Veteran Telugu actor and comedian Rallapalli Venkata Narasimha Rao died of cardiac arrest in a private hospital in Hyderabad on Friday evening. According to reports, the 74-year-old actor, who has worked on over eight hundred films, was under treatment for a liver problem.
Rallapalli was born in Anantapur district in Andhra Pradesh and began his career as stage actor in 1960. Director Pratyagatma’s Stree in 1974 was his first film. In 1979, director Bapu’s Toorpu Velle Railu, the Telugu remake of Bharathiraja’s Kizhake Pogum Rail, brought him recognition. He also won the Nandi Award for Best Actor for the National Award winning Oorummadi Batukulu by BS Narayana.
He starred in several films after this, and the 80s and 90s were the best years of his career. He is most remembered for Chillara Devullu and Chali Cheemalu, and also acted in Subhalekha, Khaidi, Alaya Sikharam, Mantrigari Viyyankudu, Abhilasha, Srivariki Premalekha, Sitara, Ladies Tailor, Kanchu Kagada, and Alapana.
In Tamil, he played a supporting role in director Rajiv Menon’s Minsara Kanavu, and one of his more popular roles is that of a transgender person in Mani Ratnam’s Bombay.
Rallapalli won five Nandi Awards in his career. He regularly worked with directors Vamsy, Jandhyala and Bapu. His more recent films were Bale Bale Magadivoy and Duvvada Jagannadham. He also worked as a staff artiste in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
Tributes have poured in since yesterday and many have recalled memories of working with the actor.
Chiranjeevi said in a statement, “I was spellbound seeing Rallapalli garu perform in stage plays at Vani Mahal, Chennai. We acted together in several hits and I admire him a lot for his sincerity and discipline. My deepest condolences to his family,” TNIE reports.
Actors Nani, Srikanth, film writer Gopi Mohan expressed condolences.
Rallapalli gaaru..one of my favourites.
RIP SIR ??
— Nani (@NameisNani) May 17, 2019
— SRIKANTH MEKA (@actorsrikanth) May 17, 2019
Sad to know about Rallapalli Gaaru … had an honour of working with him in DJ …. What a gem of an actor and a great human being …. We miss you GuruGaaru….. ????
— Harish Shankar .S (@harish2you) May 17, 2019
RIP Rallapalli garu.U r really a gem of an actor.U entertained us with ur versatile performance.I am lucky to interact with u for few films..mainly Nuvvu-Nenu film.
Kanchukagada,RenduRelluAaru film characters r my favourites.U r a legendary actor.Respect U? pic.twitter.com/SyppY4wJrT
— Gopi Mohan (@Gopimohan) May 17, 2019
The YSR Congress Party also condoled his death.
Sri YS Jagan has expressed grief over the demise of veteran comedian Rallapalli Venkata Narasimha Rao and conveyed his condolences to the family members. The artiste had won laurels in theatre, television and films as an actor, writer and director through his inimitable style
— YSR Congress Party (@YSRCParty) May 17, 2019
Rallapalli is survived by his daughter. His last rites will be held at Mahaprasthanam on Sunday.
Image Courtesy: The Live Mirror