left an indelible impact on the industry. His performances in movies like “Antharala” and “Olavina Udugore” earned him a dedicated fan following. Ambareesh’s larger-than-life personality and captivating screen presence made him a beloved figure in Sandalwood.
Vijay Raghavendra: Vijay Raghavendra is a talented actor who gained popularity at a young age. He won the National Film Award for Best Child Artist for his performance in “Kothigalu Saar Kothigalu.” Vijay Raghavendra’s remarkable acting skills and ability to connect with the audience have solidified his position in Sandalwood.
Prem: Prem is a versatile actor, director, and screenwriter known for his romantic roles in Sandalwood. His films like “Jogi” and “Maleyali Jotheyali” have garnered widespread appreciation. Prem’s charming persona and romantic on-screen chemistry have made him a favorite among audiences.
These are just a few examples of the successful actors who have graced Sandalwood with their talent and dedication. Their contributions have shaped the industry and elevated the status of Kannada cinema. Their popularity and impact continue to inspire aspiring actors and contribute to the growth of Sandalwood as a prominent film industry in India.
Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.