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NT Rama Rao’s death anniversary: 6 Interesting facts of matinee idol and undisputed king


NT Rama Rao, the legendary personality of Telugu cinema, who defined films and politics, passed away today, 27 years ago. Even after many years of demise, he is still remembered and loved by millions of Telugu people. As we celebrate NTR today, let’s flashback to the time of his films and political foray. 

NT Rama Rao doesn’t need an introduction. His story is well known as he touched many hearts with his iconic performances in films good deeds as a politician and a chief minister. Rao made his debut as an actor with a Telugu social film Mana Desam, directed by L. V. Prasad in 1949. He gained popularity in the 1950s because for his portrayals of Hindu deities, especially Krishna, Karna and Rama roles that have also earned a moniker “messiah of the masses”, and a prominent figure in the history of cinema. He starred in over 300 films, predominantly in Telugu cinema, and was referred to as Viswa Vikhyatha Nata Sarwa Bhouma.

After his successful stint as actor, NT Rama Rao soon made his enigmatic entry into politics and became people’s leader. In his political career, he forayed into politics and established the Telugu Desam Party in 1982. He became the only politician who every Telugu person loved and became nine times Cheif Minister of Andhra Pradesh. He is also called as heartthrob of united Andhra Pradesh for being more than just a politician. 

NT Rama Rao's death anniversary

Lesser known facts about NT Rama Rao on death anniversary


  • NTR came from a farmer’s family and went on to become the biggest champion among people. After his education, the legendary star got a good government job but left his well-paid job just for his dream of acting. He made his debut in 1947 and never looked back. He created history with his every performance as an actor. 


  • While studying in Vijayawada in the early 1940s, NTR had to supply milk to hotels in order to supplement his family’s income.


  • Over his three-decade-long career, NTR prominently worked in mythological films, playing characters from Vishnu to Shiva. Remarkably, he played the role of Krishna in 17 films, a fact that perhaps helped him later in his political career.

NT Rama Rao's death anniversary

  • NTR played the part of a woman in his first ever acting experience. This was for a play staged by his fellow students in SRR and CVR college in Vijayawada.


  • NTR’s second wife, Lakshmi, is the author of his 2-volume biography published in 2004. The first volume, “Eduruleni Manishi” deals with his younger days and the film career. The second volume, “Telugu Tejam” deals with his political career.


  • NTR, who is one of the best dancers in Tollywood, learnt to dance at the age of 40 from renowned Kuchipudi dancer Vempati Chinna Satyam. This was for his role in the film Nartanasala (1963).


NT Rama Rao’s death


NT Rama Rao died of a heart attack on 18 January 1996 at his residence in Hyderabad, aged 72.  He was cremated and his ashes were immersed at Srirangapatna by his second wife Lakshmi Parvathi, eight years later, in May 2004.

Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao’s family

Rao married Basava Rama Tarakam, the daughter of his maternal uncle. The couple had eight sons and four daughters. His eldest son, Nandamuri Ramakrishna died in 1962. His third son, Nandamuri Saikrishna, who was a theatre owner, died in 2004 following diabetic complications. His fourth son, Nandamuri Harikrishna, who died in a car accident on 29 August 2018, was a actor-turned-politician. Harikrishna’s sons  and NTR’s grandsons, Nandamuri Kalyan Ram and NT Rama Rao Jr. are also actors in the Telugu film industry. His sixth son, Nandamuri Balakrishna is of the leading actors in Tollywood since the mid-1980s. 

Rao’s second daughter is Daggubati Purandeswari and his youngest daughter is  Uma Maheshwari, who was found dead at her home in Hyderabad’s Jubilee hills on 1 August 2022. According to Police, her death appears to be suicide and no suicide note was found.

Like every year, NT Rama Rao’s grandsons, Jr NTR and Kalyan Ram on Wednesday, January 18, visited NTR Ghat in Hyderabad to pay tribute to on his 27th death anniversary. The brothers walked barefoot and paid tribute to Sr NT Rama Rao amid a huge crow and media presence.

For the unversed, Jr NTR and his brother, every year with fans and other family members, visit NTR ghat to pay tribute to the actor and former Chief Minister, both on his birth and death anniversaries. It’s a tradition that the Nandamuri family follows every year.



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