Daggubati Ramanaidu: Producer. Politician. Legend

  | February 18, 2015 17:18 IST (New Delhi)
Daggubati Ramanaidu

This image was posted on Facebook by Rana Daggubati

He produced more than 150 films in 13 Indian languages

Producer-politician Daggubati Ramanaidu lost a battle against cancer on February 18. He was 78. Mr Ramanaidu's filmography contains over 150 films in 13 Indian languages, and he holds the Guinness record for producing the maximum number of films.
Daggubati Ramanaidu was born on June 6, 1936 in a remote village in Andhra Pradesh, named Karamchedu. His family were farmers. After finishing school, he joined Chennai's Loyola College but eventually dropped out. While he was a student, the young Daggubati Ramanaidu's heart lay in theatre rather than in his studies. (Also Read: Producer Daggubati Ramanaidu Dies in Hyderabad at 78 )
After dropping out, Mr Ramanaidu joined a rice mill and a bus transport business in his village. However, he discovered his true calling when a production company named Shambu Films opened nearby. He persuaded his father to invest in the company and took keen interest in its functioning and on-set shoot arrangements. During this time, he became acquainted with Akkineni Nageshwara Rao, Aadurthi Subbarao, S V Ranga Rao, and other lead actors of the time.

His first role on the silver screen was in 1959 film Nammina Bantu, but his fledging career on screen ended where it began. Mr Ramanaidu then shifted to Chennai in 1962 to work in the brickmaking business with relatives. There, he returned to the film industry with a family-owned production house named Anuroopa, which made its producing debut with Anuragam . The film was a commercial failure.
Mr Ramanaidu finally started Suresh Productions with his friends G Rajendra Prasad and Subba Rao, which produced Raamudu Bheemudu in 1964. The first was a megahit and there was no looking back for Mr Ramanaidu and his new production house.
His hard work with Suresh Productions reaped benefits one after the other and they eventually made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for producing the most number of feature films. Under the banner, Mr Ramanaidu produced Telugu films like Chakravakam, Prem Nagar and the recent Gopala Gopala. He also made Hindi films like Insaaf Ki Awaaz, Prem Qaidi, Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain and Kuch Tum Kaho Kuch Hum Kahe.
Mr Ramanaidu's acting career may have been brief but he dubbed for various Tamil and Hindi films. He also made cameo appearances in many of the films.
In 2009, he received the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, the Indian government's highest film-related honour. In 2012, Mr Ramanaidu received the Padma Bhushan for his contribution to Telugu cinema.
Aside from films, Mr Ramanaidu also formed the Ramanaidu Charitable Trust in 1991 for various philanthropic purposes. Like many others in the film fraternity, he built a parallel political career and served as the Telugu Desam MP for Bapatala, Guntur from 1999 to 2004.
Mr Ramanaidu is survived by his wife, Rajeshwari and their three children - producer Suresh Babu Daggubati, actor Venkatesh and daughter Lakshmi. Actor Rana Daggubati is Mr Ramanaidu's grandson.