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AKKINENI NAGESWARA RAO

Father time finally catches up with us all. The original super star of the Tollywood, the father of actor Nagarjuna and the grandfather of the rising star Naga Chaitanya is no more.  Yes, the 90-year old ‘Devadas’ famous Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR) finally gave up his battle against cancer. He debuted while still in his teens and for long was in theatre, mostly donning female roles since women weren’t allowed on stage those days.

In 1956, he insisted on moving out the Telugu film centre from Chennai to Hyderabad. He established his own 22-acre production studio ‘Annapurna Studios’ and ‘Manam’, his last movie featured three generations of the Akkinenis: him, his son and grandson.

A prolific writer, he was awarded honorary doctorates from several Indian universities.  Winner of the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award (1991), he was decorated with the country’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan (2011).

His Premabhishekam, ran 531 consecutive days and is the only Telugu film to have run beyond one year.  The last of the first generation of Telugu actors, he along with NTR, was the doyen of the Telugu film industry.

 

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