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27 September 1926
Ongole, Madras Presidency, British India (now in Andhra Pradesh, India)
|Died||26 November 2006 80) (aged|
|Children||K. Raghavendra Rao (step-son)|
|Relatives|| K. Bapayya (nephew)|
Prakash Kovelamudi (step-grandson)
Garikapati Varalakshmi (27 September 1926 – 26 November 2006  ) was an Indian actress, stage artist, singer, and director who worked in Telugu and Tamil films.
Varalakshmi was born in 1926 in Ongole, Andhra Pradesh, India to a Telugu Kapu family.[ citation needed ] She left home to act on stage in Vijayawada when she was 11 years old. She acted along with stage actors Thungala Chalapathi and Dasari Kotiratnam and became popular for her roles in plays like Sakkubai and Rangoon Rowdy.
Her first two movie roles aged 14 were in Barrister Parvatheesam, produced by Raghupathy Prakash, and Bondam Pelli, produced by H. M. Reddy. These two movies were released together as a two-in-one movie. She then moved to Bombay to sing in the chorus for Naushad in 1942. As her career as a singer was not successful, she returned to Madras in 1946. She married the filmmaker and studio-owner K. S. Prakash Rao. Her husband and she acted in and produced a controversial and popular movie, Drohi in which she played the part of an arrogant daughter.
Drohi was followed by popular movies like Kula Gotralu , Kanna Talli and Pelli Chesi Choodu in which she acted with all the top heroes of Indian films of the 1940s and 1950s in Telugu and Tamil, playing roles ranging from the loving woman and arrogant sister to the mother-in-law. She also directed a social movie, Moogajeevulu . She got involved in politics and supported M.G.R for a short time and was an active member of Andhra Pradesh Praja Natya Mandali. She was the mother of two children, one daughter Kovelamudi Kanaka Durga and a son Kovelamudi Siva Prakash who became a famous cameraman. She is also the step-mother of the famous director Kovelamudi Raghavendra Rao. [ citation needed ]
Note: The list is not comprehensive.
Ghantasala Venkateswararao, known mononymously by his surname as Ghantasala, was an Indian playback singer and film composer known for his works predominantly in Telugu and Kannada cinema and also in Tamil, Malayalam, Tulu and Hindi language films. He is considered as one of the greatest singers of Telugu cinema. In 1970, he received the Padma Shri award, India's fourth highest civilian award for his contribution to Indian cinema. According to The Hindu and The Indian Express, Ghantasala was 'such a divine talent and with his songs he could move the hearts of the people'. 'Ghantasala's blending of classical improvisations to the art of light music combined with his virtuosity and sensitivity puts him a class apart, above all others in the field of playback singing'. Gifted with what Indian film historian V. A. K. Ranga Rao called 'the most majestic voice', Ghantasala helped Telugu film music develop its own distinct character which remains unparalleled. He is referred to as the 'Gaana Gandharva' for his mesmerising voice and musical skills.
Missamma is a 1955 Indian Telugu-language romantic comedy film directed by L. V. Prasad. It was produced by Nagi Reddi and Chakrapani on Vijaya Productions banner. The film stars N. T. Rama Rao, Savitri, Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Jamuna. The script was adapted by Chakrapani from Rabindranath Maitra's Bengali play Manmoyee Girls School. It revolves around two unemployed people — M. T. Rao and Mary — who pose as a married couple to obtain employment in a high school founded by Gopalam, a zamindar. As Rao and Mary fall in love, Gopalam's nephew A. K. Raju learns that Mary is Gopalam's missing elder daughter Mahalakshmi; she is unaware of her true identity.
Chakrapani was an Indian film producer, screenwriter, and director known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema. He won two Filmfare Awards for Telugu films. He was also notable for his association with Vijaya Vauhini Studios, one of the largest studios in Asia at that time. Chakrapani was also a partner of Vijaya Productions along with B. Nagi Reddy and founder of Chandamama children magazine.
Relangi Venkata Ramayya, known mononymously by his surname as Relangi, was an Indian actor, comedian, and producer known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema. He was honoured with the Padma Shri for his contribution to Indian cinema in 1970. Relangi is particularly known for his comic expressions, and dialogues during the 1950s and 1960s. Together with Ramana Reddy, they were a comedy double act.
Savitri Ganesan was an Indian actress, playback singer, dancer, director, and producer known for her works primarily in Tamil and Telugu cinema. She had also worked in Kannada, Hindi and Malayalam films. She starred in more than 250 films over three decades. She was one of the highest-paid and most popular Indian actresses from the 1950s to early 70s, and is known by the epithets Mahanati and Nadigaiyar Thilagam. She is one of the most accomplished, most versatile and she is one of the most respected actresses in South Indian Film Industry. She is known for her liveliness and her captivating performance and is still considered as the benchmark for acting in South Indian movies.
Akkineni Laxmi Vara Prasada Rao, known professionally as L. V. Prasad, was an Indian film director, producer, actor, and businessman. He was one of the pioneers of Indian cinema and is the recipient of the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, the highest Award for films in India. In 1980, he was awarded the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award, for his contribution to Telugu cinema.
Allu Ramalingaiah was an Indian character actor, comedian, and producer known for his works in Telugu cinema. In 1990, He was honoured with the Padma Shri for his contribution to Indian cinema. In 1998, he received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award - South, and the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award in 2001. Ramalingaiah appeared in over 1000 films in a variety of roles. The "Allu Ramalingaiah National Award" was instituted in his memory by the "Allu Ramalingaiah Academy of Arts". The award is presented every year to a Telugu film personality for life time achievement.
