S. V. Ranga Rao

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S. V. Ranga Rao
Stamp of India - 2013 - Colnect 477066 - S V Ranga Rao.jpeg
S. V. Ranga Rao on a 2013 stamp of India
Born
Samarla Venkata Ranga Rao

3 July 1918
Died18 July 1974 (aged 56)
Other namesSVR, Viswa Nata Chakravarthi
OccupationActor, Producer, Director
Spouse
Leelavathi
(m. 1947)
Awards Rashtrapati Award
International Honor
Signature
Svr signature.jpg

S. V. Ranga Rao (born Samarla Venkata Ranga Rao; 3 July 1918 18 July 1974), popularly known as SVR, was an Indian film actor, producer, and director known for his works majorly in Telugu and Tamil films. He is regarded as one of the finest actors in the history of Indian cinema. [1] He is known by the epithet "Viswa Nata Chakravarthi" (transl."Universal Emperor of Acting"). [2] [3] He was the earliest known character actor to have enjoyed a star status in South Indian cinema. [4] In a career spanning nearly three decades, Ranga Rao garnered various national and international honours. [2] [5]

Contents

Ranga Rao was a method actor known for his natural acting style, portraying complex social, biographical, and mythological characters such as 'Nepala Manthrikudu', a tantric in Pathala Bhairavi (1951), Yama in Sati Savitri (1957), Ghatothkacha in Maya Bazaar (1957), Mayasura in Bhookailas (1958), Bhoja in Mahakavi Kalidasu (1960). [6] In 1964, he received the Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Kichaka in Nartanasala (1963) at the third Afro-Asian Film Festival held in Jakarta, [7] becoming the only Indian actor to have ever garnered the honour. [8] [9] He then essayed Duryodhana in the blockbuster Pandava Vanavasam (1965), Hiranyakasipu in Bhakta Prahlada (1967), and Ravana in Sampoorna Ramayanam (1971) to name a few. [10] [11] [3]

He made his foray as a character actor in films such as Mana Desam (1949), Palletoori Pilla (1950), Devadasu (1953), Bangaru Papa (1954), Raju Peda (1954), Thodi Kodallu (1957), Chenchu Lakshmi (1958), Pelli Naati Pramanalu (1958), Nammina Bantu (1959), Gundamma Katha (1962), Sarada (1962), Aatma Bandhuvu (1962), Annai (1962), Karpagam (1963), Naanum Oru Penn (1963), Bobbili Yuddham (1964), Bandhavyalu (1968), Prema Nagar (1971), Dasara Bullodu (1971), Pandanti Kapuram (1972), Vasantha Maligai (1972), Tata-Manavadu (1973), and Andaru Dongale (1974). [4] [12]

Government of Andhra Pradesh instituted an award in his memory, presented every year to the best character acting performance, known as the S. V. Ranga Rao Award for Best Character Actor. [2]

Early life

Ranga Rao was born in Nuziveedu in erstwhile Krishna District of Andhra Pradesh in 1918 in a Telugu zamindari family. [3] [13] Samarla Lakshmi was his mother and Samarla Koteswara Rao, an excise inspector at Nuzvidu, was his father. [10] [11] His grandfather was working as a doctor in the town. He had relatives scattered in East Godavari district. His grandfather Kotayya Naidu lived in Chengalpattu. [3]

His mother, Lakshmi Narasayamma, a staunch devotee of Lord Venkateswara, named the boy after him. Ranga Rao was sent to Madras where he completed his schooling at Hindu College. He also studied in Eluru and Visakhapatnam. [3] At an early age of 12, he showed interest in stage acting. He ventured into acting after completing his bachelor's degree in sciences. [10] [11] [13]

Career

Ranga Rao in a scene from Punyavathi (1967). S. V. Ranga Rao in Punyavathi (1967).jpg
Ranga Rao in a scene from Punyavathi (1967).

S. V. R. got an invitation from one of his relatives, B. V. Ramanandam, to play the lead actor in his film Varoodhini (1947). He immediately abandoned the job, and left for Salem to join the celluloid world. However, the film didn’t do well at the box office. [3] [4]

S. V. R. left Madras Presidency and reached Jamshedpur, where he took up the job as a budget assistant with the Tata company. [4] [13] However, his love for theatre began to bloom multifold. At this juncture, he married Badeti Leelavathi on 27 December 1947. In the days that followed, S. V. R. was given an opportunity to appear in Palletoori Pilla (1950), produced by B. A. Subba Rao. [10] Shavukaru (1950) earned him recognition as a fine actor. [3] [4]

