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He was like a guru to me: Chiranjeevi about Gollapudi

Senior actor, writer Gollapudi Maruthi Rao passed away today following a prolonged illness. Many stars have remembered their association with the multi-faceted artist. Megastar Chiranjeevi too has paid an emotional tribute to Gollapudi.

It was with Chiru's 'Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya' Gollapudi has made his debut as actor on silver screen. Chiranjeevi said that Gollapudi was like his guru and he was devastated knowing about his demise.

Remembering his friendship with Gollapudi, Chiranjeevi said, "Few years ago, I went to Gollapudi Srinivas award function, organized by Maruthi Rao garu. I haven't been able to meet him again after that event. He used to be very healthy and I can't believe this happened. We used to be like guru and student. When I did the film 'I Love You' in 1979, producer Bhavannarayana introduced Gollapudi Maruthi Rao to me. Gollapudi was already a famous writer, playwright and journalist then. He was well-educated. That producer asked me to learn dialogues from him. Gollapudi had taught me how to mouth dialogues. Then after we became good friends. I would go to his house in T Nagar regularly and he used to teach me many interesting things about literature, poets and writers. I learnt a lot from him. When Kodi Ramakrishna said that Gollapudi is apt for that role in 'Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya', I felt it was a perfect choice. He did a great job in that sadist husband role, which was also humorous. Working with him was a great experience. Then after he acted with me in films like 'Aalaya Shikharam', 'Abhilasha' and 'Challenge'. Whenever we met, he used to remember all those good days. We have lost a multi-faceted personality, great writer and actor. It's a great loss to the industry. My heartfelt condolences to his family members".