Dasari to be cre­mated at fam­ily farm­house


One of the great­est fig­ures in Tel­ugu cinema, vet­eran direc­tor, actor, pro­ducer, lyri­cist and di­a­logue writer Dasari Narayana Rao is no more.

The 75-year-old au­teur, pop­u­larly known as ‘Gu­ru­vu­garu’ in the film in­dus­try, was not keep­ing well for the last cou­ple of months. He was first ad­mit­ted to hos­pi­tal on Jan­uary 29 in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion, but re­cov­ered well and was dis­charged on March 28. He was re­cov­er­ing slowly at home and cel­e­brated his birth­day a few weeks ago, on May 4, sur­rounded by Tol­ly­wood celebri­ties.

Five days ago, he com­plained of chest pain. His con­di­tion de­te­ri­o­rated on Tues­day and in the evening, at 7 pm, he passed away.

He is sur­vived by two sons, Taraka Prabhu and actor Arun Ku­mar, and a daugh­ter, He­malaya Ku­mari.

One of the great­est fig­ures in Tel­ugu cinema, vet­eran direc­tor, actor, pro­ducer, lyri­cist and di­a­logue writer Dasari Narayana Rao is no more.

His wife, Dasari Padma, died in Oc­to­ber 2011.

The cre­ma­tion will be held at the fam­ily’s farm­house in Chevella, near Moind­abad, on Wed­nes­day evening.

As a mark of re­spect, the Tel­ugu film in­dus­try has de­cided to close all theatres and shoot­ings on Wed­nes­day.

Born on May 4, 1942 in Palakollu vil­lage, West Go­davari district of Andhra Pradesh, Dasari Narayana Rao was in­ter­ested in the­atre in his col­lege days. He en­tered the film in­dus­try as an as­sis­tant and codi­rec­tor to di­rec­tors like Adurthi Subba Rao, Bheem Singh, Sav­itri and Vayu­nan­dana Rao.

He said his di­a­logues were in­spired by Palagummi Pad­maraju, a fa­mous writer at the time.

Pro­ducer K. Raghava gave him the op­por­tu­nity to di­rect his first film ‘Tata Manavadu’ in 1972, with co­me­dian Ra­jababu as the lead actor and Vi­jaya Nir­mala as the fe­male lead.

His ca­reer took off and he went on to di­rect 151 films. The last one was ‘Erra Bus’, in 2014. He had an­nounced a film to be made with Pawan Kalyan, but it didn’t ma­te­ri­alise.

A Kapu in an in­dus­try dom­i­nated by Kam­mas, Dasari Narayana Rao nev­er­the­less was one of the strong­est pil­lars of the Tel­ugu film in­dus­try. He al­ways talked from his heart and never minced his words. He be­lieved that the story was more im­por­tant than the star and thus in­tro­duced many new­com­ers in his films.

In­ter­est­ingly, he gave many block­busters to N.T. Rama Rama Rao and Akki­neni Nageswara Rao, the two stal­warts of Tel­ugu cinema, when their ca­reers were slid­ing.

‘Bob­bili Puli’ and ‘Sar­dar Pa­parayudu’, which he made with NTR be­came a sen­sa­tion at that time. The films did not only give a fil­lip to NTR’s film ca­reer but also paved the way for his po­lit­i­cal ca­reer. The di­a­logues in these two films are still pop­u­lar and Dasari shows how strong he is as a writer too.

Akki­neni Nageswara Rao, too, ben­e­fited from his as­so­ci­a­tion with Dasari Narayana Rao. His ‘Premab­hishekam’ and ‘Mega San­desam’ made him suc­cess­ful once again.

As a direc­tor, Dasari Narayana Rao cre­ated sto­ries out of the so­ci­ety he ob­served around him. He took up so­cial is­sues such as cor­rup­tion and gen­der dis­crim­i­na­tion and other so­cial causes.

These themes were de­picted in films like ‘Tata Manavadu’, ‘Swargam Narakam’, ‘Bali Peetham’, ‘Manushu­lan­tha Okkate’, ‘Katakatala Ru­drayya’, ‘Premab­hishekam’, ‘Sar­dar Pa­parayudu’, ‘Bob­bili Brah­manna’, ‘Suri­gadu’, ‘Ma­m­a­garu’, ‘Oseyi Ra­mu­lamma’, ‘Oreyi Rick­sha’ and many oth­ers.

He en­cour­aged new tal­ent and in­tro­duced many tech­ni­cians and artistes to the in­dus­try. He was not hung up on big time ac­tors. In his 1995 film ‘Oreyi Rick­shaw’ he used a small actor like R. Narayana Murthy. ‘Oseyi Ra­mu­lamma’ was based on the women’s re­bel­lion in Te­lan­gana and starred Vi­jayashanti.

Dasari Narayana Rao


Lak­shmi Manchu, Mohan Babu’s wife and son Manchu Manoj un­able to hold back their tears as they pay re­spects to Dasari Narayana Rao at his res­i­dence in Hy­der­abad on Tues­day.

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