N. T. Rama Rao

Former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao (28 May 1923 – 18 January 1996),[1] often referred to by his initials NTR, was an Indian actor, filmmaker and politician who served as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh for seven years over three terms. He starred in over 300 films, predominantly in Telugu cinema, and was referred by the media as Viswa Vikhyatha Nata Sarvabhouma (transl.Universally-renowned star of acting).[2] Rao received three National Film Awards for co-producing Thodu Dongalu (1954) and Seetharama Kalyanam (1960) under National Art Theater, Madras,[3] and for directing Varakatnam (1970).[4] Known for his breakthrough performances in Raju Peda (1954) and Lava Kusa (1963),[5][6][7] Rao 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.[5][7]

Quick facts: N. T. Rama Rao, 10th Chief Minister of United...
N. T. Rama Rao
N. T. Rama Rao commemorative stamp
10th Chief Minister of United Andhra Pradesh
In office
9 January 1983  16 August 1984
GovernorK. C. Abraham
Thakur Ram Lal
Preceded byKotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy
Succeeded byNadendla Bhaskara Rao
In office
16 September 1984  2 December 1989
GovernorShankar Dayal Sharma
Preceded byNadendla Bhaskara Rao
Succeeded byMarri Chenna Reddy
In office
12 December 1994  1 September 1995
GovernorKrishan Kant
Preceded byKotla Vijaya Bhaskara Reddy
Succeeded byN. Chandrababu Naidu
Founder-President of Telugu Desam Party
In office
29 March 1982  1 September 1995
Preceded byposition established
Succeeded byN. Chandrababu Naidu
Personal details
Born(1923-05-28)28 May 1923
Nimmakuru, Madras Presidency, British India
(now in Andhra Pradesh, India)
Died18 January 1996(1996-01-18) (aged 72)
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
(now in Telangana)
Cause of deathCardiac arrest
Political party Telugu Desam Party
Other political
National Front (1989–1996)
  • Nandamuri Basavatarakam
    (m. 1942; died 1985)
  • (m. 1993)
SignatureNTR's signature

Rama Rao made his debut as an actor in a Telugu social film Mana Desam, directed by L. V. Prasad in 1949. He gained popularity in the 1950s when he became well known for his portrayals of Hindu deities, especially Krishna, Shiva and Rama,[8] roles which have made him a "messiah of the masses", and a prominent figure in the history of cinema.[8][9] He later became known for portraying antagonistic characters and Robin Hood-esque hero characters in films.[10][11][12][13] N. T. R. was voted "Greatest Indian Actor of All Time" in a CNN-IBN national poll conducted in 2013 on the occasion of the Centenary of Indian Cinema.[14][15][16]

He starred in such films as Pathala Bhairavi (1951), the only south Indian film screened at the first International Film Festival of India,[17][18] Malliswari (1951), featured at Peking Film Festival, Beijing, China,[19] the enduring classics Mayabazar (1957) and Nartanasala (1963), featured at the Afro-Asian Film Festival that was held in Jakarta, Indonesia.[20] All the four films were included in CNN-IBN's list of "100 greatest Indian films of all time".[21] He co-produced Ummadi Kutumbam, nominated by Film Federation of India as one of its entries to the 1968 Moscow Film Festival.[10][22] Besides Telugu, he has also acted in a few Tamil films.[23] Widely recognised for his portrayal of mythological characters, Rao was one of the leading method actors of Indian cinema.[8]

Rao was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1968, recognizing his contribution to Indian cinema. After his career in films, Rao 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.[24]