Devaraj is a film and theatre actor who has largely featured in Kannada films performing various roles as a lead character, supporting character and villainous character. He has also featured in a few Tamil and Telugu films. Devaraj has worked in over 200 feature films, and is popularly referred to as a "Dynamic Hero" in the Kannada film industry. Prior to acting in films, Devaraj has performed for various stage plays. Devaraj has also won several awards and accolades including the Karnataka State Film Award for Best Actor for his portrayal as the protagonist in the film Veerappan in 1991. His first released film was 27 Mavalli Circle in 1986 in which he played a villainous role and it was followed by more negative roles. Devaraj did the role of a Police officer in most of his films in the early 90's. These include Lockup Death, Golibaar, Gang Leader and Circle Inspector. He played his first lead role character in the film, Aavesha in 1990. He has also given critically acclaimed performance in films such as Veerappan, Huliyaa, Bangaarada Mane, Choobaana, Kambalahalli, Utkarsha among others. In 2000, Devaraj switched over to character roles and debuted in Tamil and Telugu film industries. He worked in highly acclaimed films such as Naan Kadavul, Malaikottai and Villu in Tamil and Yagnam, Sri in Telugu. His is most notable Kannada films were Deadly Soma, Namma Basava, Maurya, Habba, Pandavaru and Dashamukha.