Legendary Telugu actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao passed away at a private hospital in Hyderabad at 2.12 am on Wednesday after battling cancer for several months. He was 91 and is survived by three daughters and two sons, one of whom is actor Nagarjuna.
He surprised people by calling a press conference on October 19, 2013 to announce that he was diagnosed with cancer. He also said that with the wishes of his fans, he wanted to live upto a 100 years.
He died in his sleep, Nagarjuna said in Hyderabad.
Soon as news of his demise spread, there was a steady stream of people from the Telugu film industry and other fields of society, to his house in Jubilee Hills. His body is being shifted to Annapurna Studios, where it will be kept for people to pay their last respects.
Born on September 20, 1923 in Venkata Raghavapuram of Krishna district, this first generation actor in Telugu debuted with Dharmapatni in 1941. There was no looking back and he went on to showcase his skills as an actor par excellence in 256 films, including Devadasu, Laila Majnu, Anarkali, Premabhishekham, Prema Nagar and Megha Sandesham to name a few.
Among the awards he has received in recognition of his work are Padma Vibhushan, Dada Saheb Phalke Award, the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award and the NTR National Award too. His death marks the end of another glorious, unforgettable chapter in Telugu cinema, an industry that makes the second largest number of films, next only to Bollywood.
ANR wrapped up his work with Manam that saw three generations of the Akkineni family including himself, actor Nagarjuna and grandson Naga Chaitanya in it.