A star is born
on 28th May 1923. Nobody has an idea that the kid born on that day
will change the destiny of telugu people with his films and politics.
Neither his real parents Lakshmaiah and Venkatravamma nor his adapted
parents Chandramma and Ramayya.
NTR (as he is fondly called) never thought of taking acting as a
profession. When he joined AC College, Guntur, he was elected as
the vice president for students union wing. He used to act in plays.
He acted as "salim' in 'Anarkali'.
NTR used to be very particular
about his mustache at that time. He did not shave them off for
his role of 'Nagamma' in 'Rachamallu Douthyam'. He shot to fame
with that role and his fellow students used to call NTR as 'Meesaala
He got a cinema chance from C Pullayya when he was doing graduation.
But NTR preferred studies to films. After graduation NTR joined
National Art Theater (NAT) with like-minded co-students (Jaggayya,
KVS Sharma, Pundari Kakshayya, Potluri Narayana Rao etc.).
He got a call from LV Prasad when he was doing job as a probationary
registrar in Vijayawada. LV Prasad was making a film in 1949 called
'Manadesam' with the premier hero of that time Sri C H Narayana
Rao and PadmaSri Nagayya in the direction of Thatineni Prasad.
His first dialogue was 'Inthavaadni Inthayyaa Saar'. Incidentally
that dialogue applies for his real life too.
NTR acted in
42 historical films. His first historical role was as "Sri
Krishna' in 'Sonthavooru' in 1956. He acted as 'Sri krishna' in
films like Maya Bazaar, Vinayaka Chaviti, Deepavali, Veerabhimanyu,
Danaveerasoora Karna, Srimadvirata Parvam. If we add up all his
roles as'Sri Krishna' in hostorical and social films the count mounts
He acted as 'Ravana' in 'Bhookailas'. It went on to become a bit
hit. There by NTR proved that a popular actor (hero material) can
also act as a villain and can mesmerize the viewers in the same
way. In 1966 he acted in dual role as 'SriKrsihna' and 'Duryodhana'
in 'Sri Krishna pandaveeyam'. He also directed this film and there
by won the 'Nandi' award by AP Government. After a decade again
he directed a film called 'Danaveerasoora Karna' in which he acted
in three roles 'Karnudu', 'Sri Krishnudu' and 'Dhuryodhanudu'. In
1979 he produced and directed another film called 'Sri Madvirat
Parvam'. He donned five roles (SriKrishnudu, Arjunudu, Bruhannala,
Duryodhanudu, Keechakudu) in that film.
In 1959, he acted as Sri Rama in 'Sampurna Ramayanam' (Tamil). Though
he acted as SriRama in "Sri Ramanjaneya Yuddam' and 'Sri Rama
Pattabhishekam', the film that won laurels was his 'Lavakusa'. Released
in 1963 this film went on to run for 75 weeks uninterruptedly. This
is a record that is unbroken and will never be broken. He also acted
as 'Srinivasudu' and 'Sri Venkateswara' in 'Sri Venkateswara mahatyam'(1960).
After earning enough experience in films, NTR wanted to gift his
parents a film. He made his brother (Trivikrama Rao) produce a film
and NTR directed it for the first time. It was 'Seetarama Kalyanam'.
After watching that film 'Srungeri Peethadhipathulu' sent a commendation
letter to NTR praising him as 'Abhinava Rama and Abhinava Ravana'.
Though NTR acted with precision in all the historical roles, he
conveniently changed the rules to suit his style. When showing 'Abhaya
Hastam', NTR used his left hand as his right hand fingers were not
functioning properly due to illness. But according to the tradition
he should be showing his right hand. NTR used to jocularly comment
that even Rama and Krishna are Leftists by policy.
Though NTR acted in a small role in his first film 'Manadesam, his
first film as a hero was 'Palleturi Pilla'. It went on to become
a super hit by running for 25 weeks. During that time Vijaya studio
selected NTR as their permanent hero. He acted in Vijaya films like
Shawkar (directed by LV Prasad), Pathala Bhairavi (directed by KV
Reddy), Malleeswari (directed by BN Reddy) and Chandraharam (directed
by Kamalakara Kameswara Rao). Pathala Bhairavi was the first Telugu
film to complete silver jubilee. Malleswari was the first telugu
film to be exhibited in abroad.
NTR started his own production company called NAT along with Trivikrama
Rao and produced a film called 'Pichi Pullayya' in 1952 that bombed
at box office. In 1954, he produced 'Thodu Dongalu', which won President's
Award as the best film. 'Tenali Ramakrishnudu', in which NTR acted
as Sri Krishna Devaraya, won national award. Gudigantalu won a Nandi
award. His film on dowry issue 'Varakatnam' won the National award
and Nandi award. NTR gave story and screenplay for this film apart
from directing it. His own film 'Thathamma Kala' won the Nandi award
from the Government though it opposes the family planning.
His social films like Adavi Ramudu, Vetagadu, Naya Aadmi(Hindi)
and Sampoorna Ramayanam (Tamil) celebrated Golden Jubilee by running
for 50 weeks. His films Palleturi Pilla, Maya Bazaar, Gundamma Katha,
Sabhash Ramudu, Samsaram, Pelli Chesi Choodu, Daasi, Aggi Ramudu,
Jayasimha, Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam, Rakta Sambhandam, Nartana
Saala, Pandava Vanavasam, Aada Brathuku, Srikrishnavatharam, Ummadi
Kutumbam, Ramu, Kodalu Diddina Kapuram, Desoddarakudu, Devudu Chesina
Manushulu, Yamagola, Sardar Paparayudu, Konveeti Simham celebrated
Silver Jubilee by running for 25 weeks. This list goes on if we
include his 100 days films.
When he acted as shivudu in "Uma Chandi Gowry Shankarula Katha',
his son Rama Krishna expired. There after NTR refused to do any
'sivudu' roles. After his son's death, NTR changed his banner's
name to 'Ramakrishna - NAT Combines'. On the memory of Rama Krishna
he constructed Rama Krishna theaters, Rama Krishna Cine Studios
and Rama Krishna Horticulture Studios.
Since NTR entered politics, he could not get any awards like 'Dada
Saheb Falke' and 'Raghupathi Venkayya Naidu'. It's sad that NTR
could get only one award (Padmasri) from the government.
Though NTR acted in many hostorical roles, he did not touch two
characters. They are Narada and Anjaneya. He created a record by
acting in 15 films in 1964.
He entered politics later and served Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh
and he made the word 'Telugu' popular around the world. He is an
icon of discipline and self pride