Filmmaker D. Ramanaidu loses battle to cancer



Renowned Indian film producer Daggubati Ramanaidu, 79, who held the record of producing films in the maximum number of Indian languages, passed away Wednesday at a hospital where he was being treated for prostate cancer. His death has left a vacuum in the Indian cinema industry.

The Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner and Padma Bhushan awardee will be cremated Thursday afternoon, his publicist said.

Following his death, his body was shifted to Ramanaidu Studios, his residence, for people to pay their last respects. It will be moved to the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning for the public to pay homage, and then the body will be brought back to the studio where the funeral will take place, the publicist added.

The news of Ramanaidu's death brought a pall of gloom in the film industry, with many celebrities taking to Twitter to share their condolence message for the reverred filmmaker.

Mohan Babu posted: "RIP one of the greatest producers Dr. Ramanaidu Garu, an inspiration to many producers and I have learnt a lot from him. Disheartening news", while Devi Sri Prasad wrote: Can't believe d shockin news of d demise of Legendary Producer Ramanaidu garu. He was a trend setter n Inspiration 2 d Industry! R.I.P SIR."

A host of young actors including Hansika Motwani, Rakul Preet Singh, Riteish Deshmukh, Samantha Ruth Prabhu and Taapsee Pannu also paid homage via their tweets.

Among those who mourned Ramanaidu's death were also Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and the chief ministers of the two states.

Ramanaidu, who holds the record of producing films in the maximum number of Indian languages, died of cancer here Wednesday. The Dadasaheb Phalke Award winner was 79.

The governor, in his condolence message said Ramanaidu's death created a vacuum not only in Telugu film but also in the film fraternity across India.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu expressed deep anguish over the passing away of the legendary producer, and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao recalled the role played by Ramanaidu in shifting the Telugu film industry to Hyderabad.

Rao, in his condolence message, said the eminent filmmaker by producing movies in different Indian languages introduced many new artists and encouraged them.

Born June 6, 1936, Ramanaidu's journey as a co-producer started with the 1963 Telugu film “Anuragam”. Next year, he made his solo debut as a producer with the N.T. Rama Rao-starrer Telugu drama “Ramudu Bheemudu”.

Some of his other popular Telugu films include “Prem Nagar”, “Jeevana Tarangalu”, “Soggadu”, “Kaliyuga Pandavulu”, “Coolie No 1” and “Ganesh” among others.

In 1989, he launched Ramanaidu Studios, followed by Ramanaidu Colour Lab and Cine Village.

In a career lasting over five decades, he produced over 130 films in over 20 Indian languages.

He had also produced films in Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi and English.

Ramanaidu used to produce films under his home banner Suresh Productions, which has now been taken over by his eldest son D. Suresh Babu.

Besides a few Nandi and Filmfare awards, Ramanaidu was conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke and Padma Bhushan awards in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

Between 1999 and 2004, he was associated with the Telugu Desam Party.

In many of his own productions, he was known for playing cameo roles and most frequently appeared in doctor and judge roles.

Ramanaidu is survived by his sons Suresh Babu, Venkatesh Daggubati and grandsons Rana and Naga Chaitanya. - IANS