Hyderabad: On the 98th birth anniversary of iconic actor and statesman NT Rama Rao, tributes flooded in from fans and celebrities, recognizing his contribution to Telugu cinema and the nation. NTR’s cinema career took off in 1949 with the release of his debut film, “Mana Desam.”
Moreover, today marks the 98th birth anniversary of NTR, the great man who made his mark in politics as the Chief Minister as well.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu praised him as a versatile actor of remarkable caliber who brought legendary characters to life, and as a people’s leader, he fought tirelessly for the poor, farmers, and women. In a tweet, he added, “#NTR will always be remembered for his invaluable contribution to the development of the Telugu people.”
Meanwhile, calls from admirers for the iconic actor to be given the highest civilian honor, the Bharat Ratna, grew louder. Fans and celebrities, in addition to political parties, have been lobbying for the award to be given in honor of NTR’s outstanding work in both domains.
In a tweet, Megastar Chiranjeevi suggested that the Union government award NT Rama Rao the Bharat Ratna, just as it had done posthumously to acclaimed musician and playback singer Bhupen Hazarika.
“It would be a proud moment for all Telugu people in the world, if the government announces the award to the legendary actor as the latter’s 100th anniversary is inching closer,” he said.
“A cult figure in Indian cinema & politics, along with his successful on-screen portrayals, he also received appreciation for his screenwriting & direction. Seen here with #Bhanumathi in #BobbiliYuddham (1964). #NTR,” read a tweet from the National Film Archive of India (NFAI).
Some of his most well-known Telugu films include ‘Malleswari,’ a romantic film starring Bhanumathi, and ‘Pichi Pullayya,’ a Telugu drama in which NTR plays the role of an innocent man, Pullayya, who faces severe hardships while working for a landlord, and the story of how he is proven innocent before facing jail.
Another blockbuster, ‘Raju Peda,’ was a huge audience pleaser when it was released in 1954. NTR plays Pooligadu in the film based on Mark Twain’s 1881 classic “The Prince and the Pauper.” ‘Cherapakura Chedevu’ and ‘Jayam Manade’ are two other blockbusters.
Apart from being an actor, director, producer, studio head, politician, and chief minister, NTR was a versatile genius who has created records that have not been possible to achieve by any actor to date. The great NTR is called Anna by all the Telugu people.
In his 44-year film career, NTR has made an indelible mark on the Telugu screen with his 13 historical, 55 folk, 186 social, and 44 mythological films. He has also acted in two Hindi films, ‘Naya Aadmi’ and ‘Chandirani’, and several films in Tamil.