Telugu cinema icon Akkineni Nageswara Rao is dead



Telugu cinema icon Akkineni Nageswara Rao died here early Wednesday, his family said. He was 91.

The thespian, who was battling cancer for few months, breathed his last at a private hospital. Family sources said the end came at 12.10 a.m. However, the announcement was made after 2 a.m.

Popularly known as ANR, he is survived by three daughters and two sons, including popular actor Nagarjuna.

Born Sep 20, 1924 in Venkata Raghavapuram in Krishna district of coastal Andhra, the legendary actor acted in 255 films. He was currently acting in a film titled "Manam" with his son Nagarjuna and grandson Naga Chaitanya.

ANR, the last of the first generation actors of Telugu cinema, had called a press conference in October last year to announce that he was diagnosed with cancer but declared that he has strong will and wants to live up to 100 years with the wishes of his fans.

He made his debut in 1941 with "Dharmapatni" and his journey in the film industry continued for over 70 years. He became famous with "Devadasu".

His other memorable movies include "Laila Majnu", "Anarkali", "Premabhishekham", "Prema Nagar" and "Megha Sandesham".

The thespian was a recipient of many awards, including the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibushan, Dada Saheb Phalke Award, Raghupathi Venkaiah Award and NTR National Award.

The death of the veteran actor sent shock waves across the Telugu film industry, which makes the second largest number of films after Bollywood.

Eminent film personalities and politicians rushed to his house in Jubliee Hills to pay their respects. The body was shifted to Annapurna Studio Wednesday morning to enable his fans to pay their last respects. - IANS