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Greatest Indian Actor
Greatest Indian Actor

Maniam PS
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In your opinion, who is the greatest Indian actor of all time...

Posted On : 3/26/2009 8:47:09 AM

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Priyadarshini Misra
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This is a highly debatable question. However, my personal choice is Shahrukh Khan after analyzing his capabilities, tenacity, struggling years and potential to act in all kinds of roles. In his 13 year movie career, he has acted in about 57 films, received 13 Film Fare Awards and a Padma Shree Award from the Indian Government. He was also given the Best Indian Citizen Award for 1997 and Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in the Field of Entertainment Year 2002. He once commented about the number of awards he has received over the years by saying that now there is only the Best Actress award left to be won.

Posted On : 3/26/2009 10:33:11 PM

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Suparna Sen
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Dilip Kumar is the one. He is one of the legendary actors of the Hindi Film Industry. He is known for such great movies like Devdas, Madhumati, Naya Daur, Sagina Mahato, Shakti to name a few. His outstanding screen presence, great charisma and brilliant acting has earned him many awards and accolades.

Posted On : 3/27/2009 5:04:19 AM

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Maniam PS
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What about Prithivi Kapoor - father of Raj Kapoor??

Posted On : 3/29/2009 9:17:15 AM

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Priyadarshini Misra
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Prithviraj Kapoor was without a doubt the most handsome Indian actor of Pre-Independence India and the founder of India s first film family - the Kapoors. The turning point in Prithviraj s life came when he shifted to New Theatres, Calcutta in 1933. He broke through that year with Rajrani Meera 1933 and then with Debaki Bose s Seeta 1934 . He mainly acted in their Hindi versions with Durgadas Banerjee often playing the same role in the Bengali version. Prithviraj was associated with some of the best films of New Theatres like Manzil 1936 , President 1937 and his crowning glory Vidyapathi 1937 where he played the King Shiva Singha whose wife falls in love with the poet Vidyapathi. Prithviraj Kapoor was posthumously awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his contribution to Indian Cinema. His son, Shashi, has revived Prithvi Theatre in his honour, a most befitting tribute for someone whose motto was - The show must go on...

Posted On : 3/29/2009 10:54:48 PM

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Maniam PS
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I believe that Sivaji Ganesan of the South was also one of the greatest actor of all time. - Sivaji Ganesan Tamil: ச ி வ ா ஜ ி க ண ே ச ன ் born Viluppuram Chinnaiahpillai Ganesan, October 1, 1927 - July 21, 2001 was a legendary Indian film actor, active during the latter half of the 20th century. His fame came from his versatility and expressive prowess in Tamil cinema. He was the first South Indian film actor who won a best actor award in an international film festival, the Afro-Asian Film Festival held in Cairo, Egypt during 1959. Sivaji s legacy of acting is still admired today, also being an influence to many other Indian film actors. It has been admitted by most of the leading South Indian film actors that their acting was influenced by Ganesan. He is known for histrionic performances in films which some critics call over-acting .Early life Apart from his immense success and reception in Tamil cinema, he has also acted in Hindi-, Telugu-, Malayalam-, Bengali-, and Kannada-language films. Ganesan s first film was the Tamil film Parasakthi in 1952, co-starring actress Pandari Bai. The script for the film was written and directed by the now-Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, M. Karunanidhi. He took his stage name from Emperor Shivaji, one of the roles he had once enacted. citation needed Awards and honours - L gion d honneur Sivaji Ganesan s most prestigious award was the Chevalier in 1995, awarded by the National Order of the Legion of Honour in France. This is one of the main decorations of the French Republic which is conferred to honour the most original and talented personalities, for their remarkable contributions in the field of Arts and Literature in France and all over the world. On April 22, 1995, at a ceremony held at the MCA Stadium, Chennai, Sivaji Ganesan was presented the Chevalier title and medallion by the French Ambassador to India, Philip Petit. J. Jayalalitha, the entire Tamil film industry and representatives of all other Indian regional film industries were present at the ceremony. -Other awards Afro-Asian Film Festival Best Actor Award, 1959 Padma Shri, 1966 Padma Bhushan, 1984 National Film Award - Special Jury Award for Thevar Magan, 1993 Chevalier Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, France , 1995 Dadasaheb Phalke Award, 1996 Kalaimamani, 1997 NTR National Award, 1998 Honourary doctorate

Posted On : 3/29/2009 11:29:47 PM

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Riya Sen
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Well, my vote goes to Raj Kapoor, who has created history with his many new ventures. Especially in Mera Naam Joker, I loved the performance of this great Kapoor.

