Dharmadasa Walpola was born on September 27, 1927 at Deyyannewela in Kandy. During his school days he went to take up residence in Colombo with his father who was a costume designer at Tower Hall, his mother and the siblings. Showing a great deal of interest in music, he had his schooling at Sri Sangharaja Central College and Lawrence College, Colombo. In the price of his youth he acted in dramas such as “Amma” and “Sivamma Dhanapala and learned music at the feet of music teacher such as Eddie Master, Lionel Perera and R.a. Chandrasena acquiring mastery at the flute. Subsequently he joined the SLBC and became a singer. Beginning his career as a singer with the duet “ Thotiyo” which he sang with G.S.B. Rani Perera, he rose to immense popularity owing to his endearing voice having sung a number of duets with other songstresses such as Vivien Boralessa, Rukmani Devi and Latha Fernando (Walpola).
In 1952 he sang his first film duet in the film “Prema Tharangaya” with Latha Fernando and within a few years he added his voice to songs in about 85% of Sinhala films. Since his marriage with Latha in 1957 the duo became indispensable in Sinhala films. Apart from light songs and radio songs, he sang more than a thousand songs in films and gave a helping hand to amateur singers as well. He took steps to teach music to his own sons, Suneth, Amith, Chaminda and the daughter Dhammika too. Later in life he kept away from the radio due to discontent owing to the doings of certain persons in the field of arts and after twelve years, sang the song “Uttama muni dalada” and went home without charging a cent for that.
This honest, harmless, principled and unassuming artiste of great popularity breathed his last on December 25, 1983 at the age of 57 giving vision to two Indians with his own eyes.