HYDERABAD: Renowned Telugu film actor Ghattamaneni Siva Rama Krishna Murthy, widely known as Superstar Krishna, breathed his last on Tuesday at a private hospital in Hyderabad. He was 79 and is survived by his children Manjula, Padmavathi, Priyadarshini and Mahesh Babu.
The virtuoso, who was hospitalised following a cardiac arrest on Monday, died due to multi-organ failure, doctors said. Krishna’s death has created a void in the hearts of his family, friends and fans but left behind a large treasure trove of impeccable work in Telugu cinema.
Mourning the demise of the legendary star, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said, “I have lost a dear friend (today). He also served as a parliamentarian. Krishna garu hosted me on many occasions and I liked his simple and straightforward nature. I watched Alluri Sitarama Raju numerous times and when I discussed this with Krishna garu, he laughed and wondered if I really watched films. It is a film that tapped into the patriotic spirit of an average Indian. As a mark of respect for invoking this patriotic fervour in all of us, the Telangana government has accorded a State funeral to Krishna garu.”
Meanwhile, tributes poured in for Krishna from his fellow Tollywood actors and politicians on social media.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his message, termed the death of Krishna a great loss to the world of cinema. “Krishna garu was a legendary superstar, who won the hearts of people through his versatile acting and lively personality. His demise is a colossal loss to the world of cinema and entertainment. In this sad hour, my thoughts are with his entire family,” said Modi.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan, and Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan conveyed their condolences to the bereaved family.The mortal remains of the legendary actor were kept for public viewing at Gachibowli Stadium and the last rites would take place at Mahaprasthanam crematorium on Wednesday afternoon.
Krishna strode the Telugu film industry canvas like a colossus for over six decades not only as a great actor but as a producer’s favourite, and an iconic director and producer. He acted in over 350 films and was credited as the man of many firsts in Telugu cinema such as starring in the first Cinemascope film (Alluri Seetharama Raju, 1974), the first Eastman colour film (Eenadu, 1982), the first 70mm 4 track Stereophonic sound (Simhasanam, 1986) and also introducing the cowboy genre with films like Mosagallaki Mosagadu (1971).
In recognition of his contribution to art and cinema, the Indian government conferred on him the Padma Bhushan (2009). The multi-faceted personality was elected as a Member of Parliament from the Congress party in 1989. He also received an Honorary Doctorate from Andhra University in 2008.
Born into a middle-class household on May 31, 1942, Krishna had an insatiable love for films from his early days. His tale of success began with the silver screen in supporting roles in films like Kula Gothralu (1961), Padandi Mundhuku (1962), and Paruvu Prathishta (1963). Subsequently, he played one of the leads in late director Adurthi Subbarao’s romantic drama Thene Manasulu (1965) and made his debut as a solo lead with Kanne Manasulu (1996). Krishna became a household name with the runaway success of the iconic Telugu spy film Gudachaari 116 (1966).
Final rites today
The mortal remains of the actor were kept for viewing at Gachibowli Stadium and the last rites would take place on Wednesday