Posted On : 3/29/2009 11:42:34 PM

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Priyadarshini Misra
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You are absolutely right Rituporna, the contribution of Raj Kapoor is also unforgettable if we consider the names of great Indian actors. Raj Kapoor is many things to many people: producer, director, actor, editor, musician, story- teller, a man of many moods, an acknowledged patriarch of India s film making industry. There will be endless debates about his exact contribution to the art of cinema, but few can deny that he was the greatest entertainer known to Indian films - the great showman. Raj Kapoor was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for his contribution to Indian Cinema in 1988.

Posted On : 3/30/2009 2:33:37 AM

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Maniam PS
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Another great from Telengu Desam was N.T. Rama Rao Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao -Telugu: న ం ద మ ూ ర ి త ా ర క ర ా మ ా ర ా వ ు 28 May 1923 18 January 1996 , more commonly known as NTR was an Indian film actor, director, producer, and politician. He is the founder of Telugu Desam Party and served twice as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. His genre of films included mythological, social, and folk themes. He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in the 1960s, recognizing his contribution to Telugu cinema. After his career in movies, NTR became a political activist and a political party leader. He was born in Nimmakuru, Krishna District, Andhra Pradesh he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Andhra-Christian College in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh. He later received a honorary doctorate from Andhra University. He also worked as a sub-registrar in Guntur district. Dr. Rao highlighted Andhra Pradesh s distinct cultural identity, distinguishing it from Madras State with which it was often associated. -Career as an actor- NTR was referred to by fans as Viswa Vikhyatha Nata Sarvabhouma Universally Known Emperor of Acting in Telugu and the God of Telugu cinema. Though widely recognized for playing mythological characters, Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao is considered as one of the greatest actors in Telugu film industry, and in general in South Indian films. His portrayal of Lord Krishna in Maya Bazaar produced by B. Nagi Reddy, Vijaya Productions, was the turning point in his life. His portrayal of Ravana and avatars of Vishnu, especially Rama and Krishna mesmerized an entire generation who saw the face of Dr.Rao when these gods were mentioned. Dr. Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao had a major contribution to what can be considered the golden age of Telugu film making, between 1950 and 1965. Analysts believe that the Tamil and Telugu film industry produced some of the best mythological movies from India, while the Tamil and malayalam movie industry produced socially-oriented films. Dr. Rama Rao was naturally talented and extremely disciplined about various aspects of acting like preparation, punctuality, and dialogue delivery. An important factor that made him a great actor was his ability to deliver extremely lengthy dialogues that were original verses from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata with a fervor and command unmatched by most of his contemporaries. Generally, he played multiple roles in the same movie, which increased the number of dialogues