Shantaram Rajaram Vankudre, fondly known as Annasaheb, is known for films such as Dr Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani (1946), Amar Bhoopali (1951), Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baaje (1955), Do Aankhen Barah Haath (1957), Navrang (1959), Duniya Na Mane (1937) and Pinjra (1972).
Shantaram, who began his career doing odd jobs in the film industry, directed as many as 55 films in a career spanning over five decades.
His film career started from the Gandharva theatre company and Shantaram later joined the Maharashtra Film Company as a spot boy. Baburao Painter took him under his wing and taught him acting and direction. He directed his first film Netaji Palkar in 1927.
In 1929, he founded the Prabhat film company in Kolhapur. His first film at the talkies was Ayodhya ka Raja.
At Prabhat, the film industry saw the best of Shantaram.
It is said that the legendary actor-filmmaker Charlie Chaplin had called director V Shantaram’s ‘Manoos’ one of the most interesting Indian classics.
Shantaram was conferred with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1985 and was awarded the Padma Vibhushan in 1992.
He was married thrice. His first marriage was to Vimla. He then married actress Jayashree, with whom he had three children – Marathi film director Kiran Chandra, actress Rajshree and Tejasri.
He passed away on 30 October 1990 in Mumbai. The V. Shantaram Award was constituted by Central Government and Maharashtra State Government in his honour.