His role as the antagonist 'Nepala Manthrikudu', a tantric in Pathala Bhairavi (1951) was a turning point in his career. [12] [4] The film became a breakthrough for both Ranga Rao and the lead actor N. T. Rama Rao. Pathala Bhairavi was the only south Indian film screened at the first International Film Festival of India. [14] [15] [16] Ranga Rao also starred in the enduring classics Mayabazar (1957) and Nartanasala (1963), featured in the CNN-IBN's list of "100 greatest Indian films of all time". [17]

In a career spanning nearly three decades, he acted in over 160 films 109 in Telugu and 53 in Tamil. [12] He was one of the earliest stars to feature in commercials and his ad for the popular cigarette brand Berkeley, was extremely popular. [12]

Characters essayed

Personal life

Ranga Rao married Leelavati, daughter of Badeti Venkata Ramayya and Koteswaramma on 27 December 1947. They have three children: two daughters, Vijaya and Prameela and a son, Koteswara Rao. [10] His wife would often go back to her parents as a protest to his erratic film schedules. "Come back only when you want to, I’ll promise you a good future", he told her. [4]

Ranga Rao wanted to launch his son into films and shot a few portions. But the film didn’t take off for unknown reasons. [4] He was a pet-lover, owned two German Shepherds at his residence. Ranga Rao was a poet and also wrote short stories for a few publications and nurtured a love for cricket, painting, hunting. [4]

Death

Ranga Rao had a cardiac arrest at Hyderabad in February 1974. He was admitted to Osmania General Hospital, and then discharged. Another attack on 18 July 1974 at Madras proved fatal and the actor died before any medical treatment could be administered. [10]

Legacy

Statue of S. V. Ranga Rao, inaugurated by Chiranjeevi at Tummalapalli Kshetraya School of Arts in Vijayawada SV Ranga Rao (SVR), Tummalapalli Kshetrayya Kalakshetram Vijayawada.JPG
Statue of S. V. Ranga Rao, inaugurated by Chiranjeevi at Tummalapalli Kshetraya School of Arts in Vijayawada

Government of Andhra Pradesh instituted an award in his memory, presented every year to the best character acting performance, known as the S. V. Ranga Rao Award for Best Character Actor. [2]

A bust-size bronze statue of Ranga Rao was unveiled by popular actor Chiranjeevi at Tummalapall Kalakshetram in Vijayawada in 2010. [18] In 2018, N. Chandrababu Naidu, then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh unveiled a 12.5 feet bronze statue of Ranga Rao at Kalaparru on the outskirts of Eluru and announced that the state government was planning to establish a museum on Ranga Rao in Eluru. [19] [13]

Srivathsan Nadadhur of The Hindu wrote of him during his birth centenary in 2018 as follows, "S V Ranga Rao’s diction, towering on-screen persona, impressive quirks to his character-sketches, the ability to draw inspiration from society and literature have cemented his ‘irreplaceable’ stature over the years." [4]

CV Aravind of The News Minute wrote of him in 2018, "SV Ranga Rao was ranked on par with the superstars of the 1950s, 60s and 70s such as N. T .Rama Rao, Nageswara Rao, M. G. Ramachandran, and Sivaji Ganesan. Ranga Rao was one of the earliest to be hailed as a ‘method’ actor and a substandard performance from him was simply out of the question. Rated as one of the most dignified and cooperative stars, he was held in high regard by the acting fraternity." [12]

Awards

International honors
Nandi Award for Best Feature Film (Director)
Other honors

Selected filmography

Actor

YearFilmCharacterLanguageNotes
1947 Varudhini TeluguDebut Film
1949 Mana Desam Telugu
1950 Bhale Papa Blind personTelugu
1950 Palletoori Pilla TaathaTelugu
1950 Shavukaru Sunnapu RangaduTelugu
1950 Tirugubatu Telugu
1951AkasarajuTelugu
1951 Navvite Navaratnalu Telugu
1951 Pathala Bhairavi Nepala MantrikuduTelugu

