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  Dr AKKINENI NAGESWARA RAO  


ANR - The Legendary Film Star
The Living Glory of
Telugu Cinema

Dr Akkineni Nageswara Rao, ANR to the movie lovers, is the living glory of Telugu Cinema. Apart from being a stage artiste and acting in movies for over six decades, he is also a film producer, an entrepreneur, a philanthropist and a writer.

Born in Venkata Raghavapuram, on September 20, 1924 to a farming couple Punnamma and Venkataratnam, the village boy Nagesawara played female lead roles on stage. In popular plays like Harishchandra, Kanaka Tara, Vipranarayana, Telugu Talli, Aasajyoti and Satyanveshanam, he not only displayed his acting talent but also won the hearts of the audience with his feminine looks.

When he was fifteen he swapped female roles with male roles and from theatre to cinema. His debut was Dharma Patni, a film released in January 1941.

In over six decades, he has acted in 246 films, including 26 in Tamil and one in Hindi. Most of them were hits and were appreciated for their aesthetic and entertainment values.

Interestingly, ANR has played roles as varied as that of saints and poets in Mahakavi Kalidas Bhakta Jayadeva, Amarasilpi Jakkana, Vipranarayana, Bhakta Tukaram, Mahakavi Kshetrayya, Chakradhari (Gora Kumbhar) and Tenali Ramakrishna; mythological figures in Sitarama Jananam, Maya Bazar, Chenchu Lakshmi and Krishnarjuna Yuddham and the evergreen lover in Laila Majnu and Anarkali. Be it rustic or urban, social or period, tragic or light-hearted, with a social message or purely entertaining, ANR has never failed in bringing out the various shades of the characters.

His skill has not gone unrecognised, with several regional and national awards for acting coming his way. He also received the Padmashree in 1968, the Padmabhushan in 1988 and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1990. In 1993 the Nagarjuna University conferred on him an honorary D. Litt.

Dr ANR was the first Chairman of the Board of Directors of Annapurna Pictures Private Limited. He founded the Annapurna Pulverising Mills and Annapurna Flour Mills at Eluru and Annapurna Enterprises and Annapurna Lithographics at Hyderabad. He served as a Director on the Board of National Film Development Corporation and is a Life Member of the Senate of Andhra University. A philanthropist, he has donated much to the cause of education and for the Indian jawans and victims of calamities. Dr Akkineni Nageswara Rao has also written Nenu Naa Jeevitham (an autobiography), Nenu Choosina America (travelogue) and A - AA - Lu - Thoughts of Akkineni (lyrical expressions).


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