Chandra Mohan -- lucky charm of leading ladies of Tollywood

Throughout his career, the actor played lead, supporting and character roles, winning hearts across generations.
Veteran actor Chandra Mohan.
Veteran actor Chandra Mohan.

HYDERABAD: Veteran  actor Chandra Mohan died due to a cardiac arrest at 82 here on Saturday morning. He is survived by his wife Jalandhara and daughters Meenakshi and Madhavi.

Chandra  Mohan was admitted to the Apollo Hospitals earlier in the day. Announcing the actor’s death, his family members told reporters that he had been unwell for a long time due to age related issues. His last rites will take place in the city on  Monday, they said.

Born as  Mallampalli Chandrashekara Rao on May 23, 1941 in  Pamidimukkala in Madras Province (now Krishna district), Chandra Mohan  had an acting career spanning five decades. Throughout his career, the actor played lead, supporting and character roles, winning hearts across generations.

1941-2023
1941-2023

Before making his foray into the film industry, Chandra Mohan had a government job in Eluru. Impressed by his performance in plays during his college days, his friends encouraged Chandra Mohan to try his hand at acting. After taking part in open call auditions held by legendary film-maker Adurthi Subba Rao, Chandra Mohan eventually made his debut in the film industry with the 1966 film “Rangula Ratnam”.

He had to fight some stiff family resistance to his decision for obvious reasons. Incidentally, he was the cousin of popular playback singer-composer SP Balasubramanyam and film director ‘Kalatapasvi’ K  Viswanath. Chandra Mohan’s nephew Sivalenka Krishna Prasad, who started  out as his manager, eventually became a film producer in his own right.

“Rangula Ratnam”, produced and directed by BN Reddy of Vijaya Vauhini Studios, featured him in a lead role. The film, which also launched Vanisri, Vijaya Nirmala and Rekha (as a child actor) won a National Award and two Nandi Awards. Chandra Mohan’s entry into the industry kickstarted the trend of studios and production houses working with young, debutant actors.Chandra Mohan had a successful innings as a lead actor in the 70s.

His notable films include “Siri Siri Muvva” (1976), “Padaharella Vayasu” (1978), “Devathalara Deevinchandi” (1977), “Kurukshetram” (1977), “Pranam Khareedu” (1978), “Seetamalakshmi” (1978). He also featured in “Ram Robert Rahim” (1980),  the Telugu adaptation of “Amar Akbar Anthony” alongside Rajinikanth, Krishna and Naalai Namadhe, the Tamil remake of Yaadon Ki Baarat, where he shared screen space with MGR. He has also played memorable supporting roles in “Sankarabharanam”, “Chantabbai”, “Aditya 369”, “Alludugaru” and “President Gari Pellam”, among others.

Despite  his short stature, the actor left an impression with his looks and  dialogue delivery. Actresses like Jayasudha, Sridevi and Jayaprada considered him to be their lucky charm, believing that working with him could pave the way for more hits in their future.Unlike most of his contemporaries, Chandra Mohan successfully transitioned into a character actor in his late 40s and early 50s. This not only gave his career a whole new innings, but also reintroduced his presence and range to a whole new generation of Telugu cinema audience.

“7G Brindavan  Colony”, in particular, which saw him play a rough-on-the-edges, short tempered father, was one such memorable role, its legacy lives on to this day in innumerable memes. He has collaborated frequently with K Vijaya Bhaskar and Srinu Vaitla.Some of his notable films from this era include “Manasantha Nuvve”, “Nuvvu Naaku Nachav”, “Santosham”, “Manmadhudu”, Sankranti, “Dhee” and “King” (2008). 

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