J V Somayajulu

Actor, Supporting Cast
J V Somayajulu
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J. V. Somayajulu (full name Jonnalagadda Venkata Somayajulu) (1928 - 27 April 2004) was an Indian theatre and film actor. His most notable role was as Sankar Sastry, in the Telugu movie Shankarabharanam.

Life and Times
He was an IAS officer and is believed to be the only officer in that rank to have acted in films.

He hailed from the village of Lukalam Agraharam near Urlam in Srikakulam district. His father worked as an Inspector in Prohibition & Excise department in Gudivada and other towns. He spent his childhood in Vizianagaram and also learnt playing stage dramas when he was in Vizianagaram. His entertainment career spanned five decades in stage dramas, films and television. His passion for Gurazada Apparao's play, Kanyasulkam, was such that he, along with his actor brother J. V. Ramana Murthy, played it for about 500 times in 45 years. His exposition of the delightfully notorious character, 'Ramappanthulu' in the play, has become legendary. The woman behind the success of Somayajulu was his mother Saradamma.

Some of the other films that earned Somayajulu a good reputation as an actor were Allari Pillalu, Nelavanka, Rowdy Alludu, Swathimuthyam, Thyagayya, Saptapadi, Vijetha and Vamsha Vruksham. He portrayed the guru character of Sri Raghavendra (played by Superstar Rajinikanth) in the Tamil movie Sri Raghavendra.

Recently he made a 13-episode television serial on the play Kanyasulkam.

For the development of Telugu theatre in the twin cities (Hyderabad-Sikanderabad), Somayajulu established 'Rasaranjani' along with his contemporaries, Chatla Sriramulu, Garimella Rama Murthy and Rallapalli.

Somayajulu worked in the Directorate of Cultural Affairs before retiring from government service.

He died of illness at Hyderabad in 2004 at the age of 76.1 He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.