The statue of legendary Telugu actor late Akkineni Nageswara Rao was unveiled amidst much fanfare at Annapurna Studios in Hyderabad on Wednesday, 20 September.
The event marked ANR’s 100th birth anniversary celebrations where the who-is-who of Tollywood was present.
Former Vice-President of India M Venkaiah Naidu unveiled the ANR statue in the presence of the Akkineni family members — Nagarjuna, Amala, Naga Chaitanya, Akhil, Sumanth, and Naga Susheela.
Addressing a large gathering of celebrities, industrialists, political leaders, and Akkineni fans, Venkaiah Naidu stressed the need to inculcate values in the film industry.
“ANR had shown the way. I can still recall how sweetly he would speak in Telugu. He was a master of many crafts. And it would be a befitting tribute to the legendary star only if we follow the path shown by him,” he noted.
Film celebrities like Ram Charan, Mahesh Babu and his wife Namrata Shirodkar, Nani, Mohan Babu, Anupam Kher, Mohan Babu, Manchu Vishnu, Brahmanandam, SS Rajamouli, and MM Keeravani attended the ANR’s centenary year celebrations.
75 years on silver screen
With an exemplary journey of 75 years on the Telugu silver screen, Akkineni Nageswara Rao held a record of sorts in Indian cinema.
He was born on 20 September 1924 in Ramapuram, Andhra Pradesh. He started his film career as a teenager in Dharmapatni in 1941 and never looked back as he scaled heights and touched newer peaks in Telugu filmdom.
Politician-industrialist Subbarami Reddy recalled his close association with ANR.
Just after shifting the base from the then Madras (now Chennai) to Hyderabad, Subbarami Reddy said he accompanied Nageswara Rao to a meeting with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jalagam Vengala Rao during the early 70s.
He also recollected ANR’s vision and idea behind setting up Annapurna Studios, which was filled with rocks and dense shrubs.
His vibrant personality and charm holds a special place in the hearts of the Telugu people ❤🔥
Watch ANR 100 Birthday Celebrations live now!
— Annapurna Studios (@AnnapurnaStdios) September 20, 2023
A recipient of Padma Vibhushan and Dadasaheb Phalke award, Akkineni Nageswara Rao contributed immensely to the Telugu film industry in his 76 years of an illustrious film career.
His portrayal as Telugu poet Tenali Ramakrishna, Kalidas, Kabir, and Marathi sant Tukaram earned him the name Natasamrat.
Films like Laila Majnu (1949), Devadasu (1953), Anarkali (1955), Batasari (1961), Mooga Manasulu (1964), Prema Nagar (1971), Premabhishekam (1981), and Meghasandesam (1982), Balaraju (1948), Keelugurram (1949), Ardhangi (1955), Donga Ramudu (1955), Mangalya Balam (1958), Gundamma Katha (1962), Doctor Chakravarthy (1964), Dharma Daata (1970), Dasara Bullodu (1971), and Manam (2014) were the best works of ANR.
He passed away on 22 January 2014 during the production phase of Manam.