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Celeb of the Week - J V Somayajulu

If we happen to meet any non-telugu people and if our discussion turns towards films, the first film that comes our mind as the best telugu film is 'Sankara Bharanam'. Sankarabharanam is the brain child of quintessential director K Vishwanath. But its the JV Somayajulu. He suited to the role of 'Sankara Sastry' very well.

Before joining films, he used to serve the theater lovers with his 'natakas'. He acted in the play 'Kanyasulkam' for 500 times in his career along with his brother actor JV Ramana Murthy for 45 years.

The woman behind the success of JV Somayajulu is none but his mother Ms. Saradamma. She used to encourage her children to be more righteous by making them imbibe 'Bhagavat Geeta'. She used to attend all the plays by JV Somayajulu. After the play is over, she used to arrange dinner for the crew and then used to give suggestions to improve their performance. Whenever there is a women acting in Somayajulu's play, she used to make her feel comfortable by proving a room in her house.

JV Somayajulu's passion for Kanyasulkam was ignited by his teachers. They used to celebrate the birthday of Gurajada by uttering a few pages of 'Kanyasulkam'. They used to claim that it's humanly impossible to exhibit 'Kanyasulkam' as a play. Then Somayajulu and Ramana Murthy concise the Kanyasulkam without losing the impact and rewrote the play version. Then they started looking out for the suitable actors. As Somayajulu used to be the development officer for their village, he used to meet lot of Surpanch and Munasoobs. He observed their way of thinking and their mannerisms. He used all of that to create the 'Ramappantulu' character of 'Kanyasulkam'. He started acting as Ramappantulu in Kanyasulkam. And their run of the play 'Kanyasulkam' never stopped.

In the early 1980s, K Vishanath was searching for an actor to play a role that has the attributes of a pure Brahmin and a music exponent. JV Somayajulu acted in a old role in a film called 'Raa Raa Krishnaiah'. During that period the music director of that film SP Bala Subramanyam observed the talent of Somayajulu and aptly recommended him to K Vishwanath. Finally JV Somayajulu was taken for the role of 'Sankara Sastry'. And the rest is history.

He got his first commercial break as an actor in cinemas in his 50's. Later on he acted as an opportunist in 'Allari Pillalu', Muslim Village Lord in 'Nelavanka'. He also acted in 'Rowdy Alludu', 'Swathimutyam', 'Thyagayya', 'Saptapadi', 'Vamsa Vruksham' etc. His role as a strict, yet caring father in 'Vijeta' got lot of appreciation. He also acted in a Hindi film called 'Pratibandh'. He was instrumental in making a 13 episode serial of 'Kanyasulkam'. He acted as Ramappantulu' in the soap opera too.

He started an organization called 'Rasaranjani' along with his contemporaries like Chatla Sriramulu, Garimella Srirama Murthy, Rallapalli. 'Rasaranjani' is taking steps to promote plays in Telugu. JV Somayajulu is retired from his Government work. He is not straining himself by acting in films. The latest film done by him is the 'Kodanda Ramudu' in which, he played a small role.

JV Somayajulu will be remember as 'Sankarabharan Sankara Sasthy' by the next generations to come. He is one of the actors who shot to fame with a film and never turned back.

Disclaimer: The above information is compiled from an article written by Sri PV Rama Mohan Niadu
Also Read about other celebs: N T Rama Rao and Raghupati Venkaiah Naidu

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