and hence required preparation time. Dr. Rama Rao was very versatile. In Tamil Nadu, Sivaji Ganesan was much better known for his acting skill and M. G. Ramachandran for his commercial movies. NTR struck a balance between both kinds of cinema . He used to perform roles in mythological movies and even do commercial Janapadham where the adventurous prince saves the damsel in distress films. Shri Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao played the role of Lord Krishna not only in Telugu movies, but also in Tamil and Kannada movies. While the megastars Ramachandran, Shivaji Ganesan,Prem Naseer and Rajkumar vied for the roles of other Mahabharata heroes like Karna, Arjuna and Bhima, there was no denying that he would be the only one to play Lord Krishna. This is probably the greatest tribute to NTR s charismatic cine-genius. One of his greatest janapadams was Jagadekaveeruni katha the story of the universal hero where he plays the role of Pratap, the prince of Ujjain. He dreams of celestial damsels as his wives, but on revealing the dream to his father, he is banished from the kingdom. The heroic prince then does the impossible passing the various tests put to him, winning the celestial damsels and bringing them home to his kingdom. Another one of his janapadams was Gulebakavali katha the story of Gulebakavali where he plays the role of a prince who sets out to the heavens to bring the flower named Gulebakavali in order to cure his poisoned father, even winning Indra s daughter in the process. Shri Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao stopped playing the role of the prince in films, and Instead played the roles of a poor yet heroic young man against the system in his kingdom. To the millions of the denizens in Andhra Pradesh, he became one of us one who assures the poor that he is there to rescue them from the wicked traitors in the kingdom. The most notable movies acted by Rao in mythological characters are Maya Bazaar Sri Krishna , Lava Kusa Lord Rama , Sri Krishnaarjuna Yuddham Sri Krishna , Bheeshma Bheeshma , Bhookailasa Raavana , Nartanasala Arjuna also as Bruhannala , Panadava-vanavsam Bheema , Sri Venkateswara Mahatyam Lord Venkateswara , Maha Mantri Thimmarusu Sri Krishna Devarayalu and Dana Veera Sura Karna Duryodhana, Sri Krishna, Karna which created a record in telugu film industry, first film which has crossed one crore collection in Telugu film industry. Apart from these he played a variety of roles in folklore characters like Jagadeka Veeruni Katha, Pathala Bhairavi etc. On the social front he played roles in the movies Malliswari, Kanyasulkam, Gundamma Katha, Missamma, Raktha Sambandham, Ramudu Bheemudu, Devudu Chesina Manushulu, Adavi Ramudu, Vetagadu, Gajadonga, Driver Ramudu, Sardar Paparayudu, Kondaveeti Simham, Justice Chowdary, Bobbili Puli etc. He acted in over 280 movies in the lead role. He also donned the roles of an elderly teacher Badi Pantulu becoming a model to his pupils, as a prince and a pauper Raju-Peda , as down-to-earth servant dedicated to his master Aatma Bhanduvu . In addition to his purely artistic contributions to the Telugu movies, he built the Rama Krishna Film studios, and was very active in shifting the Telugu film industry from Madras to Hyderabad. This created the first sophisticated service industry in the agrarian state. He actively campaigned for the construction of a large number of movie theaters in rural locations and was influential in designing and implementing a financial system that funded the production and distribution of movies.

