Karaganahalli Subbaraya Ashwathanarayana (25 May 1925 – 18 January 2010) was an Indian veteran actor who appeared in Kannada films. He appeared in over 370 films during his five-decade-long career
Ashwath was born on 25 May 1925 in Karaganahalli village, Holenarasipura taluk in the Kingdom of Mysore of British India (in present-day Hassan district in Karnataka state) as Karaganahalli Subbaraya Ashwathanarayana.He completed his primary education from Dalvoy School, Mysore. He then attained the Bachelor of Commerce degree from Maharaja’s College, Mysore with seventh rank in the University. His formal education came to an end in 1942 as he joined the Indian freedom struggle. Two years later, he got a job as a Food Inspector. He later became a stenographer in the Deputy Commissioner’s office and spent ten years in Government service.
Ashwath’s acting began, when he started participating in radio plays produced by Mysore All India Radio. His theatre career thus took off and played major roles in plays of A. N. Murthy Rao, Parvathavani and others. Film director K. Subramanyam, who saw him in one of these plays, selected him for a role in Streerathna in 1956, which was Ashwath’s debut as an film actor.
In 1960, he played the role of a Swami in Kittur Chennamma with B. Saroja Devi in the lead role. In the same year, he played Narada in the hit Bhakta Prahlada. His role in Gali Gopura gave him an edge and helped shape his career as an artiste of immense calibre. Ashwath then got a role in the English film Seven Wonders of the World and even became the first Kannada actor to appear in a colour film.
Several of his film became big hits. His character role in Naagarahaavu as Chamayya meshtru (i.e.,Chamayya Teacher) is still remembered and emulated. Another performance in film Gange Gauri as Narada (the mythological son of Lord Vishnu) is remarkable in the style, rendering in his inimitable style. He has gracefully accepted a father’s role to many co artistes of not less than his own age and even not higher in talent. In all, he appeared in 370 films, of which 98 came in supportive roles in films with Rajkumar as the lead actor.