HomeArts & EntertainmentFilmDharmapatni, The Debut Film of Legendary Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Completes 81 Years

Dharmapatni, The Debut Film of Legendary Akkineni Nageswara Rao, Completes 81 Years

Legendary thespian Akkineni Nageswara Rao’s debut film Dharam Patni was released on January 10, 1941, exactly 81 years ago from today. The versatile actor was 17-year-old at the time and enacted the role of a woman. Directed by P. Pullaiah, the film starred Shantakumari and Bhanumathi in the lead. The actor, later, went on to make a name for himself by playing a wide array of roles.

Rao became popular among the masses after playing the lead role of Sri Rama in his second film Sri Seetarama Jananam, which was released in 1944. The Hindi mythological drama was produced by Ghantasala Balaramaiah under his vision.

Fondly known as ANR, he was the recipient of many coveted awards in his cinematic career spanning seven decades. In 1991, ANR was awarded the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, the highest award given by the Central Government in the field of cinema.

He was also the recipient of the second-highest civilian award of the country, the Padma Vibhushan. Akkineni Nageswara Rao is the only actor to have won three Padma Awards in the Telugu film industry — Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan.

He was followed by Amitabh Bachchan and the late SP Bala Subramaniam who received three Padma awards each. Akkineni Nageswara Rao was also the first actor in India to receive the first Padma Vibhushan award. Earlier, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, who had received the Padma Vibhushan award, were not included in the list.

On January 22, 2014, Akkineni Nageswara Rao passed away at the age of 90 after battling cancer. In his acting career, he acted in around 250 films, including Tamil and Hindi.

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