Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao popularly known as NTR. He was an Indian actor, producer, director, film editor and politician who served as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for seven years over three terms. Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao was one of the luminaries of Indian cinema, who is best remembered for his good looks, imposing presence, charismatic personality and commanding voice and breakthrough dialogue delivery. He has more than 300 films to his credit. He was born on 28 May1923, in Nimmakuru Madras Presidency, British India (now in Andhra Pradesh, India). He breathed his last after a massive heart attack, on January 18, 1996. This year 18 January 2021, completed the 25th death anniversary of Sr NTR. Remembering his 25th anniversary, take a look at his journey.
NTR received three National Film Awards for co-producing Thodi Dongalu (1954) and Seetharama Kalyanam (1960) under National Art Theater, Madras, and for directing Varakatnam (1970). NTR has received the erstwhile Rashtrapati Awards for his performances in the Raju Peda (1954) and the Lava Kusa (1963). He garnered the Nandi Award for Best Actor for Kodalu Diddina Kapuram in 1970, and the Inaugural Filmfare Award for Best Actor- Telugu in 1972 for Badi Panthulu.
Personal Life :-
|Full Name||Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao|
|Date of birth||28 May 1923|
|Birthplace||Ninmmakuru, Madras Presidency, British India (Now in Andhra Pradesh)|
|Date of death||18 January 1996|
|Death place||Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India|
|Age (as the time of death)||72 Years|
|Profession||Actor, Producer, Director, Editor, Politician|
|Death cause||Cardiac Arrest|
|Hometown||Nimmakuru, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Andhra Pradesh, India)|
Physical State :-
Relationship and More :-
|Marriage Date||First marriage – 1942|
Second marriage – 1993
Family Background –
He was born to a Farming couple, Nandamuri Lakshmayya Chowdhary and Nandamuri Venkata Ramamma, but was given in adoption to his paternal uncle because his uncle and aunt were childless.
- Father – Nandamuri Lakshman (farmer)
- Mother – Venkata Ramamma (farmer)
- Brother – N. Trivikrama Rao (Director, Producer, Screenwriter in Telugu cinema)
- Sister – None
- First Wife – Basavatarakam Nandamuri ( m. 1942- till her death in 1985)
- Second Wife – Lakshmi Parvathi (a Telugu writer and his biographer, m.1993 – till his death)
- Nandamuri Ramakrishna Sr. (Deceased).
- Nandamuri Jayakrishna
- Nandamuri Saikrishna (Deceased)
- Nandamuri Harikrishna (Actor, Deceased)
- Nandamuri Mohankrishna
- Nandamuri Balakrishna (Actor)
- Nandamuri Ramakrishna Jr. (Film Producer)
- Nandamuri Jaya Shankar
- Daggubati Purandeswari (Politician)
- Nara Bhuvaneswari
- Garapati Lokeshwari
- Kantamaneni Uma
Early Life and Education –
He attended School at first in his village, and later in Vijayawada. After his matriculation in 1949, he studied at SSR and CVR College in Vijayawada and at the Andhra-Christian College in Guntur. In 1947, he joined the Madras Service Commission as a Sub-registrar at Prathipadu of Guntur District, a much-coveted job that he nevertheless quit within three weeks to devote himself to acting. He developed a baritone singing voice as a young man.
Educational Qualification :-
|School||Municipal School, Vijayawada|
|College||SSR and CVR College, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.Andhra- Christian College, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh.|
|Qualification||Bachelors of Arts|
Personal Life –
In May 1943, at the age of 20, while still pursuing his Intermediate, NTR married Basava Rama Tarakam, the daughter of his maternal uncle. The couple had eight sons and four daughters. His eldest son, Nandamuri Ramakrishna Sr., died in 1962, NTR founded the film studios Ramakrishna studios in Nacharam in his memory. His third son, Nandamuri Saikrishna, who was a theatre owner, died in 2004 following diabetic complications. His fourth son Nandamuri Harikrishna, who died in a car accident on 29 August 2018. Harikrishna’s son Nandamuri Kalyan Ram and Jr. NTR are also actors in the Telugu Film industry (Tollywood). His sixth son, Nandamuri Balakrishna is one of the leading actors in Tollywood from the mid 1980s.
NTR’s second daughter, Daggubati Purandeswari has represented the Indian National Congress in the Lok Sabha and was a Union Minister. She Shifted her allegiance to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Basava Tarakan died of Cancer in 1985. In her memory, NTR established the Basavatarakam Indo-American Cancer Hospital in Hyderabad in 1986. In 1993, NTR married Lakshmi Parvathi, a Telugu writer. She was the author of his two-volume biography of NTR, published in 2004.