Posted On : 4/1/2009 7:21:22 PM

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Maniam PS
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Prem Nazir April 7, 1926 - January 16, 1989 , Malayalam: പ ് ര േ ം ന സ ീ ര ് was a Malayalam film actor. His real name was Abdul Khader. He is considered as one of the all time superstars in Malayalam cinema. He is referred to as Nithya haritha nayakan Ever green hero . Nazir holds two Guinness records one for playing opposite the same heroine around one hundred and ten films , Sheela and the other for the lead role in over 700 films. The nation has honoured him with Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, the third and fourth highest civilian honours respectively. Nazir was born in Chirayinkeezhu in the princely state of Travancore, to Akkode Shahul Hamid and Asuma Beevi. His mother died when he was very young. He completed his formal education from Kadinamkulam Lower Primary School, Sri Chithiravilasam School, S D College Alappuzha , and Saint Berchman s College Changanassery . By the time he completed his education, he had become an experienced drama artist. It was on the sets of his first movie that Abdul Khader was renamed Prem Nazir by Thikkurussi Sukumaran Nair. Prem Nazir s brother Prem Nawaz Abdul Wahab also acted in a few films. Although he was the first in the family to begin acting in movies, he later began producing films - Agniputhri, Thulaavarsham, Poojakku Edukatha Pookkal, Neethi and Keni to name a few. Prem Nawaz s only son, Prem Kishore has also had a stint with the industry by acting in two Malayalam films - Vacation and Thaskaraputran. Prem Nawaz has the distinction of acting in the first ever colour film made in Malayalam - Kandam Vechu Kottu. Prem Nazir s son Shahnawaz acted in a few films as well but could not succeed like his father. Nazir started acting for the Excel company and most of his films were for the Udaya and Merryland Studios. His first film was Marumakal , produced by Paul Kallungal. In 1979, 39 of his films got released a record. He also holds the record for having acted in the most leading roles - about 700 films with 85 heronies . Another record is for the most enduring screen team along with actress Sheela. They played opposite each other in 130 movies by 1975. His association with playback singer K. J. Yesudas was perfect for the audience. Even today many consider the Nazir - Yesudas combination of song sequences remains the best ever on screen. He is quite popularly described as Nithyaharithanayakan The Evergreen Hero , which do justice to the fact that he was acting as the hero in his elder years as well.His last film was Dhwani. He won the Kerala State Special Jury Award in 1981. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1983 by the President of India in recognition of distinguished services of a high order to the nation in his field acting . The Prem Nazir Award was initiated in his memory, in 1992, for excellence in contributions to the Malayalam Cinema Industry. Nazir also wrote a book on the film characters he essayed, Enne Thediyetha Kathapatrangal. Many consider the role of Bhranthan Mentally ill Velayuthan in the film Iruttinte Atmavu The Soul of the Darkness as his masterpiece. Written by M. T. Vasudevan Nair,the film provided Malayalam cinema with a new direction that of the low budget film. One could see a lot of the pre-occupations of the scenarist, who carried the touches of human relationships through all of his subsequent films whether as screenplay writer or director. In spite of its large number of studio shots and overall theatricality, the film was so culturally rich that many of the episodes would become archetypes for future Malayalam film makers dealing with family drama. It depicted the story of an imbecile finely portrayed by Prem Nazir in a joint family with remarkable sensitivity and seriousness of purpose. He tried his hand in politics and had joined the Congress Party but he never contested elections.

Posted On : 4/6/2009 12:40:09 AM

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Maniam PS
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Prem Nazir April 7, 1926 - January 16, 1989 , was a Malayalam film actor. His real name was Abdul Khader. He is considered as one of the all time superstars in Malayalam cinema. He is referred to as Nithya haritha nayakan Ever green hero . Nazir holds two Guinness records one for playing opposite the same heroine around one hundred and ten films , Sheela and the other for the lead role in over 700 films. The nation has honoured him with Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri, the third and fourth highest civilian honours respectively Nazir started acting for the Excel company and most of his films were for the Udaya and Merryland Studios. His first film was Marumakal , produced by Paul Kallungal. In 1979, 39 of his films got released a record. He also holds the record for having acted in the most leading roles - about 700 films with 85 heronies . Another record is for the most enduring screen team along with actress Sheela. They played opposite each other in 130 movies by 1975. His association with playback singer K. J. Yesudas was perfect for the audience. Even today many consider the Nazir - Yesudas combination of song sequences remains the best ever on screen. He is quite popularly described as Nithyaharithanayakan The Evergreen Hero , which do justice to the fact that he was acting as the hero in his elder years as well.His last film was Dhwani. He won the Kerala State Special Jury Award in 1981. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1983 by the President of India in recognition of distinguished services of a high order to the nation in his field acting . The Prem Nazir Award was initiated in his memory, in 1992, for excellence in contributions to the Malayalam Cinema Industry. Nazir also wrote a book on the film characters he essayed, Enne Thediyetha Kathapatrangal. Many consider the role of Bhranthan Mentally ill Velayuthan in the film Iruttinte Atmavu The Soul of the Darkness as his masterpiece. Written by M. T. Vasudevan Nair,the film provided Malayalam cinema with a new direction that of the low budget film. One could see a lot of the pre-occupations of the scenarist, who carried the touches of human relationships through all of his subsequent films whether as screenplay writer or director. In spite of its large number of studio shots and overall theatricality, the film was so culturally rich that many of the episodes would become archetypes for future Malayalam film makers dealing with family drama. It depicted the story of an imbecile finely portrayed by Prem Nazir in a joint family with remarkable sensitivity and seriousness of purpose. He tried his hand in politics and had joined the Congress Party but he never contested elections

Posted On : 4/6/2009 7:41:35 PM

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Maniam PS
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Let me rephrase the Question. Who are or were the Greatest Indian Cinema Actors of India..

