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Celeb of the Week - Sri N T Rama Rao
Jayammu Nischayammu Raa - Bhayammu Leduraa

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. His 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 Nagamma'.

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 to 22.

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

Disclaimer: The above information is compiled from an article written by Sri T Udayavarlu
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