During his school days, Duniya Vijay was very good at athletics and went on to become a gym instructor. He began his acting career on television and as a stuntman in Kannada films. Before establishing himself as an Actor, he did brief roles in films like Ranga SSLC, Rakshasa, and Mental Manja.The year 2007 changed fortunes of Vijay when Soori decided to cast Vijay in his directorial debut film Duniya. Vijay was heavily praised for his role as a naïve village boy. His performance won him Filmfare and State awards. After this film, he never looked back and year 2007 was not done yet as he starred in three more films that year. Yuga, Chanda, and Geleya were his other releases of 2007. Chanda created a lot of buzzes and was declared hit at the box-office. After establishing himself as a sought actor of Kannada cinema, he starred in several acclaimed films like Johny Mera Naam Preethi Mera Kaam, Jarasandha Bheema Theeradalli, and RX Soori.
While filming an action sequence for his upcoming film Masti Gudi, he along with two stuntmen jumped in the reservoir from the helicopter and though he was rescued but both the stuntmen were drowned. Due to this incident, Karnataka Film Commerce Chamber (KFCC) has forced a ban on Vijay along with director Nagashekar and stunt choreographer Ravi Varma, till they get further notice.
Vijay was married to Nagarathna, with whom he has three children. The marriage ended in a divorce and Vijay then married Keerthi Pattadi.