Veteran actor Nagesh alias Gunddu Rao has passed away this morning on 31st January after prolonged illness. The loss is irreplaceable for the film industry for he is a man of many talents and can enact any role with ease and élan.
He became a familiar star to Telugu audience with the film ‘Server Sundaram‘ dubbed from Tamil. His portrayal of a waiter in a restaurant who later becomes a big time movie star is plausible and wooed the masses. But, very few knew the movie was a case of life imitating art and vice versa for this great comedian who had been an underdog in his past to become a great star in the future.
‘Adivi Ramudu‘ with NTR bought him fame followed by films like Sriranga Neethulu (ANR), Devudu Mamayya (Shobhan babu), Indradhanusu (Krishna), Tholi Prema (Pawan Kalyan), Subhakankshalu (Jagapathi Babu), Brundhavanam (Rajendra Prasad), Adavallaku Mathrame (Tamil: Magalir Mattum – role of a Dead body), Madam, Indrudu Chandrudu (Kamal Hassan), Dasavathaaram (2008) which portrayed some of his best performances on screen.
His talent and versatility in acting is evident from a speech made by Cho Ramaswamy who said, “He is not a comedian but an actor par excellence. He laid down the grammar for humor in cinema. Do not compare him with any other comedians. His path of success was made by his hard work combined with talent. He is a born actor,” during the ‘Sirithu Vazha Vendu’ – Memoirs of actor Nagesh, book release function on August 2005.
With a Himayalan record of over 1000 films in his career span of more than five decades, Nagesh inspired people with his disparate body language, timing comedy and intonation which created uproar. It’s not exaggerating if said the only comedian who also sheens in character roles is Nagesh who will be reigning for the time to come.
The talented actor is survived by his wife and three sons. We offer our condolence for his beloved and pay tribute for the artist’s immense contribution to cinema.