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Yaragudipati Varada Rao

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Rukmini Rao (m. ?–1973)

Film producer

Yaragudipati Rao

Yaragudipati Varada Rao wwwthehinducomthehindufr20030822images200

Full Name
Yaragudipati Varada Rao

30 May 1903 (
Nellore, Madras Presidency, British India

producerdirectorthespianfilm actordistributoreditor

Rajam (ex wife)Kumari Rukhmini (wife)Nungambakkam Janaki (mother in law)Lakshmi (daughter)Aishwarya (grand daughter)

February 13, 1973, Chennai

Aishwarya Bhaskaran, Sivachandran Samyuktha

Sati Sulochana, Viswa Mohini, Nippulanti Manishi, Chintamani, Bangalore Mail

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Yaragudipati Varada Rao (30 May 1903 – 13 February 1973), also known as Y. V. Rao, was an Indian film producer, director, thespian, screenwriter, editor and actor known for his works predominantly in Telugu, Kannada, and Tamil cinema. One of the pioneers of Telugu cinema, Rao plunged into drama and did a few stage plays before moving to Kolhapur and Bombay to act in silent films.


R. S. Prakash Rao, son of Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu, cast him as lead actor in many silent films like Garuda Garva Bhangam, Gajendra Moksham, and Rose of Rajasthan. Rao moved into film direction and made silent films like Pandava Nirvana (1930), Pandava Agnathavaas (1930) and Hari Maya (1932). In 1940 he directed the Telugu magnum opus Viswa Mohini. Rao and, R. S. Prakash have established a long-lasting precedent of producing films exclusively on religious themes; Nandanar, Gajendra Moksham, and Matsyavatar, three of their Telugu productions, centred on religious figures, parables, and morals.

Personal life

Y.V. Rao was born in Nellore in the then Madras Presidency of British India in May 1903. In the late 1920s, he moved to Madras and ventured into Kannada cinema. He married Kumari Rukmini who paired with him in Lavangi. Indian film actress Lakshmi is their daughter.

Kannada cinema

In 1932, a Marwari businessman, Chamanlal Doongaji from Bangalore, launched South India Movie Tone. The company made Sati Sulochana the first talking picture in Kannada language with an expense of Rs. 40,000. Rao directed this blockbuster film shot at Chatrapathi Cinetone, in Kolhapur; the shooting took eight weeks. He then directed Hari Maya (1932) that starred his first wife, Rajam.

Tamil cinema

In 1937, Rao directed the Tamil film Chintamani which eventually became a blockbuster and went on to create new records in the Tamil film industry. More importantly, it was the movie which propelled M. K. Thyagaraja Bhagavathar to superstardom. He then directed Lavangi (1946), a biographical based on the life of poet Pandit Jagannath. He subsequently directed several blockbusters in Tamil.


Yaragudipati Varada Rao Wikipedia