HYDERABAD: Prominent theatre artiste, actor, trainer and director Devadas Kanakala, who was credited with grooming stalwarts like Chiranjeevi, Rajinikanth, Rajendra Prasad, Raghuvaran, Bhanuchander and Subhaleka Sudhakar, passed away on Friday evening after a brief illness.
He was 74 and is survived by a son and actor Rajiv Kanakala and daughter Lakshmi. His daughter-in-law Suma is a popular television presenter.
According to reports, he slipped into depression after his wife and actor Lakshmi Devi’s demise in February 2018. Born in Kanakala near Yanam, Devadas Kanakala completed his graduation from AVN College, Visakhapatnam and Masters in Theatre Arts from Andhra University.
Initially, he dabbled in a theatre while working in Song and Drama division at Ministry of Information and Broadcasting before being introduced as an actor with K Vishwanath’s O Seetha Katha (1974). Then he went onto work in over 30 films as an actor and director. He last appeared on the big screen in Mahesh Babu-starrer political action drama Bharat Ane Nenu (2018).
Devadas Kanakala was one of the few Telugu actors who completed a course in Film and Television Institute, Pune. He also worked as a faculty in Adayar Film Institute, Chennai and Madhu Film Institute, Hyderabad. He also served as the Head of the Theatre Arts Department in Telugu University in Hyderabad.
Devadas’s performances ifilms like Siri Siri Muvva (1978), Gang Leader (1991), Manasantha Nuvve (2001), King (2008) and Robot (2010) earned him a good name.
Devadas Kanakala’s death has shook the industry and several celebrities have rushed to KIMS Hospital, where his mortal remains were kept, to pay their last respects. His body would be kept for public viewing at his residence in Manikonda on Saturday.His last rites would be performed at Mahaparasthanam after 11.30 am on Saturday.
KCR condoles Devadas’ death
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao mourned the death of film actor/director Devadas Kanakala. In a message, KCR said that Devadas trained several actors through his institute. He also expressed his condolences to the members of family