ANR 100 anniversary
Today marks the 100th birth anniversary of the late legendary actor-filmmaker Akkineni Nageswara Rao. To mark the occasion, a golden statue of the later star was unveiled at the Annapurna Studios in Hyderabad. The statue was unveiled by India's Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu in the presence of several film celebrities including Nagarjuna, Naga Chaitanya, Akhil Akkineni, Ram Charan, Mahesh Babu and wife Namrata Shirodkar and others.
ANR's legacy was taken forward by his son Akkineni Nagarjuna and his grandsons Naga Chaitanya and Akhil Akkineni. The event was hosted by the Akkineni family. On the occasion, Nagarjuna was seen in a printed yellow and grey shorts while Naga Chaitanya adopted for kurta pyjama.
Pictures of Ram Charan and Mahesh Babu sitting together and chatting also went viral. Namrata Shirdkar, wife of Mahesh Babu was seen sitting in between the two superstars and enjoying their conversation.
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The official X handle of Annapurna Studios shared a video of Venkaiah Naidu unveiling the statue. Another post from the handle read: "A legend in his own right. A pillar of Telugu cinema. A pioneer of Indian Cinema. He has entertained us, and made us laugh and cry. Sri #AkkineniNageswaraRao Garu is our Founder, Father and our guiding force. Celebrating his life on this centenary birthday. In his light, we shine and spread joy #CelebratingANR100 #ANRLivesOn @AnnapurnaStdios."
ANR played a major role in setting up the Telugu film industry in Hyderabad instead of Chennai in the 1970s by establishing the Annapurna Studios, named after his wife. Akkineni received seven state Nandi Awards, and five Filmfare Awards South. He is a recipient of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award and Padma Vibhushan, India's second-highest civilian award, for his contributions to the fields of Art and Cinema. He starred in over 255 films, spanning the Telugu, Tamil and Hindi languages. A majority of his films were both commercial and critical successes. He is fondly called Natasamrat by his fans.
On 19 October 2013, Rao was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He continued shooting for his final film Manam two weeks after a major laparoscopic surgery, which some doctors feared he wouldn't survive. His last public appearance was at the foundation day celebrations of Annapurna Studios on 14 January 2014. Rao died a week later, on 22 January 2014.