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Upendra Rao, known mononymously as Upendra, is an Indian filmmaker, actor and politician known for his work in Kannada cinema along with a few Telugu films.
Upendra is known for his work in films such as A (1998), Upendra (1999), Preethse (2000), Super Star (2002), Kutumba (2002), Gokarna (2002),Hollywood (2002), Raktha Kanneeru (2003), Gowramma (2005), Aishwarya (2006), Anatharu (2007), Budhivanta (2008), Super (2010), Kalpana (2012), Godfather (2012), S/O Satyamurthy (2015), Uppi 2 (2015), I Love You (2019).
He started his film career as a writer and an assistant director with actor and film director Kashinath. His first directorial venture was Tharle Nan Maga (1992). In the mid-1990s, Upendra directed Om, followed by A, in which he debuted as an actor. His next film Upendra starred Raveena Tandon, a Bollywood actress. After a decade of acting in Kannada and several Telugu films,he returned to directing with Kannada film Super, which was well-received critically and commercially.
Upendra is known for his thematic representation of Indian politics and society in his films. In October 2017, He joined the political party Karnataka Pragnyavanta Janata Paksha,before quitting the party in March 2018 due to internal differences and formed another party named Uttama Prajakeeya Party (UPP), which is based on the principles of Prajakiya (citizen-centric administration). Although its promoted as people party, it has Upendra’s photo on its logo and the party name itself is abbreviated as UPPI which is contradictory to what it preaches. Recently many have questioned the legitimacy of this party
Upendra got an Honorary Doctorate from Angkor University in 2015.