Noted multilingual filmmaker D Rama Naidu, who made memorable films like ‘Ramudu-Bheemudu’, ‘Srikrishna Tulabharam’ and ‘Premnagar’, died here today following protracted illness. He was 78.
The Dadasaheb Phalke award recipient was battling cancer for some months now and the end came around 2.30 PM today, his actor son Venkatesh said.
His body would be kept at the Rama Naidu studio here from 9 AM tomorrow to enable his well-wishers to pay their last respects and the funeral would take place after 3 PM, Venkatesh said.
Rama Naidu, who holds the Guinness Book Record for producing maximum number of films in Indian cinema, made a brief foray into politics when he won the Lok Sabha seat from Bapatla in 1999 on a Telugu Desam ticket.
Born into a family of agriculturists in Prakasam district of Coastal Andhra in 1936, Rama Naidu had a passion for films and made his first film ‘Anuragam’ in 1963. He went on to make the superhit ‘Ramudu-Bheemudu’ with late N T Rama Rao.
His film production company Suresh Productions made about 155 films in 15 different languages. He produced movies in Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Assamese, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Gujarati, Marathi and Bhojpuri.
His famous Hindi films include Rajesh Khanna-Hema Malini starrer ‘Premnagar’ followed by ‘Dildar’, ‘Bandish’, ‘Anari’, ‘Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain’ and ‘Prem Qaidi’.
Rama Naidu’s other well known films are ‘Srikrishna Tulabharam’, ‘Indrudu Chandrudu’,’Preminchu’ ‘Ramudu Bheemudu’, ‘Bobbili Raja’, ‘Ahana Pellanta’, ‘Andhra Vaibhavam’, ‘Kathanayakudu’ in Telegu and ‘Asukh’, ‘Sudhu Ekbar Bolo’ in Bengali.
In a career spanning five decades, Rama Naidu worked with artists like NTR, A Nageswara Rao, Sivaji Ganesan, Pandari Bai, Jamuna, Padmini, Sobhan Babu, Kamal Haasan, Jayaprada, Chiranjeevi, Rajinikanth, Rajesh Khanna, Hema Malini, Rekha, Jeetendra, Sridevi, Tabu, Khushboo and Venkatesh.
The filmmaker founded his state-of-the-art film studio in Hyderabad Rama Naidu Studio. He was a recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Padma Bhushan in 2012.
Rama Naidu’s elder son D Suresh Babu handles the film production business, while his younger son Venkatesh is a leading hero in Telugu. His daughter is Daggubati Lakshmi.
His grandson Rana Daggubati has acted in Bollywood films like ‘Dum Maro Dum’ and ‘Baby’ and also in Telugu movies.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao, Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and several other leaders and film personalities condoled the death.