(MENAFN -Arab News) HYDERABAD: Legendary Telugu actor and film producer Akkineni Nageswara Rao also known as ANR died early morning in Hyderabad at the age of 90. ANR, who is the father of famous Telugu actor Nagarjuna, had been battling cancer for several months. He had in October last year told media that he was diagnosed with cancer and that he would fight it till the end.
Rao had a lively chat with family members last night and died in his sleep, the legendary actor’s son Nagarjuna said. He was rushed to the super-speciality Care Hospitals at Banjara Hills, where the doctors declared him dead.
Rao, who recently underwent a surgery for intestinal cancer, is survived by three daughters and two sons.
Known for his strong will power and positive attitude, he himself declared his illness to the public last year and appealed to the fans to take it in their stride.
ANR was one of the earliest stars of the black and white era. Born in Krishna district of Coastal Andhra Pradesh, he started his career as a stage artiste and made his film debut in early 1940s with ‘Dharmapatni’, in which he acted as a woman.
He went on to give huge hits such as ‘Batasari’, ‘Devadas’ and ‘Prem Nagar’, ‘Tenali Ramakrishna’, ‘Maya Bazaar’, ‘Missamma’ and ‘Sitaramayya gari Manavaralu’. He earned fame for his poignant portrayal of ‘Devdas’ in the film based on the novel of acclaimed Bengali author Sarat Chandra Chatterjee.
Several film personalities paid their last respects to the departed soul.