Veteran actor and seasoned acting teacher Lakshmi Devi passed away on Saturday. She was 78. After her morning prayers, she suffered a fatal cardiac arrest, said her actor son Rajeev Kanakala.
“She is a great teacher and an actor. She has done hundreds of plays and dance performances. And she has also acted in a few movies. She passed away this morning unexpectedly,” Rajeev told the media outside his residence in Hyderabad.
“She lived a beautiful and fulfilling life. Not just her children, but her students also became successful in the film industry. She lived a satisfying life. Even till Friday, she was giving lessons to her students,” he added.
Lakshmi Devi and her husband Devadas started a film institute that trained many generations of actors in the Telugu film industry. One of the Lakshmi’s alumni is Megastar Chiranjeevi.
Chiranjeevi, who was unable to pay his last respects to his teacher in person as he is away from Hyderabad, issued a public statement condoling her death. He paid his tribute describing her as his Saraswathi Devi (the goddess of knowledge). He also said he was proud to be her student while giving his sympathies to her family.
Actor Allari Naresh, who was also Lakshmi’s students, paid his teacher a rich tribute in a tweet. “She taught humility,she fed us during class and she generously taught her art to make me an http://artist.To be doing just what you taught me to do on the day you passed on is my salute to you. RIP my first guru Lakshmi Kanakala Garu,an irreplaceable loss,” he posted on his Twitter page.
She taught humility,she fed us during class and she generously taught her art to make me an https://t.co/6wpEIF9pxM be doing just what you taught me to do on the day you passed on is my salute to https://t.co/sROHh7vd2x my first guru Lakshmi Kanakala Garu,an irreplaceable loss.
— Allari Naresh (@allarinaresh) February 3, 2018
Lakshmi’s film institute was closed in the 90s.
Telugu star Jr NTR also paid his last respect. Srikanth, Brahmaj and other members of the film fraternity paid their respects to the veteran acting teacher.
Lakshmi is survived by her husband Devadas, who is also an actor, son Rajeev, daughter Sri Lakshmi, daughter-in-law Suma, son-in-law Ramarao and grandchildren.