National award winning Telugu filmmaker and former Union Minister of State for Coal in the UPA-1 regime, Dasari Narayana Rao passed away on Tuesday. The veteran actor/filmmaker/politician was admitted to KIMS hospital as he was suffering from respiratory and kidney problems. Rao was also a co-accused in the Coalgate scam.
Rao commenced his acting career in 1952 with “Manavathi” and later donned the director’s hat for “Tata Manavadu” in 1972. He later, began his journalism career by launching a popular daily called “Udayam” to counter Ramoji Rao’s “Eenadu” in 1974. He was considered a close confidante of Congress President Sonia Gandhi.
Rao has won many awards and accolades for his movies. He holds the Limca World Record for directing the maximum number of films. Rao has won national awrds both as an actor and director. His movies have been screened at IFFI (International FIlm Festival of India), Cannes Film Festival and Moscow film festivals. He has been credited for introducing many new actors and directors to the Telugu film industry.
The late filmmaker achieved mass recognition when he directed late Bollywood Superstar Rajesh Khanna in two different roles in “Asha Jyoti” and “Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtar”. Rao was keen on making a biopic on actor turned politician J Jayalalitha who passed away on December 5, 2016.
Rao resumed his political career when Congress Party returned to power in 2004. The CBI booked him on June 11, 2013, in the coal block allocation scam for allegedly receiveing Rs. 2.25 crores from indusrialist and then Member of Parliament Naveen Jindal. The esteemed filmmaker and former politician who was on dialysis and ventilator support passed away on Tuesday. He was survived by his two sons.