Posted On : 4/7/2009 8:05:46 PM

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Manpreet Bharara
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According to me.............its Kamal Hassan. I specially loved this page - http://www.indianetzone.com/36/acting_style_kamal_hassan_indian_actor.htm Kamal Haasan first received a regional Filmfare Award for acting for his role in the Malayalam film Kanyakumari 1974 . In the next four years, he won six regional Best Actor Filmfare Awards, including four consecutive Best Tamil Actor Awards. After a series of less-successful films, he acted in director K. Balachander s Apoorva Raagangal, an exploration of age-gap relationships the film is also known for introducing another prominent Tamil actor, Rajinikanth. The 1970s, especially between the mid- and late 1970s, was a period that saw Kamal Haasan s frequent collaboration with K. Balachander, who also cast him in many of his socially-themed films such as Avargal 1977 . The film won Haasan his first Filmfare Best Tamil Actor Award. In 1976, Haasan appeared in the drama Moondru Mudichu with Rajinikanth and Sridevi, another K. Balachander film, Manmadha Leelai, and Oru Oodhappu Kan Simittugiradhu, which won him his second consecutive Best Actor Award. 16 Vayathinile won him his third consecutive award, where he appeared as an mentally ill villager, once again alongside Rajinikanth and Sridevi. The fourth consecutive award came with Sigappu Rojakal in which he appeared as an anti-hero who is a psychopathic sexual killer. Furthermore in the late seventies, Haasan appeared in successful films such as the comedy, Ninaithale Inikkum and the horror film, Neeya.

Posted On : 4/9/2009 2:49:47 AM

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Maniam PS
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Pran Sikand - the greatest villian actor of the Hindi cinema - born on February 12, 1920 is a multiple Filmfare and BFJA award-winning Indian actor. He has appeared in over 350 films. He was honoured with the Padmabhushan, for his contribution to cinema. Contrary to the villainous characters he played in his early films, he is very social, a member of various organizations, and even has his very own football team. Pran was born in New Delhi, into a wealthy family. His father-Kewal Krishan Sikand, was a civil contractor. He was born in small town Jejjon in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab. He was academically gifted, especially in mathematics. He studied in Rampur, Dehradun, Kapurthala, Meerut, and Unnao then Unao . Upon passing his matriculation examination, Pran joined A.Das & Co., Delhi as an apprentice as he wanted to become a professional photographer. This job took him first to Simla, where he played Sita to Madan Puri s Ram in the local staging of Ramlila . Pran married Shukla in 1945, and has two sons, Arvind and Sunil, and a daughter, Pinky. He now enjoys a secluded life with his family. A chance meeting with the writer Wali Mohammad Wali at a shop in Hira Mandi, led to Pran winning his first role as a villain in Dalsukh Pancholi s Punjabi film Yamla Jat followed by Chaudhary & Khajanchi. Khandaan was the first Hindi movie in which Pran became a hero opposite Noorjehan, who had earlier acted with him as a child artist. After partition he went to Bombay and his role in Bombay Talkies Ziddi with Dev Anand and Kamini Kaushal , directed by Shaheed Lateef, launched his career in Bombay. This film was also Dev Anand s big break as a hero. In the 1960s, with Manoj Kumar s Upkaar he turned to positive character roles. Ironically in this movie Kamini Kaushal also moved to character roles. He became a well-known character actor in films like Zanjeer, Don, Amar Akbar Anthony and Majboor. The legendary Villain of the Millennium has had a marathon six decades long career in Hindi Cinema and is one of the most celebrated actors of the industry.So effective was his acting that it said that people stopped naming their children Pran because of his villain roles. His biography, ...and Pran was so named because, in most of the movies that he acted in, his was the last name in the cast portion of the credits, with the words ...and Pran and sometime ..above all Pran . His favourite line ..Barkhudaar.. .. He played good role in Don 70s also. He was at the peak of his career in those days that Pran was paid much more money than Amitabh for working in Don.

