After battling cancer for some time now, legendary actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao, fondly called ANR, breathed his last on Wednesday morning. In a career spanning more than seven decades, the actor-producer worked in more than 255 films and was justly known for his acting prowess and range.
His death was mourned by fans and film personalities from across the country. Amitabh Bachchan, Lata Mangeshkar, Kamal Haasan, K Balachander, M Karunanidhi, Mohan Babu, Shivraj Kumar, J Jayalalithaa and Mohanlal were among those who mourned his loss.
Lata Mangeshkar: The great Telugu artist Akkineni Nageshwara Rao left for the heavenly abode on Wednesday and I am deeply saddened. He was not just a great artist but a wonderful human being. I had the opportunity to meet him four years ago... I had received an award from him. May god bless his soul and I pray for his family.
Kamal Haasan: ANR was my spiritual guru. He was my guru not just in acting, but as a rationalist. When I was 16 and working as an assistant, he spoke to me once. The effect of that has kept me intact as a rational person for this long. As a star, he has seen three generations. Till the moment he left us, in my eyes, he was a star. We've now lost a star. The sky will be bereft of the brightest star I have known who spoke Telugu, Hindi and Tamil.
Amitabh Bachchan: Another great iconic legend of cinema passes away this (Wednesday) morning: Nageshwar Rao, of Telugu cinema, a most affable considerate human! Akkineni Nageshwar Rao, legend of Telugu cinema, formed the incredible duo with another legend NTR, leaves behind incredible legacy.
K Balachander: We have lost an icon. There's no doubt that he was a legend, but he also cared, loved and respected all around him. This made him a great human being. It's a big loss to our Indian film industry as I feel there can't be another Nageswara Rao.
M Karunanidhi: When M G Ramachandran and Ganesan ruled the roost in Tamil cinema, another Telugu stalwart N T Rama Rao and Nageswara Rao were hailed as the twin-heroes of Telugu cinema. I extend my sincere condolences to his son Nagarjuna, his family members and friends in the Telugu film industry.
Mohan Babu: I have worked in villainous roles in several films produced under Annapurna Studios. It was always wonderful to meet him and we shared a father-son relationship. He may have been a legend but he lived with humility. He is not gone because he still resides in our hearts.
Shivraj Kumar: His death is not only a loss for Telugu industry, but it is a big loss to Indian cinema. My father and he used to be great friends. Whenever he would come to Bangalore, he would take out time to meet my father. My father did the same when he went to Hyderabad.
J Jayalalithaa: He strode the Telugu film industry like a colossus. I have worked with him in many movies. My first film in Telugu Manushulu Mamathalu was with Nageswara Rao. His death is an irreparable loss to the film industry and nation.
Mohanlal: Saddened by the death of legendary actor Nageswara Rao sir. (His death is) irreparable loss to the film industry. May his soul rest in peace!