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Yash began his career with appearances in several television series in the 2000s. He made his film debut in 2007 with Jambada Hudugi. The 2008 romantic drama Moggina Manasu, for which he received the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor, proved to be a breakthrough for Yash. 


His first film in a leading role, Rocky (2008), was poorly received critically and a box office flop. He followed it up with a series of romance films that were commercial successes, and received his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor nomination for Drama in 2012.


Yash went on to establish himself as a leading actor in Kannada cinema with the college romance Googly (2013), comedy-drama Raja Huli (2013), fantasy action Gajakesari (2014), romantic comedy Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari (2014), action film Masterpiece (2015) and action romance Santhu Straight Forward (2016). Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari ranks among the highest-grossing Kannada releases and gave Yash his first Filmfare Award for Best Actor. 


The pan-India success of Prashanth Neel's 2018 period action film K.G.F: Chapter 1, which became the highest-grossing Kannada film, helped Yash attain nationwide recognition in India and win his second Filmfare Award for Best Actor. He won further praise for his performance in the sequel, K.G.F: Chapter 2 (2022), which ranks as the fourth highest-grossing Indian film.


Yash promotes various social and philanthropic causes through the Yasho Marga Foundation. He is married to the actress Radhika Pandit.


Yash was born on 8 January 1986 in Boovanahalli, a village in Hassan, Karnataka. He was given two names: Naveen legally, and his mother's side of the family named him Yashwanth.


 Yashwanth was chosen as they believed his time of birth astrologically necessitated a name beginning with the letter (ya). In keeping with a Hindu tradition of giving children a deity's epithet, Yash was described as Nanjundeshwara ("poison-drinker god", referring to Shiva).


 Before starting his acting career, he was advised by others in the industry to adopt a stage name. Desiring to stand out with a name that was unique for an actor in Karnataka, he shortened Yashwanth to Yash.


Yash met Radhika Pandit on the sets of Nanda Gokula in 2007. They became close friends after working together in films and eventually began dating, but kept their relationship private for years.


 Media speculation regarding the nature of their relationship intensified after Mr. and Mrs. Ramachari, their third film working together. They were engaged in Goa on 12 August 2016 at a private event with close friends and family. After week-long rituals leading up to the wedding day, they married on 9 December 2016 in Bangalore in a ceremony that saw prominent celebrities and politicians from Karnataka attending.


 Two separate wedding receptions were organized: one for friends and family, and another for fans at Bangalore Palace, for which attendance was open to every person in Karnataka. They have a daughter, Ayra (born December 2018), and a son, Yatharv Yash (born October 2019).


K.G.F: Chapter 2 as Rocky


K.G.F: Chapter 1 as Rocky / Raja Krishnappa Bairya


Googly as Sharath