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Sampath Kumar (18 September 1950 – 30 December 2009), known by his stage name Sahasa Simha Dr. Vishnuvardhan, was an Indian film actor predominantly in Kannada cinema.He appeared in more than 220 films all together in Kannada, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. He was called The Phoenix of Indian Cinema.He made his debut in the 1972 film, Vamsha Vriksha, in a supporting role. The same year he played the lead role in Puttanna Kanagal’s Naagarahaavu, and was recognized as ‘The Angry Young Man of Kannada Cinema’.He has played a variety of roles in different genres.The last film of vishnuvardan is Aptarakshaka.
In 2008, a poll conducted by CNN-IBN listed Vishnuvardhan as the most popular star in the Kannada Film Industry.A road stretching 14.5 km from Banashankari Temple to Kengeri in Bengaluru was named after him. It is the longest road in Asia to be named after a celebrity.He was a martial artist, in an interview with The Hindu, he had said that it was the era of Bruce Lee and it was only Kamal Haasan and himself who had learnt martial arts in his generation. He was also the story writer of the 1997 movie Ganesha I Love You directed by Phani Ramachandra.