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Akkineni Nageshwara Rao

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Akkineni Nageshwara Rao

Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Born Akkineni Nageswara Rao
(1923-09-20) 20 September 1923 (age 90)
Venkata Raghava Puram, Madras Presidency, British India
(now Ramapuram, Andhra Pradesh, India)
Residence Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
Other names Natasamrat
Occupation Actor, producer, studio owner
Spouse(s) Annapurna Akkineni (1933–2011 her death)
Children Venkat Akkineni
Nagarjuna Rao Akkineni
Sathyavathi Akkineni
Naga Susheela A.
Saroja Akkineni
Relatives Sumanth (grandson)
Sushanth (grandson)
Naga Chaitanya (grandson)
Akhil Akkineni (grandson)
Amala Akkineni (daughter-in-law)

Akkineni Nageswara Rao (born 20 September 1923) is a prominent Indian film actor and producer, predominantly in the Telugu language. From paddy fields, he strode into the field of fine arts through theatre. He became a famous stage artiste, specialising, surprisingly, in playing female characters,[1] because women at that time were prohibited from acting. Some of the famous plays he acted in were Harishchandra, Kanakatara, Vipranarayana, Telugu Talli, Aasajyoti and Satyanveshanam.[2] Subsequently, he was discovered, by chance, by the then prominent film producer, Ghantasala Balaramaiah, at the Vijayawada railway station. He was then cast in the film, Dharmapatni. Since then, Nageswara Rao has starred in several films of various genres during his unparalleled 75-year acting career. He won the 3 Filmfare Best Telugu Actor Award his acting carrier.He was honored with the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honour for his contribution to Indian cinema, and is the recipient of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, the highest individual lifetime achievement award for films in India.

Early life and background

Akkineni Nageswara Rao was the youngest of 5 brothers born into a poor family on 20 September 1923 at Ramapuram, Krishna District.[1] His parents, Akkineni Venkatratnam and Akkineni Punnamma were from the farming community. His formal education was limited to primary schooling due to his parents' poor economic conditions.

The farm boy, who never imagined that he would cross the borders of his village or district, toured all over the world as an ambassador of art and culture. Dr. Nageswara Rao was invited as a State Guest by the United States of America, England, France and Germany in 1964 and USSR in 1972 besides some other countries in the continent to study the Film Craft and Theatre Arts in the respective countries. He had visited Australia in 1967 leading the delegates for the Indian Entry Film, Antasthulu, at the Sydney Film Festival. He also led a high level Film Delegation to Mauritius. All through the world, the people felicitated Dr. Akkineni with love and honour.

On Oct 19, 2013 he held a press meet and announced that he is diagnosed with Cancer. He also expressed his positive intent over the disease and said he will fight till the end.

Film career

It was in 1941, at the age of 17, that he made his debut in the Telugu film, Dharmapatni, in which he played the role of the protagonist's friend.[3] ANR, as he's fondly referred to, was discovered by chance at the Vijayawada railway station by the noted film producer, Ghantasala Balaramaiah, a popular film producer of that time, and was immediately offered the lead role in his upcoming movie Seeta Rama Jananam.[3] He played the role of Lord Rama in that film. Before that, he predominantly acted in theater, many times donning female roles since women weren't allowed on stage at that time. His most popular stage plays were Asha Jyothy, Sathyanveshana, and Telugu Thalli.[3] He has since acted in over 255 films, spanning the Telugu, Tamil and Hindi languages. A majority of his films were both commercial and critical successes.[1]

Among other things, Nageswara Rao is credited for influencing Telugu film producers and creating a base for Telugu films in Hyderabad. The Telugu film industry in its early days was based out of Madras (now Chennai) in Tamil Nadu.[4] The new state of Andhra Pradesh was carved out from the Madras Presidency on 1 November 1956 and several leaders opined that in order to create a separate identity for the Telugu film industry, it had to be based out of Hyderabad, the capital of Andhra Pradesh. ANR was one of the first actors of that period who insisted on moving the Telugu film center from Chennai to Hyderabad. He established his own 22 acre production studio/house, Annapurna Studios in the heart of Hyderabad, to facilitate this.[5]

Prominent films

ANR played a variety of roles ranging from a charming prince to a frustrated alcoholic lover, from a valiant soldier to a holy saint, and from a college student to a composed government official. He excelled in mythological roles too as Abhimanyu in Maya Bazaar, as Lord Vishnu in Chenchu Lakshmi; as Narada in Bhookailash; and Arjuna in Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddham. In rural oriented films like Balaraju, Rojulu Maraayi, and Namminabantu, he attained the status of Telugu cinema's first superstar. Surprisingly in comedy films too like Missamma, Chakrapani, and Preminchi Choodu, he made a striking mark. ANR is fondly called the "Tragedy King" of Telugu cinema, through his milestone performances in romantic dramas such as Laila Majnu, Anarkali, Batasari, Prem Nagar, Premabhishekam, and Meghasandesham.

