Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao: A Legend in Telugu Cinema

Today, we celebrate the birth anniversary of Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, better known as Sr. NTR. He is a beloved figure in Telugu cinema and a respected leader in Andhra Pradesh’s political scene. Born on May 28, 1923, in the small village of Nimmakuru, Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh, NTR’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming a legend in Indian cinema and politics is truly inspiring.

Early Life and Entry into Cinema:

NTR was born into a farming family and faced many hardships during his early years. Despite financial difficulties, his love for learning led him to pursue education in Vijayawada and later at Andhra-Christian College in Guntur. He entered the film industry to support his family financially.

NTR made his film debut in the 1949 movie “Mana Desam,” directed by L.V. Prasad. His performance impressed both filmmakers and audiences, marking the start of a career that would last over thirty years.

Rise to Stardom:

NTR’s big break came with his role as Lord Krishna in the 1957 film “Maya Bazaar,” directed by K.V. Reddy. His portrayal was so captivating that audiences began to see him as the divine character he played. This role made him a star and showcased his ability to play a wide range of characters, from mythological figures to everyday people.

He continued to deliver memorable performances in films like “Pathala Bhairavi” (1951), “Pelli Chesi Choodu” (1952), “Missamma” (1955), and “Gundamma Katha” (1962). His talent and versatility in drama, comedy, action, and mythology solidified his reputation as a top actor.

Selected Filmography:

Here are some of NTR’s best films, which are still loved by audiences today:

  • Mana Desam (1949)
  • Pathala Bhairavi (1951)
  • Malleeswari (1951)
  • Missamma (1955)
  • Chiranjeevulu (1956)
  • Mayabazar (1957)
  • Panduranga Mahathyam (1957)
  • Bhookailas (1958)
  • Gundamma Katha (1962)
  • Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddham (1963)
  • Lava Kusa (1963)
  • Ramudu Bheemudu (1964)
  • Srikrishnapandaveeyam (1966)
  • Kathanayakudu (1969)
  • Srikrishna Sathya (1971)
  • Aaradhana (1976)
  • Adavi Ramudu (1977)
  • Yamagola (1977)
  • Major Chandrakanth (1993)

Mythological and Historical Roles:

NTR’s greatest contribution to Telugu cinema is his portrayal of mythological and historical characters. Movies like “Lava Kusa” (1963), where he played Lord Rama, and “Nartanasala” (1963), where he played Arjuna, made him a legend. His performances were deep, authentic, and emotionally moving, winning the hearts of millions.

Venturing into Politics:

In the early 1980s, NTR moved from cinema to politics, wanting to serve the people of Andhra Pradesh. He founded the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in 1982 with a vision to uplift the pride of Telugu-speaking people. His charisma and popularity helped him win the 1983 state elections, becoming the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh just nine months after founding the party.

As Chief Minister, NTR introduced many reforms to improve the lives of ordinary people. His policies focused on rural development, education, and healthcare. He also introduced the Rs. 2 per kg rice program to fight poverty and hunger.

Legacy and Impact:

NTR’s contributions to Telugu cinema and Indian politics are immense. He is remembered not only for his acting skills but also for his dedication to public service and social justice. His legacy lives on through his family, with many members active in both cinema and politics.

NTR passed away on January 18, 1996, but his influence is still strong. His films are cherished by fans, and his political ideas continue to inspire many. On his birth anniversary, we honor a man whose life and work left a lasting impact on Andhra Pradesh and India.