Legendary Telugu actor and producer, Akkineni Nageswar Rao, passed away in the early hours today, after battling with cancer for several months. He was 91 years old and was undergoing cancer treatment. His condition worsened at around 2:10 am on Wednesday and then he was taken to Care Hospital in Hyderabad, where he breathed his last at 2:45 am.
He had an open heart surgery, and was also ailing with cancer. On 19 October 2013, he called up a press conference and announced that he was diagnosed with cancer. In the press conference, he has shown his strong will to fight against cancer. He also conveyed that, in old age cancer does not spread fast. He looked very cheerful throughout the press conference, which was addressed at Annapurna Studios.
Akkineni was first discovered by prominent film producer, Ghantasala Balaramaiah, at the Vijayawada railway station. He was then a cast in the film 'Dharmapatni', since then he was starred in several movies in his 75-years of acting career. He was honored with many awards, during his career as an actor, but the biggest achievement was Padma Vibhushan, India's second largest civilian award. He is also a recipient of Dada Shaeb Palke award, the highest individual lifetime achievement award for films in India.
Nageswar Rao made his debut with the Telugu movie 'Dharmapatni', in which he played the role of protagonist's friend. After his performance in this movie, he was immediately offered a lead role of Lord Rama in the movie 'Seeta Rama Jananam'. Before coming to film industry he has predominantly acted in many stage shows. He has acted in total of about 255 films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi languages.
He has played a variety of roles ranging from a charming prince to a frustrated alcoholic lover, from a college student to a composed government official and some of his best films are Allauddin Adhbhuta Deepam, Mooga Manasulu, Suvarna Sundari, Prem Nagar, Chanakya Chandragupta, Sri Krishnarjuna Yudham, Sati Savitri, Satyam Shivam, Maya Bazaar, Anarkali, Sri Rama Rajyam, Devadasu, Missamma, Gundamma Katha etc. Among other things, he is also credited to bring the Telugu film industry to Hyderabad, which was earlier based in Madras.
His last movie was 'Manam', where the audience could see, all the three generations of Akkineni family including himself, actor Nagarjuna and grandson Naga Chaitanya in it. He was one of the key Telugu actor of his era along with Nandamuri Taraka Ramamrao (NTR). He was a very down to earth person and was very disciplined person too. He has given some incredible movies to the Tollywood Industry, which his fans will never forget. May his soul rest in peace.