Bommireddy Nagi Reddi was an Indian film producer and director mainly in Telugu cinema. He set up Vijaya Vauhini Studios in Chennai, which was then Asia's biggest film studio. As his elder brother had the same initials and was known as B. N. Reddi, Nagi Reddi was popularly known as B. Nagi Reddi. Some of the movies produced by Nagi Reddi include Patala Bhairavi (1951), Missamma (1955), Maya Bazaar (1957), Gundamma Katha (1962), Maduve Maadi Nodu (1965-Kannada), Enga Veetu Pillai (1965), Ram Aur Shyam (1967), Nam Naadu (1969-Tamil),Shriman Shrimati (1982), Julie (1975), and Swarg Narak (1978), the latter two of which were in Hindi. Reddi has served as the president of Film Federation of India twice, in 1960–61 and 1962–63.
Thapi Dharma Rao Naidu (1887–1973) was a Telugu writer, lyricist and social reformer. He wrote dialogues and lyrics for the films like Mala Pilla, Drohi, Thathaji, Bhishma, and Patni. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for Indian Literature. He had authored many books which were the eye openers for many in the field of social sciences in India, in particular South India. His books Vidhi Vilasam, many more have found a place in the annals of Indian literature.
Jamuna was an Indian actress, director, and politician who appeared mainly in Telugu cinema. She made her acting debut at age 16 in Dr. Garikapati Rajarao's Puttillu (1953), and received her breakthrough with L. V. Prasad'sMissamma (1955). Her filmography also includes Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi films. She won a Filmfare Award and an award at Filmfare Awards South. She was a member of parliament in the 9th Lok Sabha (1989–1991) representing the Rajahmundry constituency.
Basavaraju Venkata Padmanabha Rao, known mononymously as Padmanabham, was an Indian actor, comedian, producer, and director who predominantly worked in Telugu cinema and Telugu theatre. He is known for his comic expressions and dialogues. In a career spanning over six decades, he acted in more than 400 films.
Ramana Reddy was an Indian character actor, comedian and producer known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema. In a career spanning 24 years, he acted in more than 200 movies. Ramana Reddy and Relangi were a comedy double act during the era of early Telugu cinema.
Marcus Bartley was an Anglo-Indian cinematographer known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema along with a few Hindi, Malayalam, and Tamil films. He was the cinematographer of all time classics like Shavukaru (1950), Pathala Bhairavi (1951), Missamma (1955), Maya Bazaar (1957), Gundamma Katha (1962), Chemmeen (1965), Ram Aur Shyam (1967). He won the National Film Award for Best Cinematography in 1970 for Shanti Nilayam. He also won the Gold Medal at the Cannes Film Festival for Best Cinematography, becoming the first Indian to win the award.
Kovelamudi Surya Prakash Rao (1914–1996) was an Indian film director, producer, actor and cinematographer known for his works in Telugu, Kannada, and Hindi films. In 1977 he won the Filmfare Award for Best Director – Kannada for Ganda Hendthi. In 1995, Rao received the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award for his contributions to Telugu cinema. He is the father of noted Telugu director K. Raghavendra Rao and is the uncle of another noted director K. Bapayya.
Pelli Chesi Choodu is a 1952 Indian satirical comedy film directed by L. V. Prasad and produced by Nagi Reddi and Chakrapani under their company Vijaya Productions. The film was made simultaneously in Telugu and Tamil, the latter titled Kalyanam Panni Paar. It stars N. T. Rama Rao, G. Varalakshmi, Yandamuri Joga Rao and Savitri. S. V. Ranga Rao, Sivarama Krishnayya, Doraswamy, and Suryakantham play supporting roles in the Telugu version while C. V. V. Panthulu replaced Krishnayya in Tamil.
Chadalavada Kutumba Rao, popularly known as Chadalavada, was a Tollywood actor well known for his comedian roles. He appeared in many Telugu films. The prominent among them are: Aada Paduchu, Appu Chesi Pappu Koodu, Bharya Bharthalu, Jayabheri, Krishna Leelalu (1959), Maya Bazaar, Palletooru, Parivartana, Pelli Naati Pramanalu, Sri Krishnarjuna Yudham (1963), Thirupathamma Katha (1963) and Thodi Kodallu.
Mikkilineni Radhakrishna Murthy was an Indian actor and thespian known for his works predominantly in Telugu cinema. He was the founder of the theater group Praja Natya Mandali. He has received the honorary Kalaprapoorna from Andhra University, for his contributions towards Telugu theater and cinema.
Raavi Kondala Rao was an Indian actor, screenwriter, playwright, and journalist who worked in Telugu cinema and Telugu theatre. He acted in over 400 films. He won Nandi Award for Best Story Writer for Pelli Pusthakam (1991) and won Nandi Award for Best Book on Telugu Cinema for Black and White.
Valluri Balakrishna was an Indian actor who primarily appeared in Telugu films as a comedian. He acted in more than 100 films as a comedian, but the role he played in the movie Patala Bhairavi alongside N. T. Rama Rao as "Anji Gadu" made him popular with the audience. He also played a role Sarathi in the very popular film Mayabazar.
Hemalatha was an Indian actress of Telugu cinema, of Andhra Pradesh, India. She acted in more than 100 films during the 1950s to 1976. The first movie she acted was Palletooru. She retired from movies in 1976, with Seethamma Santhanam being the film she last appeared. After retiring from movies, she was involved in Brahma Kumaris movement in Hyderabad till her death.