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H.R. Jothipala

Though he famous as H.R.Jothipala, his full name is Hettiarachchige Reginold Jothipala. Jothipala can be described as the most famous and best Sri Lankan Sinhala playback singer in Sinhala cinema. He also appeared in several Sri Lankan movies. Until he died in 1987 at the age of 51 years from cardiac arrest, he lent his voice to all classes of actors ranging from comedy actor Eddi Jayamanna to Ranjan Ramanayaka.

However, according to several film directors, actor Vijaya Kumaratunga was the best suitable actor who used H.R.Jothipala’s voice. Jothipala was known as ‘Hadawatha Raththaran Jothi’ (Golden-hearted Jothi) among the Sri Lankan cinema and his fans due to his kindness.

Jothipala completed his primary education in St. Lawrence College, Maradana. Thereafter, he went to St. John’s College, Dematagoda to complete his secondary education. His father was Hettiarachchige Reginold James and mother was Ahaliyagoda H.K. Podinona Perera. After finishing his secondary education, Jothipala entered into music and studies Opera. His first playback song was ‘Siriyame Sara’ for the Sinhala movie of ‘Surathalee’ directed by Cyril p. Aberathna in 1956. However, Jothipala’s first song was done for the ‘Podi Putha’ movie which was directed by Sirisena Wimalawera. Sirisena did not accept Jothipala’s song as he considered the voice was not good enough.

Jothipala was disappointed when he went with his companions to watch ‘Podi Putha’ Sinhala movie and discovered that his melody was excluded. Later when Surathalee maker Jabir A. Cader needed to hear one of his tunes to think about him for the film, Jothipala nearly passed on the proposal as he didn’t have enough cash to make a record. He was assisted by veteran artist Stanley Omar who financed him for the amount of 35 rupees – a lot of cash at that point.

Jothipala’s tune on the movie, “Siriyame Sara,” actually stays well known in Sri Lanka, having recorded the mainstream number under the bearing of T.R. Dad at Wahini Studio in India. Jothipala has worked with many presumed heads of Sri Lanka. In the beginning phases of his productive vocation, Jothipala found the opportunity to work with the productive producer, Lester James Peries on the film Sandeshaya. Jothipala sang the melody “Puruthugeesi Karaya” for the film, which was made by the unbelievable Sunil Santha and composed by veteran lyricist Arisen Ahubudu.

Jothipala was passed way on 07 July 1987 after participating ‘Gam Udaawa’ political program of late Sri Lankan president Ranasinghe Premadasa. On that program, he sang his final open stage song ‘Siriyame Sara’ which was his first song. However, while singing ‘Siriyame Sara’ song he felt chest pain and managed to finish the song successfully. Following day he was rushed to the hospital and died at Rathnams Private Hospital due to liver failure.

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