Veteran Telugu actor, writer, and literary enthusiast, Raavi Kondala Rao passed away on Tuesday in Hyderabad. The 88-year-old breathed his last at a private hospital in Begumpet after suffering from a cardiac arrest.
Mr Rao is renowned for his exemplary work as a sub-editor, writer, actor, and dramatist. After initially playing minor roles in a few films, the actor’s alliance with Mullapudi Ramana and Bapu helped him take a major turn in his career. In the film Preminchi Choodu (1964), Raavi Kondala Rao had played the role of Akkineni Nageswara Rao’s father, and ended up winning accolades for his performance. He soon went on to appear in many other films including Dasara Bullodu, Andala Ramudu, Tene Manasulu, Pelli Pusthakam, Bhairava Dweepam, Rangoon Rowdi, and Chantabbayi, among others. His wife, Radha Kumari, who was also popular character artist in Telugu films, passed away in 2012.
Several members of the Telugu film fraternity have expressed their grief over the demise of Raavi Kondala Rao. Director Sreenu Vaitla wrote, “Deeply saddened by the demise of the extremely talented actor and writer Sri Raavi Kondala Rao garu. I’m a big fan of his natural acting and always admired his smile and I’m fortunate to have worked with him in King , condolences to his family and loved ones , rip sir.”
Raavi Kondala Rao won 9 Nandi Awards that honour his works as an actor, writer and historian. He acted in more than 100 movies with his wife, Radha Kumari. The achievement stands as a unique feat in the film industry. Mr Rao is also credited with the formation of Visakha Humour Club, which was launched in Visakhapatnam in an attempt to promote healthy humour. In an earlier interaction with Yo! Vizag, Mr Rao shared that he was vexed with the low-grade comedy that was beginning to grow in Telugu films and TV programmes, and launched the club to entertain people with clean comedy.