HYDERABAD: Veteran south Indian actor Pradeep Shakti (60) breathed his last on Saturday in New Jersey, the United States.
The actor, who played many memorable roles in popular movies like Nayakudu, Guna, April 1 Vidudala among others in several south Indian languages, was suffering from heart related ailment for the past few months and succumbed to heart attack in New York on Saturday night.
Vasi Reddy Pradeep Shakti hailed from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh state but became famous all over India with his villain roles in South Indian language movies. Besides becoming a household name in southern states like AP, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, he had become a familiar face with even Bollywood audience in eighties and nineties through the dubbed versions of south Indian movies.
Pradeep made his debut with Telugu movie ‘Ladies tailor’ in 1985 and quickly rose to fame and acted in other south Indian languages like Tamil, Kannada. Pradeep had caught the attention of prolific directors like Manirathnam and Vamshi, who gave him a series of interesting roles in their movies like Aalaapana, Chettu kinda pleader, Chitram Bhalare Vichitram among others.
It was Maniratnam directorial ‘Nayagan’ which catapulted Pradeep to national level. His role of a cruel and unscrupulous police officer in Nayagan, etched his image as a villain in the eyes of both south Indian and bollywood audience. He had even directed movie Kaliyuga Vishwamitra.
After a successful stint in movies, Pradeep shifted to US in the mid nineties and settled there. He owned and ran a successful chain of restaurants in the US.