Tollywood has lost several prominent personalities in 2019 even this early. Well-known actors, top yesteryear directors, and even those who are not in the limelight these days were nevertheless have contributed a lot to Telugu Cinema left the world. Especially, February 2019 can be termed the most tragic month for Telugu Cinema what with the deaths of several notable celebrities.
Even before Tollywood overcame the grief of losing an illustrious director like Vijaya Bapineedu, legendary filmmaker Kodi Ramakrishna left the world leaving a huge void in Telugu Film Industry. Here are the details of some of the noted Telugu film personalities who left the world in 2019. Let’s commemorate their works and pay them tributes.
1. Vijaya Bapineedu
Noted film magazine editor and filmmaker Vijaya Bapineedu left the world on 11 February. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and was taking treatment in Appolo Hospitals for the last four years. He is well known for the films in combination with Mega Star Chiranjeevi and both of them reached their pinnacle with Gang Leader. He also edited the successful film magazine Vijaya.
2. Mahesh Anand
Mahesh Anand was known for his sadistic villain roles with comedy touch for Telugu audience. Known for his performance in the superstar Krishna starrer Number 1, Mahesh Anand acted in several Bollywood films apart from a few regional movies. He breathed his last on 9 February 2019. He was found dead in his home in Andheri, Mumbai. He was virtually leading a life in poverty. He was last seen in the recently released comedy Rangeela Raja starring Govinda.
3. D. Srinivasa Dixitulu
Those who watched the National Award winning short film Advaitam couldn’t forget the powerful performance of actor Srinivasa Dixitulu who is more popular as Dikshithulu. He was a well known thespian and ventured into films later in his career. He is known for his roles in movies like Muraari where he played the role of the head priest, Indra, Tagore, and Athadu. A well-respected teacher, he breathed his last on 19 February 2019.
4. Kodi Ramakrishna
Legendary Tollywood director who was known as a master of storytelling and for his usage of computer graphics in movies died on 22 February 2019. He had suffered from a stroke some time ago and died with breathing problems. Ramakrishna is one of the very few Telugu directors to helm more than 100 movies. He delivered several silver jubilee films in his illustrious career. His last major Telugu film was Arundhati which turned out to be a big blockbuster. He worked with all the top stars of Tollywood including Chiranjeevi, Balakrishna, superstar Krishna, and Venkatesh.
5. Nara Jayashree Devi
Nara Jayashree Devi who is known for producing films like Sri Manjunatha with Darsakendra K. Raghavendra Rao. She had produced over 20 films in both Kannada and Telugu with her last film being Jagadguru Adi Sankara. She left the world on 12 February 2019. Jayashree Devi though unrelated to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandra Babu Naidu shared a close rapport with the family. She is survived by her daughter.
6. Lyricist Veda Vyasa
Those who listened to the iconic Ye Murthy (Allah - Srirama) from Sri Ramadasu couldn’t forget the name of the lyricist Veda Vyasa. Veda Vyasa first came into limelight with the film Sri Manjunatha also directed by K. Raghavendra Rao for his song Maha Prana Deepam. He breathed his last on 21 February 2019 leaving the filmdom in grief.
Tollywood Celebrities Who Left The World In 2018
As 2018 is coming to an end, if we look back in time, alongside the several highs and lows are some of the saddest memories as is the case with every year. But Tollywood, and in general Indian Cinema, had experienced its biggest shock in recent memory in 2018 with the death of the lady superstar Sridevi. Tollywood has lost several prominent personalities in 2018. Though some of the others who left us in grief are not as prominent and well known as the others, their contribution to Telugu Cinema cannot be ignored. Here are the details of some of the noted Telugu film personalities who left the world in 2018. Let’s commemorate their works and pay them tributes.
The senior actor who made himself a name with his villainous performances and as a character artist has left the world on 14 July due to a severe brain stroke. He made his debut on the big screen with Keerthi Kantha Kanakam in the lead role and later shifted his focus to a variety of roles. Some of the films which brought him a name and fame include Chanti, Lorry Driver, Indra, and various films in the late 1980s.
One of the most tragic instances Teluguland has seen in 2018, the death of Nandamuri Harikrishna made many speechless. Known among the people as the Chaitanya Ratha Saradhi for his phenomenal work during the iconic Chaitanya Ratha Yatra when the legendary Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao rocked the Andhra Pradesh political scene by announcing the Telugu Desam party. Though he has success as an actor, he is mostly remembered as the political heir of N. T. R. at one time. He is survived by two sons, Kalyan Ram and N. T. R. Jr., and a daughter Suhasini. Harikrishna managed the productions of Ramakrishna Studios.