Posted On : 4/11/2009 10:51:57 AM

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Maniam PS
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Samarlakota Venkata Ranga Rao 3 July 1918 18 July 1974 was a South Indian actor, director and producer. He has an important place in the film history of South India both in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu . He was an internationally recognised actor and is popularly known as Vishwanata Chakravarthi. He was considered to be a versatile actor and the first actor of his kind with the famous mannerism orey dongrey from the film Jagath Jettilu he is the household name in Andhra Pradesh. He died on 18 July 1974 suffering a severe cardiac arrest. But, he continues to live in the annals of Tollywood and Tamil film history.Rao was born to Lakshmi Narasaymma and Koteshwara Rao, an excise inspector at Nuzvidu town in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh, when the World War I was drawing to a close. His mother, Lakshmi Narasayamma, a staunch devotee of Lord Venkateshwara, named the boy after him. The possessive father sent S.V.R. to the erstwhile Madras presidency where he completed his schooling at Hindu College. At an early age of 12, the boy showed immense interest in stage action. while doing his B.Sc, but the mind of youthful S.V.R. was always preoccupied with the thoughts of stage-plays and film acting. Soon after graduation, S.V.R. could get a job in the Fire Service in the cadre of an officer. Two objectives were still clear in his mind, which were to do MSc and to take active part in dramas and films.S.V.R. got an invitation from one of his relatives, B.V. Ramanandam, to play the hero in his film Varoodhini . He immediately abandoned the job, and left for Salem to join the celluloid world. In fact, it s a great beginning for the young man. The film Varoodhini was released, and in a few days people began to forget that they had ever seen such a movie. No producer dared to offer a role to him. Soon, S.V.R. was disillusioned with the filmdom and 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 Vadeti on 27 December 1947. In the days that followed, S.V.R. was given an opportunity to play the villain in the film, Palletoori Pilla, produced by B.A. Subba Rao. Unfortunately, when S.V.R. was about to take a train to Chennai, his father expired. After performing the final rites, S.V.R. reached Chennai, but somebody had knocked away the villain role. Luck tapped at S.V.R. s door through Vijaya Pictures, which offered him the most memorable Nepala Mantrikudu role in Pathala Bhairavi. Immediately, he came into the limelight, followed by Pellichesi Choodu 1952 . Its Tamil version was also played by him. Within a short time, S.V.R. received appreciation from both Telugu and Tamil audiences. He acted almost every character in history. He showed a kind of recklessness and arrogance in his dialogue delivery. The iconic status did not reach him so easily. He struggled a lot and from that struggle born a great actor of all times. Maya Bazaar and Missamma are among his famous movies. His dialogue delivery cannot be matched with that of any film personality in the world as he can deliver dialogues even written in Sanskrit with so ease and with complete emotions that no one can ever come close to him in this aspect,it is said that even N.T.R who was great at delivering dialogues in telugu use to stammer in front of S.V.R. His compatriot Gummadi once exclaimed Fortunate are we to have SVR born in India but SVR is unfortunate to have born here... if he was born in the West he would have been one of the top 5 actors of all time in the world . Awards: He won the Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Keechaka in Narthansala at the Indonesian Film Festival. It the first time an Indian actor received an international award in acting. Surprisingly, this fact is not well-known among many people.After getting the award he felt very sad that his own country couldn t honor his talent even though it is accepted by all Indian film fraternity that no one can ever match to SVR acting talent.

Posted On : 4/16/2009 9:51:05 PM

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Neeraj Swaroop Sharma
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In my opinion the greatest actor of all time is Sanjeev Kumar, Ashok Kumar, Balraj Sahni etc. who were charachter artists.

Posted On : 4/17/2009 2:53:51 AM


[Moderator Comment : Hello Members, The original post itself was too general. It is almost impossible to mark out the Greatest Indian actors as since time immemorial Indian cinema has presented a wide variety of proficient artists in the form of Bollywood actors, Marathi actors, Tamil. Telugu, Malayalam actors, Bengali actors and so on. Hence taking 1. 2 or 5 names won t justify the great Indian actors who since ages have enamored all with their charishma, talent and acting skill.]

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