S V Ranga Rao

Date of Birth: July 03, 1918
Best Actor Award, National Rashtrapati Award, Filmfare Best Actor Award, Nandi Award
S V Ranga Rao
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Samarla Venkata Ranga Rao
3 July 1918
Nuzvidu, Andhra Pradesh, India
Died 18 July 1974 (aged 56)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Cause of death
Heart attack
Other names SVR, Vishwanata Chakravarthi
Occupation Actor
Known for Cinema
Spouse Leelavathi

Samarla Venkata Ranga Rao (Telugu: సామర్ల వెంకట రంగారావు) (3 July 1918 – 18 July 1974) Popularly Known as S.V.R. was an Indian Theater actor, Tollywood actor, director and producer. He was popularly known as "Vishwa Nata Chakravarthi." He was Iconic and legendary in his acting skills portraying the Roles of Ravanasura, Gatothkacha and Keechaka from Indian Mythology. He is still considered as a leader for a person aspiring to be an actor. He serves as a role model for upcoming Tollywood, Theater and Indian actors.

Early life
Rao was born to Lakshmi and Koteshwara Rao, an excise inspector at Nuzvidu town in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, India when World War I was drawing to a close. His mother, Lakshmi Narasayamma, a staunch devotee of Lord Venkateshwara, named the boy after him.

The possessive father sent S.V.R. to the erstwhile Madras Presidency where he completed his schooling at Hindu College. At an early age of 12, the boy showed immense interest in stage action. while doing his B.Sc, but the mind of youthful S.V.R. was always preoccupied with the thoughts of stage-plays and film acting. Soon after graduation, S.V.R. could get a job in the Fire Service in the cadre of an officer at Machilipatnam (Bandar). Two objectives were still clear in his mind, which were to do M.Sc. and to take active part in dramas and films. He won the Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Keechaka in Nartanasala at the Indonesian Film Festival at Jakarta in 1963. It was the first time an Indian actor received an international award in acting. In Indian history he can be considered as the king of acting.

Film career
S.V.R. got an invitation from one of his relatives, B.V. Ramanandam, to play the hero in his film "Varoodhini". He immediately abandoned the job, and left for Salem to join the celluloid world. In fact, it’s a great beginning for the young man. The film "Varoodhini" was released, and in a few days people began to forget that they had ever seen such a movie. No producer dared to offer a role to him.

Soon, S.V.R. was disillusioned with the filmdom and left the Madras presidency and reached Jamshedpur, where he took up the job as a budget assistant with the Tata Company. However, his love for dramas began to bloom multifold. At this juncture, he was married to Leelavathi Badeti on 27 December 1947. In the days that followed, S.V.R. was given an opportunity to play the villain in the film, "Palletoori Pilla", produced by B. A. Subba Rao. Unfortunately, when S.V.R. was about to take a train to Chennai, his father expired. After performing the final rites, S.V.R. reached Chennai, but somebody had knocked away the villain role.

Opportunity tapped at S.V.R.'s door through Vijaya Pictures, which offered him the most memorable "Nepala Mantrikudu" role in "Pathala Bhairavi." Immediately, he came into the limelight, followed by "Pelli Chesi Choodu" (1952). Its Tamil version was also played by him.

Maya Bazaar and Nartanasala are among his movies. SVR was the first Indian to get an international award in Djakarta International Film Festival for his role of Keechaka in Nartanasala.

His compatriot Gummadi Venkateswara Rao once exclaimed "Fortunate are we to have SVR born in India but SVR is unfortunate to have born here... if he was born in the West he would have been one of the top 5 actors of all time in the world".

He had Heart attack in Hyderabad in February 1974. He was admitted in Osmania General Hospital and recovered from it with an advise to take rest. He had another attack on July 18, 1974 at Chennai and died before any medical treatment is instituted.1

Characters played

* Akbar Badusha in Anaarkali
* Banasura in Usha Parinayam
* Bhishma in Bala Bharatam
* Bhoja in Mahakavi Kalidasu
* Daksha in Dakshayagnam
* Duryodhana in Pandava Vanavaasam
* Ghatotkacha in Mayabazaar
* Harischandra in Harischandra
* Hiranyakashipu in Bhakta Prahlada
* Kamsa in Yashoda Krishna and Srikrishna Leelalu
* Keechaka in Narthanasala
* Mayasura in Bhookailas
* Narakasura in Vinayaka Chaviti
* Rajaraja Narendra in Sarangadhara
* Ravana in Sampoorna Ramayanam
* Tandra Paparayudu in Bobbili Yudham
* Yama in Sati Savitri
* Many social roles: As a Father, Farmer, Police officer, Bandipotu, Detective, Advocate, and many more.

Personal life
He has married Leelavati, daughter of Badeti Venkata Ramaiah and Koteswaramma on December 27, 1947. They had three children: two daughters, Vijaya and Prameela and a son, Koteswara Rao.

He has been felicitated by many Governmental and Cultural organizations across Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. He was given the distinguished names as Viswa Nata Chakravarti, Nata Sarvabhouma, Nata Sekhara, Nata Simha.2

* He won the Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Keechaka in Nartanasala at the Indonesian Film Festival at Jakarta in 1963. It was the first time an Indian actor received an international award in acting. Surprisingly, this fact is not well-known among many people. After getting the award it is accepted by all Indian film fraternity that no one can ever match to SVR acting talent.
* He won The National Rashtrapati Award for Best Actor in Annai (1962), Sarada (1962), Naanum Orupen (1963), Karpagam (1963) and Nartanasala (1963).
* He won Filmfare Best Actor Award (Telugu) for his role of Keechaka in Nartanasala in 1963.
* Two films directed by him Chadarangam (1967) and Bandhavyalu (1968) won the Nandi Award for Best Feature Film from Government of Andhra Pradesh.