The film Premabhishekam directed by Dasari Narayana Rao is one of the biggest hits in Tollywood. It had an amazing 533 days run in Hyderabad City, which is still the highest run in a city for any Telugu movie. Premabhishekam is the only Telugu film to have run for 365+ days continuously.[6][7][8]

He was the first to don a double role in Telugu films, and even played nine roles in the film Navarathri. ANR's portrayal of an alcoholic jilted lover in Devadasu erected an everlasting monument to Sarath Chandra's famous Bengali character. Although that role was reprised by many in later years in several different languages, it prompted the famous Hindi actor Dilip Kumar to say, "there is only one Devadasu, and that is Nageswara Rao." A majority of ANR's social films like Samsaram, Bratuku Teruvu, Aradhana, Donga Ramudu, Dr. Chakravarthi, Ardhaangi, Mangalya Balam, Illarikam, Shantinivasam, Velugu Needalu, Dasara Bullodu, Bharya Bhartalu, Dharmadata, Batasari, and College Bullodu were commercially successful films. Sitaramayyagari Manavaralu was released in 1991, exactly 50 years after his debut, and was a huge success at the box office, despite the influx of newer and younger stars.

A unique feature that won ANR acclaim from critics and art lovers was that he enacted the roles of literary and cultural icons of different regions in India, thereby making them instruments of national integration.--as the great Sanskrit poet, Mahakavi Kalidas of Ujjain; as the celebrated musician saint, Bhakta Jayadeva of Odisha; as the temple sculptor, Amarasilpi Jakkanna of Karnataka; as the devotee saint, Vipranarayana of Tamil Nadu; and as the singer Bhakta Tukaram.

Awards and honours

Civilian honours
National Film Awards
Filmfare Awards South
  • Filmfare Best Telugu Actor Award - Marapurani Manishi (1973)
  • Filmfare Best Telugu Actor Award - Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu (1991).
  • Filmfare Best Telugu Actor Award - Bangaru Kutumbam (1994)
Nandi Awards
Nandi Award for Best Actor


Other State honours
International honours
  • Life time Achievement Award from Telugu Association of North America(TANA) (2012).

Literary works

Apart from being a movie star, ANR was a prolific writer. Some of his prominent books being are his autobiographical work, Nenu Na Jeevitham, the memoirs of his first visit to the USA, Nenu Choosina America, and the expression of his thoughts in his book, A Aalu. His most recent, contemplative, self-reflective work is the book Manasuloni Maata. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from several Indian universities.

Cultural Ambassador

ANR was invited as a guest of the State by the USA, Russia, UK, France, Germany, Denmark, Malaysia, and Japan. He toured all these countries as a cultural ambassador representing India. He visited Australia in 1967, leading a delegation representing the Indian film, Anthasthulu.

Dr. Akkineni Nageswara Rao had also served as a Director on the Board of the National Film Development Corporation of India.

The Akkineni Nageswara Rao college

In 1957, he donated a considerable sum of money to the Andhra University. He was the Chief Donor and President of a College at Gudivada, which was subsequently named after him. Being a strong advocate of education, he created scholarships in the Universities of Andhra, Madras, Sri Venkateswara, and Osmania. Apart from being a Life Member in the Senate of the Andhra University, he is also Adviser to its Department of Dramatics and Theatre Arts.