Tamil

1st International Film Festival of India
1952 Daasi BadrinathTelugu
1952 Kalyanam Panni Paar Tamil
1952 Palletooru GanapatiTelugu
1952 Pelli Chesi Choodu Zamindar VeeyannaTelugu
1953 Bratuku Theruvu ZamindarTelugu
1953 Chandirani PrachanduduTelugu
1953 Chandirani PrachanduduTamil
1953DevdasTamil
1953 Devadasu Zamindar Narayana RaoTelugu
1953JatakamTelugu
1953JatakaphalamTelugu
1953PardesiRangaduTelugu
1953Pempudu KodukuTelugu
1953PoongothaiTamil
1953RohiniTamil
1953 Sangham Telugu
1954AnnadataTelugu
1954Anta ManavalleJagannathamTelugu
1954 Bangaru Papa KotayyaTelugu National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
1954 Chandraharam Tamil
1954 Chandraharam DhoomakethuTelugu
1954 Chakrapani Telugu
1954Rajee Naa PranamTelugu
1954 Rajee En Kanmani Rich manTamil
1954 Raju Peda KingTelugu
1954 Thuli Visham Naga Nadu King VeeraMarththandanTamil
1955 Anarkali Akbar Telugu
1955 Guna Sundari Katha King UgrasenaTelugu
1955 Jayasimha RudrasimhaTelugu
1955 Missamma GopalamTelugu
1955 Missiamma GopalanTamil
1955 Santanam RangayyaTelugu
1956Charana DaasiRaghavaiahTelugu
1956ChintamaniTelugu
1956 Kanakatara Telugu
1956Naan Petra SelvamTamil
1956 Mathar Kula Manickam Tamil
1957 Allauddin Adhbhuta Deepam Jaffer, the magicianTelugu
1957Allavudeenum Arputha VilakkumTamil
1957 Maya Bazaar Ghatotkajudu Telugu
1957 Maya Bazaar Ghadotgajan Tamil
1957 Pathini Deivam Tamil
1957Repu NeedeTelugu
1957 Sarangadhara Raja Raja Narendrudu Telugu
1957 Sati Savitri Yamudu Telugu
1957SoubhagyavathiMaha Bhairavan, Bad MagicianTamil
1957 Engal Veettu Mahalakshmi Lawyer GanapathiTamil
1957 Thodi Kodallu Kutumba RaoTeluguNational Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
1957Vinayaka Chaviti Narakasurudu Telugu
1958 Appu Chesi Pappu Koodu Diwan Bahadur Mukunda RaoTelugu
1958 Bhookailas MaayasuraTelugu
1958Bommala PelliTelugu
1958 Chenchu Lakshmi Hiranyakashipa Tamil
1958 Chenchu Lakshmi Hiranyakashipu Telugu
1958Kadan Vaangi KalyanamTamil
1958 Annaiyin Aanai Tamil
1958 Bommai Kalyanam VeeramuthuTamil
1958 Kudumba Gouravam Tamil
1958Mangalya BalamTelugu
1958 Pelli Naati Pramanalu Bheemasena RaoTeluguNational Film Award For Best Feature Film in Telugu
1958 Sabaash Meena AppadoraiTamil
1958 Anbu Engey Masilamani MudaliarTamil
1958 Thirumanam DamodharamTamil
1958 Sarangadhara King NarendraTamil
1959Aval YarTamil
1959Bhakta AmbarishaTelugu
1959 Jayabheri Vijayananda RamagajapatiTelugu
1959 Kalaivanan Tamil
1959 Krishna Leelalu Telugu
1959Raja SevaiTamil
1959 Manjal Mahimai Tamil
1959Rechukka PagatichukkaTelugu
1959Vazhkai OppanthamTamil
1960 Nammina Bantu Telugu8th San Sebastián International Film Festival
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
1960 Bhatti Vikramarka MaantrikuduTelugu
1960DeepavaliNarakasuruduTelugu
1960 Devanthakudu Telugu
1960HarishchandraHarischandra MaharajuTelugu
1960IrumputhiraiTamil
1960 Mahakavi Kalidasu Bhoja RajuTeluguNational Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
1960Mamaku Tagga AlluduTelugu
1960 Naan Kanda Sorgam Tamil
1960 Padikkadha Medhai Tamil
1960 Pattaliyin Vetri Tamil
1960 Parthiban Kanavu King NarasimhavarmanTamil
1960Petra ManamTamil
1960 Vidivelli Tamil
1964 Velugu Needalu Rao Bahadur VenkataramaiahTelugu [22]
1961Ellam UnnakkagaTamil
1961Kalasivunte Kaladu SukhamTelugu
1961 Kappalottiya Thamizhan Tamil
1961 Kumudham Public Prosecutor, Shanthi's fatherTamil
1961 Krishna Prema Telugu
1961 Pangaaligal One of the 3 PartnersTamil
1961Pelli ThambulamTelugu
1961Sati SulochanaTelugu
1961 Usha Parinayam Banasura Telugu
1962 Atma Bandhuvu FatherTelugu
1962Bandha PasamTamil
1962 Dakshayagnam Daksha Telugu
1962 Padithal Mattum Podhuma Tamil
1962 Deivathin Deivam Tamil
1962 Muthu Mandapam Tamil
1962 Nichaya Thaamboolam RanganathanTamil
1962 Sarada Tamil National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil
