Ex-Union minister and Rebel Star Krishnam Raju no more

Renowned Telugu film hero of yesteryears Uppalapati Krishnam Raju (83), popularly known as 'Rebel Star', passed away here

Rebel Star Krishnam Raju

HYDERABAD: Renowned Telugu film hero of yesteryears and former Union minister Uppalapati Krishnam Raju (83), popularly known as 'Rebel Star', passed away here in the early hours of Sunday. He breathed his last at the AIG Hospital, where he was receiving treatment for quite sometime, at around 3:25 am, his family members said.

His last rites will be performed in Hyderabad at around 1 pm on Monday at Kanakamamidi farm house, located between Chevella and Moinabad, according to the family sources. The yesteryears star is survived by his wife Shyamala Devi and three daughters. Krishnam Raju was also the paternal uncle of Tollywood top hero Prabhas. He was born on January 20, 1940 in Mogalthuru of West Godavari district.

The news of Krishnam Raju's demise left the entire Tollywood industry, his fans and well-wishers in a state of grief. Condolences have been pouring in from all corners as people mourned the star that they adored as one of their matinee idols. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao was one of the first to pay tribute and convey his condolences to Krishnam Raju's family. The veteran star had reportedly been struggling with his health due to prolonged illnesses.

On hearing the news, his family members including hero Prabhas and well-wishers rushed to the AIG Hospital to pay their respects to the departed film personality.

Meanwhile, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) has ordered Chief Secretary to perform Krishnam Raju's last rites with full state honours. The Rebel Star, who was also in active politics for some time, was one of the dearest friends of KCR. As per the directions of the Chief Minister, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar was personally overseeing the arrangements for the funeral.

Nicknamed as Rebel Star, Krishnam Raju had a fruitful journey in the Telugu film industry for over five decades. He made his entry into the filmdom as a character artiste, then featured as a villain before finally emerging as a mass hero. He acted in about 187 films. He made his debut in the Telugu film industry, now called Tollywood, in 1966 with the film 'Chilaka Gorinka'.

After a successful stint in films, he also dabbled with politics in the 1990s. He joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and was elected twice in a row to the Lok Sabha from Kakinada and Narsapuram constituencies. He also served as Union minister in former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee cabinet at the Centre. Later, he took a quiet retirement from both political and filmy engagements owing to indifferent health.

Krishnam Raju was incidentally the winner of the inaugural Nandi Award for Best Actor in the erstwhile unified Andhra Pradesh.

The films that made Krishnam Raju a household name in both the Telugu states are Jeevana Tharangalu (1973), Krishnaveni (1974), Bhakta Kannappa (1976), Amara Deepam (1977), Sati Savitri (1978), Katakataala Rudraiah (1978), Mana Voori Pandavulu (1978), Rangoon Rowdy (1979), Sri Vinayaka Vijayamu (1979), Sita Ramulu (1980), Taxi Driver (1981), Trisulam (1982), Dharmaatmudu (1983), Bobbili Brahmanna (1984), Tandra Paprayudu (1986), Marana Sasanam (1987), Viswanatha Nayakudu (1987), Antima Theerpu (1988), Bava Bavamaridi (1993) and Palnati Pourusham (1994).

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