Akkineni Nageshwara Rao
Evergreen actor ANR
TNN | Oct 20, 2013, 02.54 AM IST
Akkineni Nageshwara Rao has been acting for last 74 years (1939-2013), which is perhaps a world record. The nonagenarian actor in 2013 started acting in a film titled 'Manam' with his son Akkineni Nagarjuna and grandson Akkineni Naga Chaitanya. Rao has been the recipient of many awards including the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibushan and also Dada Saheb Phalke awards. He also received several lifetime achievement awards in various countries apart from the prestigious awards instituted by the government of Andhra Pradesh.
The veteran actor revealed that he had been diagnosed with cancer in a dramatic manner at a press conference that he called for in 2013. He talked about himself and his acting career for sometime and said: "Life is funny. Now comes a twist." As reporters waited with bated breath, he made the startling revelation.
"I myself acted in some movies as a cancer patient and the character gave the impression that the disease inevitably leads to death of the patient. Today, thanks to advancements in medical science, it is not so," Rao said.
He recalled how doctors in 1974 told him that he would not live for more than 14 years after he underwent heart surgery. Again in 1988 he had suffered a heart attack and undergone operation. "It has been 25 years since I survived another heart attack and I have been hale and hearty. I am not shocked or scared at the cancer diagnosis now. I have a strong will and the best wishes of the people with me. Perhaps I can create another record by surviving cancer," said Rao who looked cheerful all through the press conference he addressed at the Annapurna Studios.