Kollam Parvathi Varaprasada Rao, popularly known as Vizag Prasad was a thespian and later character artist in various films. He left the world on 21 October 2018 due to cardiac arrest. Known for his intense portrayal of roles, he acted in many plays and caught the eye of prominent filmmakers in the late 1980s. But he is known to the current generation of Telugu audience as the father of Uday Kiran’s character in the 2001 blockbuster where he played the main antagonist. He later played various roles in several Telugu films and ventured into Tamil Cinema. Among his other prominent roles was the character he played in the Eenadu Television soap, Padmavyuham.
Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani
Remembered by many as the queen of Telugu novels (Navala Rani), Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani was a legend in popular Telugu literature during the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. She was 78 at the time of her death due to cardiac arrest. She had written several memorable novels which were made into iconic films. Jeevana Tharangalu, Meena, Secretary, and Radha Krishna are among her best-known works and all these three were made it to the silver screen.
B. Jaya was one of the best-known examples for successful female directors in Telugu Cinema was a magazine owner, producer, and media personality. The versatile Jaya who made her directorial debut with Chantigadu in 2003, left the world on 30 August 2018 to the shock of Telugu Film Industry. She was only 52 when she died of cardiac failure. She is survived by her husband B. A. Raju, the well-known PR in Telugu Cinema and media personality. Jaya is considered one of the highly talented female directors in the last few decades.
Indian Cinema as a whole experienced one of the biggest shocks in recent memory when it was announced that Sridevi… was… no… more. One of the highly rated actresses of all time and the ruler of hearts of millions, the angelic beauty Sridevi’s death left a big void in the film world. Starting her career as a child actress, Sridevi touched unprecedented heights during her heyday and was termed the legitimate lady superstar. She left movies after she married Boney Kapoor in the late 1990s and made a triumphant return to the big screen with English Vinglish. Padaharella Vayasu, Vetagadu, Moondram Pirai, Himmatwala, Mr. India, Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari, and Chandini remains some of her iconic films.
Known for his discreet and indiscreet character and supporting roles, Telugu actor Chandramouli passed away on 5 April 2018. In his four-decades-long career, he acted with several of the prominent stars in Telugu cinema. He made it to the silver screen for the first time with Antha Mana Manchike.
Gundu Hanumantha Rao
One of the tragic moments of 2018 as far as Telugu comedy lovers concerned is the death of Gundu Hanumantha Rao. Known for his innocent comedy, Gundu made his big screen debut in the late 1980s and shot to fame with films like Aha Naa Pellanta, Rajendrudu Gajendrudu, and Mayalodu where he acted alongside Rajendra Prasad and Brahmanandam. During the 2000s, he played the role of the cult comedy serial Amrutham where his portrayal of Anjaneyulu, the brother-in-law of the title character gained him a wide following among the present day audience. He passed away on 19 February due to prolonged illness.
Noted character artist and theatre personality, Vankayala Satyanarayana left the world on 12 March 2018 much to the grief of Telugu cinema lovers. Vankayala who made his debut in 1978 with the film Needa Leni Aadadi portrayed several characters and supporting roles in Telugu and Tamil movies. He immortalized the role of station master in K. Vishwanath’s Seetamalakshmi. Some of the plays he featured prominently are Asura Sandhya, Triveni, and Otunna Prajalaku Koti Dandalu.
Madala Ranga Rao
One of the famous proponents of what was known as the Red Films of the 1980 and 1990s, Madala Ranga Rao left the world on 26 May 2018. The Red Star as called by the fans, he was associated with the Communist Party of India and Praja Natya Mandali, Ranga Rao established Navataram films and produced movies like Yuvatharam Kadilindi, Maro Kurukshetram, Erra Suryudu etc. Erra Pavuralu marked his most famous film as an actor.
Kannada film stalwart and one of the most recognized actors in South Indian film industriesAmbareesh had passed away on 24 November 2018. He had been part of the Kannada Cinema triumvirate who had amassed millions of fans. Popularly known as (Kannada) Rebel Star, he had acting credits in all the South Indian film industries and a few Bollywood movies. He won numerous awards in his illustrious four-decade-long career. He is survived by his wife Sumalatha (herself a noted actress) and his only son, Abhishek.