- Started his career as a singer; lent his voice to a few films and devotional albums.
- Made his debut with the film Vamshavruksha (1972).
- Adopted the screen name Vishnuvardhan, giving in to Puttana Kanagal insistence; Puttana was his director for the film Naagarahaavu (1972).
- Received an honorary doctorate from the Bangalore University in 2006.
- Worked as an ambassador for Mysore's Vikram Hospital, contributing to the treatment of rural children with heart problems.
- Adopted a town called Melukote, which lies in Mandya district of Karnataka.
- Won a total of seven Filmfare Awards and many state government awards.