ANR National Award

When Dr. Akkineni Nageswara Rao was honoured with the prestigious DADA SAHEB PHALKE AWARD in 1991, a desire rose in him to create a similar award in his lifetime. The Akkineni International Foundation is the charitable arm of Annapurna Studios. The ANR National Award was instituted by the foundation in the honor of Akkineni Nageswara Rao in 2005. The award is given annually to recognize people for their lifetime achievements and contributions to the Indian film industry.[10][11]

Year Awardee Details
2005 Padmabhushan Dadasaheb Phalke Awardee Sri DEV ANAND Actor, Writer, Director & Producer
Honored with Memonto, Citation & Rs. 300,000 Cash
2006 Padmashri SHABANA AZMI Actress
Honored with Memonto, Citation & Rs. 300,000 Cash
2007 Smt. ANJALI DEVI Actress & Producer
Honored with Memonto, Citation & Rs. 400,000 Cash
2008 Padmashri Dr. VYJAYANTIMALA BALI Actress, Classical Dancer, Singer, Choreographer
Honored with Memonto, Citation & Rs. 400,000 Cash
2009 Bharat Ratna Dr. LATAMANGESHKAR Playback Singer
Honored with Memonto, Citation & Rs. 400,000 Cash
2010 Padmashri Dr. K. BALACHANDER Actress & Producer
Honored with Memonto, Citation & Rs. 500,000 Cash
2011 Padmavibshushan Mrs. HEMA MALINI Actor, Classical Dancer, Director & Producer
Honored with Memonto, Citation & Rs. 500,000 Cash
2012 Padmabhushan Dada Saheb Phalke Awardee Dr.SHYAM BENEGAL Writer, Director, Producer
Honored with Memonto, Citation & Rs. 500,000 Cash

