Google on Saturday celebrated the 116th birth anniversary of renowned Indian filmmaker, actor and writer Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre, famed as "V. Shantaram", alias Annasaeb. Some of his famous movie are Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957), Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955) and Pinjra (1972).
He was among the earliest to realise the power of the film medium to convey social messages effectively which he utilised to the hilt.
In 1929, Shantaram established the Prabhat film company in Kolhapur and His first film at the talkies was Ayodhya ka Raja.
Accordingly, Shantaram's films tackled wide-ranging subjects like the rigid caste system, dowry menace, communal harmony, socio-economic divides, gaps between the rich-poor, etc., all of which are still relevant today.
He had admirers ranging from veteran Indian actor Rajesh Khanna to silent era king, English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer Charlie Chaplin who loved Annasaheb's film, Manoos.
V Shantaram was conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1985; and the Padma Vibhushan in 1992 - two years after his death at the age of 88.
Shantaram married three times; Pandit Jasraj was his son-in-law.
Later he married actress Jaishree Kamulkar through whom he had three children, including Marathi actor-filmmaker Kiran Shantaram, renowned Hindi film actress Rajshree and Tejashree. His third wife, actress Sandhya, was his co-star in Do Aankhen Barah Haath as well as the heroine of his films such as Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje, Navrang, Jal Bin Machhli Nritya Bin Bijli and Sehra. Both went onto become legendary stars.
He left for his heavenly abode on 30 October 1990 in Mumbai. The V. Shantaram Award was bestowed by Central Government and Maharashtra State Government in his honor.
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