Manjunath is better known as “Swami” for his lead role in the television series Malgudi Days. Born in Bangalore, Manjunath started acting at age three. He became part of 68 movies in Kannada and Hindi but it was his role in Swami and Friends that fetched him recognition. The series was shot during his school vacation in 1985–86, and telecast in 1987. He quit acting at the age of 19 to concentrate on his studies.