Shambhu Hegde started his career playing small roles and graduated to other minor characters. He was offered female roles as well which helped him to consolidate his genius. His portrayals of Krishna (in the episodes of Krishnaarjuna & Krishna Sandhaana), Harischandra, Karthaveerya, Hanumantha (Lanka Dahana), Madana (Chandrahasa), and Salva (Bhishma Vijaya) were epoch-making. He also handled female roles like Subhadra, Ambe, Sairandhri and Kaikeyi effortlessly.
Keremane Shambhu Hegde is a household name throughout Coastal and Malnad Karnataka in the domain of Yakshagana. Born in 1938 as the eldest son of Shri Shivaram Hegde Keremane, he inherited from his illustrious father an intimate knowledge of the art form, and went on to stage more than 5,500 performances portraying over 60 themes and spanning about 160 roles, ranging from a ‘Court Jester’ to the most heroic and noblest of characters.