Film Career :-
NTR started his film career with a walk- on roles as a policeman in Mana Desam (1949), and since then, he had never looked back and had gone to do more than three hundred movies throughout his career. He appeared in Palletoori Pilla, directed by B.A. Subba Rao. His first mythological film was in 1957, where he portrayed Krishna in 17 films, including same landmark films such as Sri Krishnarjuna Yudham (1962), the Tamil Film karnan (1964) and Daana Veera Soora Karna (1977). He was also known for his portrayal of Lord Rama, essaying that role in films such as Lava Kusha (1963) and Shri Ramanjaneya Yuddham (1974). He has also portrayed other characters from the Ramayana, such as Ravana in Bhookailas (1958) and Seetharama Kalyanam (1961) among others. He portrayed Lord Vishnu in films such as Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam (1960) among others and Lord Shiva in Dakshayagnam (1962). He has also enacted the roles of Mahabharata characters, such as Bheeshma, Arjuna, Karna and Duryodhana.
Later in his career, he stopped playing a prince in his commercial films and began to play roles of a poor yet heroic young man fighting against the existing system. Some of these films are Devudu Chesina Manushulu (1973), Adavi Ramudu (1977), Driver Ramudu (1979), Vetagadu (1979), Sardar Papa Rayudu (1980), Kondaveeti Simnan (1981), Justice Chowdary (1982), and Bobbili Puli (1982). He also portrayed fantasy roles, his notable film in that genre being Yamagola (1977). He directed and acted in the hagiographical film Shrimad Virat Veerabrahmendra Swami Charitra (1984). He also acted in films such as Brahmasri Viswamitra (1991) and Major Chandrakanth (1993). His last film was Srinatha Kavi Sarvabhowmudu, a biopic on the Telugu poet Srinatha, which released in 1993.
After his career in films, NTR entered politics. He founded the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1982 and served three tumultuous terms as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh between 1983 and 1995. He was known as an advocate of Andhra Pradesh’s distinct cultural identity, distinguishing it from the erstwhile Madras State with which it was often associated. At the national level, he was instrumental in the formation of the National Front, a coalition of non-Congress parties which governed India from 1989 until 1990.
Political Career :- Telugu Desam Party (1982 – 1996).
Political Journey –
- 1982 – Launched Telugu Desam Party.
- 1983 – Won Andhra Pradesh’s State Assembly elections from both the seats he contested (Gudivada and Tirupati).
- 1983 – Became first ever Non- Congress Politician to become Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh.
- 1984 – He was removed from his post as he was recovering from the By-Pass Surgery he underwent.
- 1984 – Sworn in as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for the second time (after contesting fresh elections).
- 1989 – Lost State Assembly elections to Congress.
- 1994 – Came in power once again by becoming the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for the third time after making an alliance with Non-Congress parties; Scoring a hat-trick from Hindupur.
- 1995 – Ousted from his party and Government after his party and family members turned against him.
Legislative Career –
Awards and Honours –
- 1968 Padma Shri award for Government of India.
National Film Awards
- 1954 – Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film in Telugu (Producer – National Art Theater) for Thodi Dongalu.
- 1960 – Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film in Telugu (Producer – National Art Theater) for Seetharama Kalyanam.
- 1968 – National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu (Director – National Art Theater) for Varakatnam.
- 1954 – Best Acting for Raju Peda.
- 1963 – Best Acting for Lava Kusa.
- 1970 – Nandi Award for Best Actor for Kodalu Diddina Kapuram.
Filmfare Awards South
- 1972 – Best Telugu Actor for Badi Panthulu.
- 1978 – Honorary doctorate from Andhra University.
NTR died of a heart attack on 18 January 1996 at his residence in Hyderabad, aged 72. He was cremated and his ashes were immersed at Srirangapatna by his second wife eight year later, in 2004.
Some lesser known facts about NTR –
- Did NTR Smoke? yes
- NTR was born into a poor farming family.
- He was adopted by his paternal uncle, Nandamuri Ramaiah.
- He was not good at studies and cleared his 12th standard exam in the 3rd attempt.
- He was a fine painter and had won a prize at state level competition for it in 1941- 1942.
- He met Subhash Chandra Bose in Vijayawada and presented him his portrayal.
- In 1984, he underwent coronary bypass surgery in the US.
- In 1993, he married Lakshmi Parvathi, who was around 30 years younger to him.
- His son Balakrishna played his character in NTR’s biopic.