Senior comedian Gundu Hanumantha Rao passed away in the early hours of Monday after suffering from kidney related problems for the last few months. He breathed his last at 3.30 am at his residence in S.R. Nagar, Hyderabad and is survived by a son, who has completed his engineering.
Born on October 10, 1956 in Vijayawada, Hanumantha Rao made his debut with the film Satyagraham in 1987. Before he joined films, he ran a sweetmeat business in Vijayawada and also worked as a theatre artiste. He acted in many Telugu plays and even wrote a play titled Idemiti in 1985. It is said that popular director Jandhyala was so impressed with Gundu’s performance in that play that he promised him a role in his film and that’s how the comedian came into the industry.
Hanumantha Rao did more than 400 films throughout his career and also acted in popular TV serial Amrutham, for which he got a Nandi award. Aha Naa Pellanta, Mayalodu, Rajendrudu Gajendrudu, Yamaleela, Ghatothkachudu, Gun Shot, Pellaniki Prema Lekha Priyuraliki Subhalekha are some of the films in which he played prominent comedian roles.
After hearing about his health problems and financial situation, Megastar Chiranjeevi helped him with Rs 2 lakh while the Telangana Government supported him with Rs 5 lakh. But sadly, the actor couldn’t recover and passed away on Monday morning.
Many in the industry paid rich tributes to late actor.
“Hanumantha Rao, Brahmananadam and I started our career at the same time. His wife and daughter both passed away, and sadly, he too left so early. We both acted in the serial Amrutham and got a good name. I knew him for the last 30 years and he never went to anyone’s house empty-handed,” says Sivaji Raja, President of the Movie Artistes Association.
“When I heard about Hanumantha Rao (death), I couldn’t believe it. I immediately called Sivaji Raja, because three of us share a special bond. I went to his house many times and he always spoke from the heart. He was not only a good comedian, but also a good human being. The film industry has lost a good actor,” says Brahmanandam.
“Hanumantha Rao was a good artiste and human being. He was good at comedy and also in emotional scenes. He had his own comic style and I created the ‘gundu’ character especially for him in the film Rajendrudu Gajendrudu. We have lost a good artist,” says director S.V. Krishna Reddy, director.
Senior actor Mohan Babu and Nandamuri Balakrishna also paid their tributes as they remembered their days of working with Hanumantha Rao. Many other film personalities also rushed to the actor’s house to pay their last tributes.