For those who are acquainted with Telugu Cinema the name of Gummadi reels off images of an elder man who is the father of the hero or else of the heroine. The images show of a man who is perpetually prone for a heart attack. He has died a thousand deaths in his movies earning him a sobriquet of “GUNDEPOTU GUMMADI.”
Now that very man who has glorified death in numerous roles he portrayed on screen has left this world leaving behind a legacy which shows us the golden age of Telugu cinema.
All through his acting career, Gummadi Venkateswara Rao had played the role of a suffering yet doting father to the hero or the heroine. His acting was so natural that many felt that he was born to become a father on screen. It is ironical that he played father, grand-father to most of the heroes and heroines who were elder to him in real life.
The crowning glory of Gummadi was “Mahamantri Timmarusu” in which he played the title role though the film had the Legendary NTR playing the hero role. Such was the aura of Gummadi in a character role that people of the era were convinced to act opposite him.
He was a true artist who made acting look so simple. He was part of the golden-age of Telugu cinema that shows how things were. It must be just a co-incidence that he survived till he saw the greatest telugu film ever, “Maayabazaar” turn into color. He saw himself as Balarama for one final time along with his long-time friend ANR and bid adieu to the world.
Sir! You have left a rich legacy of films. Thou shall survive in the hearts and memories of millions of cinema-lovers.