Naveen Kumar Gowda, known by his stage name as Yash, is an Indian actor best known for his work in Kannada cinema. He began as an actor appearing on stage and in television shows in Kannada language.Yash made his feature film debut in 2007 with Jambada Hudugi, playing a supporting role. In his second film, Moggina Manasu (2008), he played the male lead opposite then future wife Radhika Pandit. The film was a success and earned him the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor. He went on to star in many commercially successful films including Modalasala (2010), Kirataka (2011), Drama (2012), Googly (2013), Raja Huli (2013), Gajakesari (2014), Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari (2014), Masterpiece (2015) and K.G.F: Chapter 1 (2018).
His rise to success has been well documented by the media, and he has often been rated one of the popular actors in Karnataka.
Naveen Kumar Gowda was born on 8 January 1986. He was born to Hindu community in Bhuvanahalli, a town in Hassan district of Karnataka to Kuruba Gowda family. His father, Arun Kumar J., worked in the KSRTC transport service, and later in the BMTC transport service as a driver, and his mother, Pushpa, is a homemaker. He has a younger sister, Nandini. His childhood days were spent in Mysore where he did his schooling in Mahajana High School. Soon after his studies, he joined the Benaka drama troupe which was formed by noted dramatist B. V. Karanth.
Yash started his acting career with the teleserial Nanda Gokula directed by Ashok Kashyap, which aired on ETV Kannada. He went on to appear in several other teleserials such as Malebillu and Preeti Illada Mele. He had a small role in a 2007 film directed by Priya Hassan, Jambhada Hudugi. He then acted in Moggina Manasu directed by Shashank in 2008, where he appeared in a supporting role alongside his Nanda Gokula co-star Radhika Pandit. He won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the film. Yash then starred in lead roles in the films Rocky (2008), Kallara Santhe (2009), Gokula (2009).
In 2010, Yash starred in Modalasala which became his first commercial solo hit. His next film was Rajadhani in 2011, which got good reviews and his performance was critically acclaimed although the film's return was below average at the box office. The same year, his next film Kirataka was a commercial success. Yash received positive reviews for his performance in the village comedy film. In 2012 Yash had two major releases, Lucky (opposite Ramya) and Jaanu, both of which met with mixed response upon release and became average grossers at the box office. His next film of the same year, the romantic comedy Drama directed by Yograj Bhat was a commercial success. The film was one of the major grossers of 2012.
2013–present: Success and stardom
In his first release of 2013, Googly, a romance-drama, apart from a special appearance in a song sequence in Chandra who falls for Swati (played by Kriti Kharbanda). Directed by Pavan Wadeeyar, the film performed well, and was one among the highest-grossing Kannada films of the year.
In 2014, he starred in Gajakesari, which was directed by Krisha, and became commercially successful at the box office.
Yash's next film Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari opposite Radhika Pandit had its theatrical release on 25 December 2014, and opened to positive reviews and collected an estimated ₹50
crore and went on to become one of the highest grossing Kannada cinema, and which made him one of the highest-paid actors in Sandalwood.
In 2015, he acted in Masterpiece, which opened to mixed reviews by the critics. In 2016, he starred in Santhu Straight Forward which performed well at the box-office by collecting ₹30 crore. His latest film is KGF, which is made with a budget of 80 crores, and released in Kannada along with its dubbed versions in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam and has the highest production budget in Kannada cinema industry.
It was speculated in the media that Yash had been in a relationship with actress Radhika Pandit for long, and especially after their film, Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari, that saw them portray the lead pair, and their third time together in films. Before the two disclosed it in public, their engagement took place in Goa on 12 August 2016. They married on 9 December 2016 in a private ceremony in Bangalore, while Yash had openly invited everyone from Karnataka for their reception at Bangalore Palace. Their first child, a daughter Ayra, was born on 2 December 2018.
In 2017 Yash along with his actress wife Radhika Pandit founded an organization and named it as Yasho Marga Foundation which marks their contribution towards the betterment of the society. As a first step, the foundation took up the water crisis issue in Koppal district of Karnataka by reportedly investing ₹4 crores towards the desiltation of the lakes and providing pure drinking water to the drought affected areas.