"సమార్ల వెంకట రంగ రావు"Samarla Venkata Ranga Rao (3 July 1918 – 18 July 1974), popularly known as S.V.R., was an Indian film actor, director and producer known for his works in Telugu cinema and Tamil cinema. Regarded as one of the finest Indian method actors, Rao was popularly known as "Viswa Nata Chakravarthi". Throughout his film career, which spanned a total of thirty years, Rao garnered various National Honors, International honors, state Nandi Awards, and the Filmfare Special Award - South. In 1951 Rao appeared in the fantasy film, Pathala Bhairavi, screened at the first India International Film Festival, held in Mumbai on 24 January 1952. Rao received wide reception for his portrayal of Nepala Manthrikudu the tantric in the super-hit film.
Rao was known for his natural acting style, portraying complex social, biographical, and mythological characters such as Ghatotkacha in Maya Bazaar (1958) which is regarded as the "greatest Indian film of all time" by CNN-India Poll, and was screened at the 1957 International Film Festival of India and the Indonesian Film Festival; Mayasura in Bhookailas (1958); Bhoja in Mahakavi Kalidasu (1960) which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu. In 1964, Rao received the Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Kichaka in Nartanasala (1963) at the Third Afro-Asian Film Festival held in Jakarta, becoming the only Indian actor to have garnered the honor. He then essayed Duryodhana in the blockbuster Pandava Vanavasamu (1965); Hiranyakashipu in Bhakta Prahlada (1967), which won the Nandi Award for Second Best Feature Film; and Ravana in Sampoorna Ramayanamu (1971) to name a few.
Rao has made his foray as a character actor in super-hits such as Mana Desam (1949), Palletoori Pilla (1950), Devadasu (1953), Bangaru Papa (1954), Raju Peda (1954), Thodi Kodallu (1957), Chenchu Lakshmi (1958), Pelli Naati Pramanalu (1958), Nammina Bantu (1959), Gundamma Katha (1962), Karpagam (1963), Naanum Oru Penn (1963), Bobbili Yudham (1964), Bandhavyalu (1968), Lakshmi Nivasam (1968), Prem Nagar (1971), and Dussehra Bullodu (1971). In his honor, the Andhra Pradesh Government has instituted the S. V. Ranga Rao Award for Best Character Actor.
Rao was born into Telugu Speaking family, to Samarla Lakshmi and Samarla Koteswara Rao, an excise inspector at Nuzvidu town in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, India when World War I was drawing to a close. His mother, Lakshmi Narasayamma, a staunch devotee of Lord Venkateswara, named the boy after him. Rao was sent to the erstwhile Madras Presidency where he completed his schooling at Hindu College. At an early age of 12, he showed interest in stage action, he ventured into acting after completing his bachelor's degree in sciences.
S.V.R. got an invitation from one of his relatives, B.V. Ramanandam, to play the lead actor in his film Varoodhini. He immediately abandoned the job, and left for Salem to join the celluloid world. In fact, it was a great beginning for the young man. The film Varoodhini was released. However, S.V.R. left the Madras presidency and reached Jamshedpur, where he took up the job as a budget assistant with the Tata Company. However, his love for dramas began to bloom multifold. At this juncture, he was married to Leelavathi Badeti on 27 December 1947. In the days that followed, S.V.R. was given an opportunity to appear in Palletoori Pilla, produced by B. A. Subba Rao. Rao was offered his first lead antagonist role by Vijaya Pictures.
He has married Leelavati, daughter of Badeti Venkata Ramaiah and Koteswaramma on December 27, 1947. They had three children: two daughters, Vijaya and Prameela and a son, Koteswara Rao. Rao had a cardiac arrest at Hyderabad in February 1974. He was admitted to Osmania General Hospital, and then discharged. Another attack on July 18, 1974 at Chennai proved fatal and the actor was dead before any medical treatment could be instituted.International honors
Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Keechaka in Nartanasala at the Third Afro-Asian Film Festival held in Jakarta - (1963)
Rashtrapati Award for best acting
Naanum Oru Penn (1963)
Nandi Award for Best Actor
Nandi Award for Best Feature Film (director)
Chadarangam (1967) - Silver Nandi
Bandhavyalu (1968) - Gold Nandi
Filmfare Awards South
Filmfare Special Award - South for Naanum Oru Penn (1963)
He was given the distinguished names as Viswa Nata Chakravarti, Nata Sarvabhouma, Nata Sekhara, Nata Simha.
Bandhavyalu (1968) (producer)
Chadarangam (1967) (producer)
Naadi Aada Janme (1965) (producer)