Kantha Rao

Date of Birth: November 16, 1923
Actor, Supporting Cast
Years Active:
1950 - 1990
Kantha Rao
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Tadepalli Lakshmi Kanta Rao, better known as Kanta Rao a.k.a. Katthi Kanta Rao (Telugu: తాడేపల్లి లక్ష్మీ కాంతారావు) (16 November 1923 – March 22, 2009), was an Indian film actor and film producer from Andhra Pradesh, India. He acted in more than 400 Telugu mythological, social and folklore movies. He also acted in a few Hindi, Kannada and Tamil movies. He produced about five films under the banner Hema/Hyma Films. In the 1960s he was one of the primary actors in Telugu cinema, along with N. T. Rama Rao and Akkineni Nageshwara Rao. Kanta Rao was very famous for portraying the role of Narada in mythological Telugu cinema. He played other roles, notably those of Lord Krishna, Arjuna, Panduraj and Lakshmana. Kanta Rao acted in many folklore movies and was famous for his fencing and sword fighting. Therefore he was also famous as Kattula Kanta Rao. Most of these movies were directed by "Janapada Brahma" B. Vittalacharya.

Early life
Kanta Rao was born to Keshavarao and Seetaramamma at Gudibanda village on November 16, 1923. According to Hindu calendar, it corresponds to Rudhirodgari Samvatsara Kartika Sudha Ashtami day. Their ancestors belongs to Tadepalli village, hence it became their family name. He lost his father next year. His primary education was done in Gudibanda and Khammam. He was exposed to puranas and Hindu epic stories from his grandmother.

Surabhi Drama troup has visited their village. Impressed by their professional performances, he established "Balamitra Natya Mandali" and used to play Gayopakhyanam and Madhuseva plays with his friends. He played the character Brahma in Sri Krishna Leelalu in Surabhi group and subsequently in Madhuseva, Kanakatara, Telugu Talli plays. He was sent to Tenali to deviate from the drama activities. Tenali used to be very active in drama activities with stalwarts like Pulipati Lakshminarayana. He used to stay in same street wherein Rentachintala Satyanarayana, Banda Kanakalingeswara Rao used to live in. He then shifted to Madras in 1950 and used stay with T. Krishnamachari, who used to work as assistant director for H. M. Reddy's Rohini Pictures.

H. M. Reddy gave him chance to play a small role in Nirdoshi in 1951 and as his hero for Pratigna in 1953. He has acted in 450 films and in about 100 films as hero, whereas in others as different character roles. They include some popular roles in films like Jayasimha (1955), Shri Krishna Pandaviyam (1966), Guruvunu Minchina Sishyudu (1963), Lava Kusha (1963), Nartanasala (1963), Pandava Vanavasam (1965) and Muthyala Muggu (1975). His last movie was ‘Pandurangadu’ with Balakrishna and directed by K. Raghavendra Rao in 2008. Though he was never as rich as his contemporaries, he was comfortable. He made four films in between 1969 and 1974, Saptaswaralu, Gandara Gandadu, Premajeevulu and Gundelu Theesina Monagadu and lost all his previous earnings. The last film he made was Swathi Chinukulu. Subsequently he shifted to Hyderabad