Born into a farmer's family, Rama Rao Taraka Nandamuri got his bachelors of arts degree and took a job with the government. Married to Nandamuri Basavatarakam, he began acting in films, his first being Mana Desam (1949), in which he played a police officer. His first movie as a hero was Palletoori Pilla (1950), which was a huge hit. His subsequent movies--Showkar (1950), Pathala Bhairavi (1951), Malliswari (1951) and Chandraharam (1953)--established him as the premier hero in the Telugu film industry. He acted in a mythological role as Lord Krishna for the first time in Mayabazar (1957) and acted in most of the major roles in "Ramayana" and "Mahabharatam", even in Tamil films. He acted in a total of 254 films, including some Tamil and Hindi films. He suffered some career reversals in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but came back with a bang in the late 1970s with some major hits like Adavi Ramudu (1977), Yamagola (1977), Vetagadu (1979). Some of his major hits in the early 1980s include Sardar Papa Rayudu (1980), Bobbili Puli (1982), Kondaveeti Simham (1981). He became the first superstar of the Telugu films a position which was held by Chiranjeevi till around 2001. An intensely emotional person, he also directed films, built a studio and produced films. He established the TeluguDesam party in 1982 and within a year became the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh. He was an avid advocate of Telugu Pride and made sure his native state. He married Lakshmi Parvathi in 1993. He was re-elected by a landslide in 1994, but was ousted from power by an internal party coup in which his son-in-law and the present Chief Minister, Mr. Chandrababu Naidu, took over in 1995. He died less than six months later, in 1996 because of heart attack. His son Nandamuri Balakrishna is a famous actor in Telugu films. He is survived by six sons and three daughters.
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