Legendary actor of Telugu cinema Akkineni Nageswara Rao passed away at around 2.10 am in a Hyderabad hospital on Wednesday. He was suffering from cancer.
He was 91 years old.
Rao had acted in more than 250 Telgu and Tamil films in his career. One of the film character immortalised by the actor was that of Devdas. He had also established Annapurna studios, which is one of the top studios in the country.
Rao is survived by three daughters and two sons, one of whom is actor Nagarjuna.
He started his career in theatre and plated even women roles in the initial years of his career. In 1944, he essayed the lead role in Telugu drama Sitarama Jananam.
ANR, the last of the first generation actors of Telugu cinema, had called a press conference in October last year to announce that he was diagnosed with cancer but declared that he has strong will and wants to live up to 100 years with the wishes of his fans.
Some of his best films include Batasari, Devadasu and Prem Nagar. He was currently shooting for Telugu family drama Manam with son Akkineni Nagarjuna and grandson Akkineni Naga Chaitanya.
He had won several top awards during his lifetime, including the Dada Saheb Phalke and Padma Bhushan.
One of India's leading film producer D Rama Naidu said, "Rao was a very punctual and dedicated actor and working with him was an enjoyable experience".
Rao's body will be kept in Annapurna studios on Wednesday for his fans to pay their last respects. His last rites will be performed on Thursday.
Many Political leaders, including Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, have expressed their condolence on the actor's death.
Some of his best films:
Bratuku Teruvu (1953)
Rojulu Maraayi (1955)
Maya Bazaar (1957)
Lord Vishnu in Chenchu Lakshmi (1958)
Narada in Bhookailash (1958)
Arjuna in Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddham (1962)
Preminchi Choodu (1965)
Prem Nagar (1971)
Laila Majnu (1979)
Sitaramayyagari Manavaralu (1991)
(With inputs from agencies)