Article Telugu

Filmmaker Dasari Narayana Rao dies at 75; Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan mourn loss

One of Telugu cinema's most powerful directors, Narayana Rao directed more than 150 films and was known for his strong social dramas.

Shriram Iyengar

Veteran producer-director Dasari Narayana Rao passed away on 30 May after a prolonged illness. He was 75.

One of the leading voices of the Telugu film industry, Narayana Rao directed more than 150 films, and produced 53 films, during his prolific career.

Several prominent politicians, filmmakers, and journalists mourned the death of the filmmaker and sent condolences to the family.

The Tamil film directors association, the Tamil Nadu Thiraipada Iyyakunargal Sangam (TANTIS), expressed grief at the loss of Dr Rao's death.

Stating that Dr Rao was one of the founding members of the directors' association, TANTIS hailed him for being one of its huge pillars of support. Expressing its condolences to the family members of Rao, the association said that Rao had been its president for 11 years and that his death was a huge, irreplaceable loss to the entire Indian film industry.

Another film fraternity, the Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI), expressed grief at Rao's loss. Dr Rao, the FEFSI said, had been one of its former heads, and paid glowing tributes to his contribution.

Actor Rajinikanth tweeted that the director was his 'dearest & closest well-wisher and friend'.

Kamal Haasan joined in, saying the director's death is a 'great loss for Telugu cinema'.

Telugu superstar Nagarjuna wrote that Narayana Rao was 'a friend in need' for all actors.

Director AR Murugadoss called him 'one of the greatest stalwarts of Indian Film Industry'.

Even actress Samantha Ruth Prabhu took to Twitter to share her condolences.

Another actor Allu Arjun offered his condolences to the family.

Actor Mahesh Babu said that he was 'shocked and saddened' by the news .


Actress Gautami hailed the director as a 'trendsetter for Telugu cinema.'

Actor Ravi Teja also added, 'All roads lead to Dasari house! Today and tomorrow Telugu movie/tv serial shootings will be cancelled!

Actor Jagapati Babu echoed similar sentiments saying, 'Veteran director #DasariNarayanaRao Garu is no more. A great loss to the Telugu film industry. My Deep Condolences to his whole family.'

Known as a prolific and influential director, Dasari Narayana Rao started his film career in the 1970s after a stint in journalism. Throughout his career, Rao was known for his social dramas that highlighted gender and class discrimination in society. A winner of four Filmfare awards in Telugu, he was known for hits like Gorintaku (1979), Premabhishekam (1981) and Meghasandesam (1982).

The director won the National award for Meghasandesam (1982) and Kante Koothurne Kanu (1998). In recent years, he had announced a biopic on the late Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

Rao was a close confidant of Congress president Sonia Gandhi. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 2006 and later became minister of state for coal.

The director was suffering from respiratory illness and kidney-related problems at the time of his death. Over the last year, Rao spent several months in and out of hospital.

However, he had recovered somewhat last month to be present to receive the Allu Ramalingah award from superstar Chiranjeevi and actors Allu Aravind and Mohan Babu on 4 May.

Dasari Narayana Rao is survived by his two sons, Arun Kumar Dasari and Hari Hara Prabhu. 

The producer-director will be cremated with full state honours, under the direction of Chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, at the director's farmhouse in Chevella near Hyderabad on Wednesday.