Filmography

S No Movie name Language Year of release
1 Dharmapatni Telugu 1941
2 Seeta Rama Jananam Telugu 1944
3 Mayalokam Telugu 1945
4 Three Marathees Telugu 1944
5 Palnati Yuddham Telugu 1947
6 Ratnamala Telugu 1948
7 Balaraju Telugu 1948
8 Keelu Gurram Telugu 1949
9 Rakhta Rekha Telugu 1949
10 Laila Majnu Telugu 1949
11 Sri Lakshmamma Katha Telugu 1950
12 Palletoori Pilla Telugu 1950
13 Paramanandayya Sishyulu Telugu 1950
14 Swapna Sundari Telugu 1950
15 Samsaram Telugu 1950
16 Tilottama Telugu 1951
17 Maya Malai Tamil 1951
18 Soudamini Telugu 1951
19 Soudamini Tamil 1951
20 Oor-Iruvu Tamil 1951
21 Mayalamarari Telugu 1951
22 Stree Sahasam Telugu 1951
23 Mantra Dandam Telugu 1951
24 Stree Sahasam Tamil 1951
25 Mayakkari Tamil 1951
26 Prema Telugu 1951
27 Kadal Tamil 1952
28 Paradesi Telugu 1953
29 Poongodai Tamil 1953
30 Bratuku Teruvu Telugu 1953
31 Kanna Talli Telugu 1953
32 Petrathai Tamil 1953
33 Vayyari Bhama Telugu 1953
34 Devadasu Telugu 1953
35 Devadasu Tamil 1953
36 Nirupedalu Telugu 1954
37 Chakrapani Telugu 1954
38 Parivartana Telugu 1954
39 Vipranarayana Telugu 1954
40 Annadata Telugu 1954
41 Missamma Telugu 1955
42 Ardhangi Telugu 1955
43 Rojulu Marayi Telugu 1955
44 Anarkali Telugu 1955
45 Santaanam Telugu 1955
46 Vadina Telugu 1955
47 Donga Ramudu Telugu 1955
48 Tenali Ramakrishna Telugu 1956
49 Bhale Ramudu Telugu 1956
50 Ilavelpu Telugu 1956
51 Charanadasi Telugu 1956
52 Matharkula Manikkam Tamil 1956
53 Todi Kodallu Telugu 1957
54 Sati Savitri Telugu 1957
55 Engal Veetu Mahalakshmi Tamil 1957
56 Mayabazar Telugu 1957
57 Allavuddin Adbhutadeepam Tamil 1957
58 Allavuddin Adbhutadeepam Telugu 1957
59 Suvarna Sundari Telugu 1957
60 Dongallo Dora Telugu 1957
61 Bhu Kailas Telugu 1958
62 Chenchu Lakshmi Telugu 1958
63 Chenchu Lakshmi Tamil 1958
64 Krishna Maya Telugu 1958
65 Aada Pettanam Telugu 1958
66 Suvarna Sundari Hindi 1958
67 Pellinati Pramanalu Telugu 1958
68 Mangalyabalam Telugu 1959
69 Manjal Mahimai Tamil 1959
70 Aathisaya-penn Tamil 1959
71 Pellisandadi Telugu 1959
72 Jayabheri Telugu 1959
73 Kalyana Parisu Tamil 1959
74 Illarikam Telugu 1959
75 Kalai Vanam Tamil 1959
76 Valkai Vappandam Tamil 1959
77 Daivamay Tunai Tamil 1959
78 Namminabantu Telugu 1960
79 Santinivasam Telugu 1960
80 Pettalian Vetri Tamil 1960
81 Mahakavi Kalidasu Telugu 1960
82 Pellikanuka Telugu 1960
83 Engal Selvi Tamil 1960
84 Abhimanam Telugu 1960
85 Runanubandham Telugu 1960
86 Maa Babu Telugu 1960
87 Velugu Needalu Telugu 1961
88 Tooya Vullam Tamil 1961
89 Anbumaghan Tamil 1961
90 Bharya Bhartalu Telugu 1961
91 Bhakta Jayadeva Telugu 1961
92 Batasari Telugu 1961
93 Kanal Neer Tamil 1961
94 Vagdanam Telugu 1961
95 Sabhash Raja Telugu 1961
96 Iddaru Mitrulu Telugu 1961
97 Aradhana Telugu 1962
98 Manchi Manasulu Telugu 1962
99 Gundamma Katha Telugu 1962
100 Manithan Maravillai Tamil 1962
101 Kalimi Lemulu Telugu 1962
102 Kula Gotralu Telugu 1962
103 Siri Sampadalu Telugu 1962
104 Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddham Telugu 1963
105 Chaduvukunna Ammayilu Telugu 1963
106 Pen Manam Tamil 1963
107 Punarjanma Telugu 1963
108 Poojaphalam Telugu 1964
109 Atmabalam Telugu 1964
110 Mooga Manasulu Telugu 1964
111 Muralikrishna Telugu 1964
112 Amarasilpi Jakkanna Telugu 1964
113 Doctor Chakravarti Telugu 1964
114 Sumangali Telugu 1965
115 Antastulu Telugu 1965
116 Preminchi Choodu Telugu 1965
117 Manushulu Mamatalu Telugu 1965
118 Jamindar Telugu 1966
119 Aatma Gowravam Telugu 1966
120 Navaratri Telugu 1966
121 Manase Mandiram Telugu 1966
122 Aastiparulu Telugu 1966
123 Gruha Lakshmi Telugu 1967
124 Prana Mithrulu Telugu 1967
125 Vasanta Sena Telugu 1967
126 Rahasyam Telugu 1967
127 Poola Rangadu Telugu 1967
128 Brahmachari Telugu 1968
129 Manchi Kutumbam Telugu 1968
130 Govula Gopanna Telugu 1968
131 Sudigundalu Telugu 1968
132 Bangaru Gajulu Telugu 1968
133 Adrushtavantulu Telugu 1969
134 Mooga Nomu Telugu 1969
135 Bandhipotu Dongalu Telugu 1969
136 Adarsa Kutumbam Telugu 1969
137 Aatmiyulu Telugu 1969
