T L Kantha Rao was born on 16th of November 1923 at Kodad Village in Nalgonda District of A P. The interest in acting made him a stage actor. He formed his own drama troupe and performed mythological characters on stage.
He reached Madras (now Chennai) on filmy trials. The great director H M Reddy gave him a chance to act in his film Nirdoshi in the year 1951. Later on with his talent, settled in the Industry.
T L Kantha Rao acted in many folklore films directed by B Vittalacharya , with Rajanala, Rajasri (actress), Sathyanarayana and Krishna kumara(actress), comedian Rajababu and Balakrishna (Comedian). He also worked for many movies of Gowri Pictures.
T L Kantha Rao has acted in more Folklore (Janapadam) movies in Telugu. In most of his folklore films Rajashri and Krishna Kumari were his heroines.
Kantha Rao was affectionately called as Katthula Kantha Rao by his fans, since in most of his movies he did sword fighting either with Rajanala or with K Sathyanarayana. He played the roles of Sri Rama and Sri Krishna in few mythological movies.
T L Kantha rao was the best in those days for the role of Narada Maharshi. He played the role of Narada in 9 films.
The list of kantha Rao acted as Narada is as follows.
- Ganga Gowri Samvadamu
- Sathi Sulochana
- Seetha Rama Kalyanam.
- Sri Krishnarjuna Yuddham
- Sri Krishna Pandveeyam
- Sri Krishna Tulabharam
- Sri Krishna Sathya
- Sri Ramanjaneya Yuddham.
Kantha Rao acted as a Character actor in many movies from 1975 onwards. He acted in about 450 movies.
Kantha Rao’s son Raja acted as Child Artiste in the film “Sudigundalu” along with ANR’s Son master Nagarjuna(now the popular Tollywood hero). He was honored with the prestigious Raghupathi Venkaiah award in the year 2000.
Kantha Rao had his own style of acting. While delivering dialogue he used to put his right hand folded fingers near his mouth and used to move it as if he is dragging the dialogues from mouth. In those days it was called as Kantha Rao style of expression.
The selected list of Kantha Rao acted films:-
- Bhaktha Markandeya(1955)
- Sathi Anasuya(1957)
- Ganga Gowri Samvadamu(1958)
- Bhaktha Ambareesha(1958)
- Sabhash Ramudu(1959)
- Bhatti Vikramarka(1960)
- Kanakadurga Poojamahima(1960)
- Sri Krishna Rayabaram(1960)
- Sathi Sulochana(1961)
- Chitti Thammudu(1962 – Master Venkataramana son of playback singer Vakkalanka Sarala in the title role)
- Khaidi Kannayya(1962)
- Babruvahana(1964 – Writer, Samudrala Raghavacharya directed the movie)
- Thotalopilla Kotalorani(1964)
- Jwaladweepa Rahashyam(1965)
- Bhoolokamlo Yamalokam(1966)
- Srikrishna Pandveeyam(1966)
- Srikrishna Tulabharam(1966)
- Aggidora (1967)
- Sathi Sumathi(1967)
- Iddaru Monagallu(1967)
- Devudicchina Bhartha(1968)
- Sathi Arundhathi(1968)
- Oke Kutumbam(1970)
- Srikrishna Sathya(1971)
- Sri Krishnanjaneya Yuddham(1972)
- Sri Ramanjaneyayuddham(1974)
- Seethakatha(1975 – Devadas Kanakala first movie)
- Mahakavi Kshetrayya(1976)
- Amerika alludu(1985)
This great actor of Telugu Cinema died after a prolonged illness on 22nd of March, 2009.
Today is the 88th birth anniversary of this Folklore hero of Telugu cinema.
Business of Tollywood recollecting the memories of this great actor, salutes at him on his birth anniversary.