1962 Gaali Medalu PaanakaaluTelugu
1962 Gundamma Katha RamabhadraiahTelugu
1962Kaathiruntha KangalTamil
1962 Manchi Manasulu Telugu
1962 Manithan Maravillai Tamil
1962 Padandi Munduku Telugu
1962Sri Srikakula Andhra Mahavishnuvu KathaSuchandrasena MaharajuTelugu
1962 Tiger Ramudu Telugu
1962 Annai TamilNational Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil
1962Visha BinduvuTelugu
1962KavithaTamil
1963 Annai Illam Tamil
1963 Iruvar Ullam Tamil
1963 Kalyaniyin Kanavan Kalyani's FatherTamil
1963 Kungumam Punniyakodi / James / SambasivamTamil
1963 Needhikkuppin Paasam Tamil
1963 Karpagam TamilNational Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil
1963 Narthanasala KeechakuduTeluguBest Actor - 3rd Afro-Asian Film Festival, Jakarta
National Film Award for Second Best Feature Film
1963 Thobuttuvulu Telugu
1963 Naanum Oru Penn Tamil Filmfare Award for Best Film – Tamil
National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Tamil
1964 Bobbili Yudham Tandra PaparayuduTelugu
1964Kai Kodutha DeivamTamil
1964 Main Bhi Ladki Hoon Hindi
1964 Murali Krishna Father of MuraliTelugu
1964 Ramudu Bheemudu Telugu
1964 Server Sundaram Tamil
1964 Pachai Vilakku Tamil
1965 Enga Veetu Pillai Father of Saroja DeviTamil
1965 Kakkum Karangal Tamil
1965 Aadabrathuku Telugu
1965Naadi Aada JanmeTelugu
1965 Pandava Vanavasam DuryodhanuduTelugu
1965 Vaazhkai Padagu Rajan FatherTamil
1965Paditha ManaiviTamil
1966Aata BommaluTelugu
1965 Sati Sakkubai Telugu
1965 Thodu Needa Telugu
1966 Chilaka Gorinka Telugu
1966Kumari PennGrandfather of ShyamalaTamil
1966SelvamTamil
1966Thedi Vandha ThirumagalTamil
1966Thattungal ThirakkappadumChurch FatherTamil
1966 Mohini Bhasmasura Kannada
1966 Adugu Jaadalu Dr. KrishnaTelugu
1966 Ramu Telugu
1967 Pesum Dheivam Tamil
1967 Bhakta Prahlada Tamil
1967 Bhakta Prahlada Hiraynakashipudu Telugu Nandi Award for Best Feature Film
1967ChadarangamTeluguNandi Award for Best Feature Film
1967 Rahasyam Telugu
1967Thaikku ThalaimaganFather of MalathiTamil
1967 Kan Kanda Deivam The LandlordTamil
1968 Bandhavyalu TeluguNandi Award for Best Feature Film
1968 Bandhipotu Dongalu Bandipotu MalludoraTelugu
1968Lakshmi NivasamTelugu
1968 Chinnari Papalu Telugu
1968 Poovum Pottum Professor Raja RathinamTamil
1969 Nam Naadu DharmalinghamTamil
1969 Sivandha Mann Tamil
1969Kula VilakkuTamil
1969Kuzhandhai UllamTamil
1969 Mooga Nomu Telugu
1970 Sambarala Rambabu Telugu
1971 Dasara Bullodu BhushaiahTelugu
1971 Debbaku Tha Dongala Mutha Telugu
1971 Praptham Tamil
1971 Thenum Paalum Tamil
1971 Irulum Oliyum Tamil
1971 Aathi Parasakthi DhakshanTamil
1971 Prem Nagar ZamindarTelugu
1971 Sampoorna Ramayanam Ravana Telugu
1971 Vidhyarthigale Ithile Ithile PrincipalMalayalam
1971 Debbaku tha Dongala Mutha GanguTelugu
1972 Bala Bharatam Bheeshma Telugu
1972Iddaru AmmayiluLawyer Narayan RaoTelugu
1972 Kathula Rathaiah Telugu
1972Koduku KodaluTelugu
1972 Pandanti Kapuram Head of the familyTelugu
1972 Papam Pasivaadu VenugopalTelugu
1972 Vasantha Maligai Tamil
1972 Vazhaiyadi Vazhai Tamil
1973 Anbu Sagodharargal Elder BrotherTamil
1973 Devudu Chesina Manushulu Telugu
1973 Bangaru Babu RaghavaiahTelugu
1972 Tata-Manavadu Grandfather RangayyaTeluguNandi Award for Best Feature Film
1973 Minor Babu Telugu
1973 Samsaram Sagaram TeluguNandi Award for Best Feature Film
1974 Andaru Dongale Chanti BabuTelugu
1974 Bangaru Kalalu Telugu
1974 Chakravakam Dharma RayuduTelugu
1974 Galipatalu Ganganna and MangannaTelugu
1974 Inti Kodalu Telugu
1974 Premalu Pellilu Telugu
1974Pillai SelvamTamil
1974 Sivakamyin Selvan TamilLast film in Tamil
1975 Yashoda Krishna KamsaTeluguLast film in Telugu

Director

Producer

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References

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