138 Bhale Rangadu Telugu 1969
139 Buddhimantudu Telugu 1969
140 Sipayi Chinnayya Telugu 1969
141 Akkachellelu Telugu 1970
142 Jai Jawan Telugu 1970
143 Maro Prapancham Telugu 1970
144 Dharmadata Telugu 1970
145 Iddaru Ammayilu Telugu 1970
146 Dasara Bullodu Telugu 1971
147 Manasu Magalyam Telugu 1971
148 Pavitra Bandham Telugu 1971
149 Rangeli Raja Telugu 1971
150 Suputrudu Telugu 1971
151 Amaayakuraalu Telugu 1971
152 Sreemanthudu Telugu 1971
153 Prem Nagar Telugu 1971
154 Bharya Biddalu Telugu 1972
155 Ritukutumbam Telugu 1972
156 Beedala Patlu Telugu 1972
157 Manchi Rojulu Vachchaayi Telugu 1972
158 Datta Putrudu Telugu 1972
159 Vichitrabandham Telugu 1972
160 Koduku Kodalu Telugu 1972
161 Bangaru Babu Telugu 1973
162 Kanna Koduku Telugu 1973
163 Bhakta Tukaram Telugu 1973
164 Palletoori Bava Telugu 1973
165 Andala Ramudu Telugu 1973
166 Marapurani Manishi Telugu 1973
167 Premalu Pellillu Telugu 1974
168 Manchivadu Telugu 1974
169 Bangarukalalu Telugu 1974
170 Dorababu Telugu 1974
171 Mahakavi Kshetrayya Telugu 1974
172 Secretary Telugu 1976
173 Mahatmudu Telugu 1976
174 Chakradhari Telugu 1977
175 Alumagalu Telugu 1977
176 Bangaru Bommalu Telugu 1977
177 Bangaru Raja Ramesh Telugu 1977
178 Chanakya Chandragupta Telugu 1977
179 Athmeeyudu Telugu 1977
180 Chilipi Krishnudu Telugu 1978
181 Devadaasu Mallee Puttaadu Telugu 1978
182 Vichitra Jeevitham Telugu 1978
183 Ramakrishnulu Telugu 1978
184 Sri Rama Raksha Telugu 1978
185 Ravanude Ramudaithe Telugu 1978
186 Hema Hemeelu Telugu 1978
187 Muddula Koduku Telugu 1979
188 Andaman Ammayee Telugu 1979
189 Yedanthastulameda Telugu 1979
190 Nayakudu Vinayakudu Telugu 1979
191 Buchhi babu Telugu 1979
192 Pilla Zameendaaru Telugu 1980
193 Srivari Muchhatlu Telugu 1981
194 Premabhishekam Telugu 1981
195 Gurusishyulu Telugu 1981
196 Satyam Sivam Telugu 1981
197 Prema Kanuka Telugu 1981
198 Prema Mandiram Telugu 1981
199 Raaga Deepam Telugu 1982
200 Bangaru Kanuka Telugu 1982
200 Gopala Krishnudu Telugu 1982
202 Megha Sandesham Telugu 1982
203 Yuva Raju Telugu 1982
204 Muddula Mogudu Telugu 1983
205 Oorantha Sankranthi Telugu 1983
206 Ramudu Kadu Krushnudu Telugu 1983
207 Bahoodurapu Baatasari Telugu 1983
208 Amara Jeevi Telugu 1983
209 Sriranganeetulu Telugu 1983
210 Koteeswarudu Telugu 1984
211 Tandava Krishnudu Telugu 1984
212 Anubandham Telugu 1984
213 S.P.Bhayankar Telugu 1984
214 Vasanta Geetham Telugu 1984
215 Justice Chakravarthi Telugu 1984
216 Sangeeta Samrat Telugu 1984
217 Bharya Bhartala Bhandam Telugu 1984
218 Dampatyam Telugu 1985
219 Illale Devata Telugu 1985
220 Aadi Dampatulu Telugu 1986
221 Brahma Rudrulu Telugu 1986
222 Guru Brahma Telugu 1986
223 Collector gari Abbai 1987
224 Agni Putrudu Telugu 1987
225 Atma Bandhuvulu Telugu 1987
226 Ravu Gari Illu Telugu 1988
227 Rajakeeya Chadarangam Telugu 1987
228 Bhale Dampatulu Telugu 1989
229 Sutradharulu Telugu 1990
230 Adarshavantudu Telugu 1989
231 Ravu Gari Intlo Rowdi Telugu 1990
232 Iddaru Iddare Telugu 1990
233 Dagudumuthalu Dampatyam Telugu 1990
234 Sitaramayyagari Manavaralu Telugu 1991
235 Pranadaata Telugu 1992
236 Ragulutunna Bhaaratam Telugu 1992
237 Madhavayya Gari Manvadu Telugu 1992
238 College Bullodu Telugu 1992
239 Raajeswari Kalyanam Telugu 1993
240 Ratha Saarathi Telugu 1993
241 Mechanic Alludu Telugu 1993
242 Bangaru Kutumbam Telugu 1994
243 Gaandeevam Telugu 1994
244 Teerpu Telugu 1994
245 God Father Telugu 1995
246 Maaya Bazaar Telugu 1995
247 Rao Garu Nayudu Garu Telugu 1996
248 Pandaga Telugu 1998
249 Sri Seetarama Kalyanam Chutamurarandi Telugu 1998
250 Daddy Daddy Telugu 1998
251 Pelli Sambandham Telugu 2000
252 Sakutumba Saparivara Sametham Telugu 2000
253 Chukkallo Chandrudu Telugu 2006
254 Sri Ramadasu Telugu 2006
255 Sri Rama Rajyam Telugu 2011
256 Manam Telugu January 2014 [expecting date]

References

External links

  • Internet Movie Database
  • Addineni Nageswara Rao Birthday Special Article in Telugu Language
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