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Stamps on 100 Years of Indian Cinema

Making it in Indian Cinema is a tough game. Those who understand that for every success story there are thousand failures would choose to go for it. With great achievements, the matinee idols and legends from other technical departments of 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, today, have turned role models for the current and future generations too. To commemorate 100 years of Indian Cinema, Government of India paid tributes to 50 Indian film icons across the country with the release of authentic postal stamps on May 3rd, 2013. The commemorative stamp sheets featuring the portraits of 50 Indian film icons were released by President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday at 60th National Film Awards in New Delhi.

S V Ranga Rao, Bhanumathi, Allu Ramalingaiah, Nagesh, Kannadasan, C V Sridhar, Prem Nazir and Vishnuvardhan were among the 50 celebrities from the South Indian Film Industry whose postal stamps were released. Most popular Bollywood celebrities like Ashok Kumar, Rajendra Kumar, Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Prithviraj Kapoor, Mehmood, O P Nayyar, B R Chopra, Yash Chopra, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Durga Khote, Bhupen Hazarika and Geeta Dutt also include in the list.

TRIBUTES TO TOLLYWOOD LEGENDS - S V Ranga Rao, Allu Ramalingaiah and Bhanumathi.

S V RANGA RAO: S V Ranga Rao or SVR, an actor of enormous versatility, has numerous challenging roles in his acting career, each unique in its own way. The actor seemed to have most enjoyed about acting, the experience that it brings, how one can understand people better by playing them in so many different stories as a hero, a villain, a father, a father-in-law, an uncle, a grandfather and more.

How can one forget SVR in a scary character Nepali Mantrikudu in ‘Pathala Bhairavi’ which brought him to limelight? Soon after that, SVR’s main victory as an actor came through substantial mythological roles like Ghatotkacha, Dhuryodhana, Ravana, Kamsa, Bhishma, Yama, Keechaka, Hiranyakashipu, Narakasura, making it difficult for people to associate him with one particular character. However, one character that instantly strike people’s mind when they think of the name SVR is Ghatotkacha from the film ‘Maya Bazaar’.

While doing mythological and historical roles, SVR on other hand went on to more varied roles in family oriented movies including ‘Bhale Papa’, ‘Pelli Chesi Choodu’, ‘Mangalya Balam’, ‘Missamma’, ‘Gundamma Katha’, ‘Pandanti Kapuram’, ‘Todu Needa’, ‘Tata Manavadu’, ‘Devudu Chesina Manushulu’, ‘Velugu Needalu’ and more. Acting was not his only passion. Therefore he went on to serve the film industry by directing and producing few films on his own. Two of his directorial ventures ‘Chadarangam’ and ‘Bhandavulu’ won State Nandi Awards. For his portrayal of Keechaka in ‘Nartanasala’, the legendary actor had the pleasure of winning two Best Actor Awards in the same year, 1963, at National Rashtrapati Awards in Delhi and Indonesian Film Festival in Jakarta.

ALLU RAMALINGAIAH: With in the Telugu film industry, Allu Ramalingaiah’s versatility enabled him to portray a wide range of comic characters. He has been cited as a comedian for his comic skills. In a career spanning 50 years, Allu Ramalingaiah played diverse roles in more than 1000 films. He made his acting debut with a comic role in ‘Puttinillu’ in 1953 at the time when top comedians like Relangi and Ramana Reddy were ruling the Telugu film industry. However he created a niche for himself with his unique nasal voice and body language. Like SVR reminds us of ‘Ghatotkacha’, Allu Ramalingaiah reminds us of the character ‘Chitragupta’. The role of Chitragupta alongside Yama in ‘Yamagola’ has earned him enormous name and fame. His impeccable comedic timing in making every scene come to life just with his actions catapulted him to become a successful actor. The best example is his performance as a monkey-bitten man in ‘Muthyala Muggu’. At the same time, in a classical film like ‘Sankarabharanam’, he knew how to bring dignity to his character along with sense of humor. This versatile actor was not just a comedian but a homeopathic doctor and freedom fighter. For serving the industry with wholesome entertainment for five decades, he was honored with the prestigious Padma Sree Award by the Government of India in 1990 and the prestigious Raghupathy Venkaiah Award by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh in 2001. Today his entire family is serving the film industry on behalf of him.

BHANUMATHIi: Bhanumathi’s diversity makes her one of her generation’s most promising talents and a role model to today’s aspiring actresses. This actress, singer, lyricist, writer, director and producer was born in Doddavaram village of Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh. She made her acting debut in 1935 and entered the Telugu industry in 1939 with the movie ‘Vara Vikrayam’. Later she did more than 200 films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi as well. Being a trained classical singer, Bhanumathi used to sing songs for her characters in her films. Besides acting and singing, this veteran actress has passion for writing books, lyrics for songs, composing music, direction and production. She was in the film industry even before stars like NTR, ANR, Savitri, MGR and Shivaji Ganeshan have entered the movie world. The actress ruled for roost for two decades as leading lady opposite the above mentioned heroes and gradually started accepting the mother roles then grandmother roles. ‘Laila Majnu’, ‘Prema’ and ‘Vipranarayana’ opposite ANR, ‘Malleswari’, ‘Aggi Ramudu’, ‘Chandirani’, and ‘Tenali Ramakrishna’ opposite NTR brought her immense craze among the moviegoers in 1950s. After playing the middle aged woman characters in films like ‘Mattilo Manikyam’, ‘Anta Mana Manchike’, Vichitram Vivaham’ and ‘Ammayi Pelli’, she slowly transformed into the roles of grandmother with the film ‘Manavadi Kosam’. However her role as Balakrishna’s grandmother in 1984 ‘Mangamma Gari Manavadu’ earned her immense popularity. Post ‘Mangamma Gari Manavadu’, every grandchild in a Telugu family wanted a dearest grandmother like Bhanumathi. After that she could see the same range of success in 1990 once again in the role of Bamma in ‘Bamma Maata Bangaru Baata’ and in 1992 ‘Peddarikam’. This legendary actress received several prestigious awards along with the highest civilian awards Padma Sree and Padma Bhushan.
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