Veteran Telugu film director and former Union minister Dasari Narayana Rao died on Tuesday at a private hospital in Hyderabad. He was 75 and had been unwell for the past several months. Rao was admitted to the Krishna Institute of Medical Science in January and discharged two months later. He had to be readmitted recently.
According to a bulletin released by the hospital Tuesday afternoon, Rao underwent a reconstructive surgery of the oesophagus. Subsequently, he developed renal failure and was on dialysis. Known as Dasari in the Telugu film industry, he holds a record for being associated with nearly 400 films. He directed 140 films, produced 53 films and was dialogue writer and lyricist in many films.
Born in the West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, Rao won two National Film Awards, nine State Nandi Awards and four Filmfare Awards (South). He acted in many Telugu, Tamil and Kannada films. His film ‘Meghasandesham’ brought him critical acclaim and the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu.
In April 2000, he joined the Congress and was elected to the Rajya Sabha. He was Minister of State for Coal and also got embroiled in the coal scam. The CBI had registered an FIR against him in June 2013 for allegedly receiving bribes while he was the minister. Expressing his condolences, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said Rao left an indelible impression in politics and the film industry.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said, “Deeply shocked by the sudden demise of Dasari. The Telugu film community and the film industry have lost a pillar today.’’