Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Indian actor
Akkineni Nageswara Rao
Akkineni Nageswara Rao is an Indian film actor, predominant in Telugu cinema. Nageswara Rao has worked in several genres of films in his 78-year acting career, including mythological, social, and drama films. Nageswara Rao has been active in the Telugu film industry since 1941.
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  • 2014
    Age 89
    He was cremated on 23 January 2014, at Annapurna Studios with full state honours amid a 21-gun salute.
    More Details Hide Details Thousands were present to pay their last respects. Apart from being a movie star, ANR was a prolific writer. Most of his books were autobiographical works, the most famous of which are Nenu Na Jeevitham, the memoirs of his first visit to the USA, Nenu Choosina America, and a poetic rendition of his personal thoughts, A Aalu. ANR was very active in social service. Pointing toward the sky, he once famously said, "If there's a presence there, I'm sure he'll want us to perform our earthly duties well and be a good human being rather than blindly worship him". He set up the Akkineni Janmabhoomi trust in order to foster development in his home town, Ramapuram. He strove hard to realise it under the Janmabhoomi programme during the TDP regime. He was instrumental in the construction of the Akkineni Varadhi (Akkineni bridge, named after him), which improved his village's economy by facilitating easy connectivity. In Ramapuram, even safe drinking water was something which was unheard of until Akkineni contributed to the construction of a water filteration plant.
  • 2013
    Age 88
    On 19 October 2013 Rao announced that he was diagnosed with colon cancer.
    More Details Hide Details He continued shooting for his final film Manam, two weeks after a major laproscopic surgery, surprising many. He had often said that he wished to act till his death, and Manam proved that.
  • 2012
    Age 87
    In 2012, he instituted the Akkineni Annapurna Educational Trust in memory of his wife Annapurna.
    More Details Hide Details Civilian honors National Film Awards Filmfare Awards South Nandi Awards Nandi Award for Best Actor Other state honours
  • 2011
    Age 86
    The Annapurna International School of Film and Media, founded by his family in 2011, was set up as a non-profit entity.
    More Details Hide Details Rao was generous towards educational institutions since the beginning of his career. Even though he didn't have the opportunity to go to school, he understood the importance of education. He created scholarships in various state universities such as GITAM University(Vizag). He was the Chief Donor and President of the College at Gudivada, which was subsequently named after him as Akkineni Nageswara Rao College. Apart from being a Life Member of the Senate of Andhra University, he was also Adviser to its Department of Dramatics and Theatre Arts. He instituted Gold Medals for students who excelled in Acting and Direction.
  • 2005
    Age 80
    He instituted the Akkineni International Foundation in 2005 to honour those who contributed to the Film Industry.
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  • 1983
    Age 58
    Rao is best remembered for his performances in romantic tales such as Laila Majnu (1949), Devadasu (1953), Anarkali (1955), Batasari (1961), Mooga Manasulu (1964), Prem Nagar (1971), Premabhishekam (1981), and Meghasandesham (1982) which was featured at the 9th International Film Festival of India, the 1983 Cannes Film Festival and the Moscow film festival.
    More Details Hide Details During this time, Rao has appeared in super-hits such as Ardhangi (1955), Bhale Ramudu (1956), Mangalya Balam (1958), Gundamma Katha (1962), Doctor Chakravarty (1964), Dharma Daata (1970), and Dussehra Bullodu (1971). Rao received seven state Nandi Awards, and four Filmfare Awards South. He is a recipient of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, the highest honorary award for achievement in Indian cinema. He was also honored with the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian award, for his contribution towards Indian cinema.
  • 1957
    Age 32
    Similarly, Rao essayed mythological figures such as Abhimanyu in Mayabazar which was screened at the 1957 International Film Festival of India and the Indonesian Film Festival; as Lord Vishnu in Chenchu Lakshmi; as Narada in Bhookailas; and as Arjuna in Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddhamu.
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  • 1954
    Age 29
    Rao is known for his path-breaking works in biographical films; Rao essayed Tamil saint Thondaradippodi Alvar in the 1954 film Vipra Narayana; as Tenali Rama in the 1956 film Tenali Ramakrishna which received the All India Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film; as Kalidas (the Sanskrit poet of Ujjain) in the 1960 film Mahakavi Kalidasu; as 12th Century Sanskrit poet Jayadeva of Odisha in the 1961 film Bhakta Jayadeva; as Kannada sculptor Amarashilpi Jakanachari in the 1964 film Amara Shilpi Jakkanna; as Marathi saint Tukaram in the 1971 film Bhakta Tukaram; as Kabir in the 2006 film Sri Ramadasu; and as Valmiki in the 2009 film Sri Rama Rajyam.
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  • 1941
    Age 16
    In 1941, at the age of 17, Nageswara Rao made his debut in the Telugu film, Dharmapatni, in which he played the role of the protagonist's friend.
    More Details Hide Details Subsequently, ANR was noticed by chance at the Vijayawada railway station by film producer, Ghantasala Balaramaiah, who cast him as Lord Rama in his movie Seeta Rama Jananam. Before that, ANR predominantly acted in theatre, many times donning female roles since women weren't allowed on stage at that time. From those humble beginnings, he went on to star in over 255 films, spanning Telugu, Tamil and Hindi languages. A majority of his films were both commercial and critical successes.
  • 1924
    Born on September 20, 1924.
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